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The original Half-Life games are now free to play until Half-Life: Alyx launches

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Valve have made their original Half-Life titles all the way up to Half-Life 2: Episode Two free to play for a few months.

This is to build up excitement for their VR-only title, Half-Life: Alyx, which releases in March. Which we still don't know if it will support Linux or not, I'll be speaking to Valve more about that closer to the time. It likely all depends on the state of SteamVR at the time.

So you can now enjoy these completely free:

  • Half-Life
  • Half-Life 2
  • Half-Life 2: Episode One
  • Half-Life 2: Episode Two

From their wording, this is not free to keep if you grab it now, it's just temporarily free to play. Still, that's quite a long time.

Half-Life: Alyx is set before the events of Half-Life 2 and the episodes, but the games share characters and story elements. The Half-Life: Alyx team believes that the best way to enjoy the new game is to play through the old ones, especially Half-Life 2 and the episodes, so we want to make that as easy as possible.

Valve

You can see the official news post here.

The Half-Life games are definitely something you need to experience even if you're not going to get Half-Life: Alyx. I only personally played through them to the fullest a few years back, when they arrived on Linux as part of Valve's original push and absolutely enjoyed the experience to the point of writing a small bit about Half-Life 2—ah memories.

Additionally, Valve are holding a Reddit AMA (Ask me anything) at around 5PM UTC on Jan 22nd.

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21 comments
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Mohandevir 21 January 2020 at 7:32 pm UTC
In the first wave of games I completed when Steam launched on Linux.

Ah... Good ol' times!
Ardje 21 January 2020 at 7:57 pm UTC
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MohandevirIn the first wave of games I completed when Steam launched on Linux.

Ah... Good ol' times!
ol' times?
I played those games on linux before there was a thing called steam. Or I've never seen it I think. Can't really remember. It was a let down that all episodes never were continued. Like SiN: Episode one, that was a great start of a story.
Hmmm, yes, I think there was some client. I played stuff with winex, cedega, pol. Tried crossover even, but that never worked. I sponsor crossover for years, but it never works for me. But yeah, that's years before Steam and all Valve games were officially released on linux.
I did replay them though... half-life has a great story.
Mohandevir 21 January 2020 at 9:23 pm UTC
Ardje
MohandevirIn the first wave of games I completed when Steam launched on Linux.

Ah... Good ol' times!
ol' times?
I played those games on linux before there was a thing called steam. Or I've never seen it I think. Can't really remember. It was a let down that all episodes never were continued. Like SiN: Episode one, that was a great start of a story.
Hmmm, yes, I think there was some client. I played stuff with winex, cedega, pol. Tried crossover even, but that never worked. I sponsor crossover for years, but it never works for me. But yeah, that's years before Steam and all Valve games were officially released on linux.
I did replay them though... half-life has a great story.

"Good ol' times" like in "These were the early days of Steam on Linux when native builds of games were pouring on our platform with only good news all over the place."

Ok, just "barely" exagerated, but still, it was all about new stuff and new possibilities, at that time.


Last edited by Mohandevir on 21 January 2020 at 9:24 pm UTC
TheRiddick 22 January 2020 at 2:14 am UTC
Still good games that hold up well today. I do wonder if Alex is using Source 3.0 engine (has that been announced yet)

One thing for sure, EPIC games has lit a fire under Valves arse by showing them that MAKING games and exclusive deals still matter. Motivated Valve to start making games again which is great news people! We may yet see a HL3 come to life!


Last edited by TheRiddick on 22 January 2020 at 2:15 am UTC
Kelvinhbo 22 January 2020 at 3:16 am UTC
Damn, too bad I already own and have beat all of them.
14 22 January 2020 at 5:14 am UTC
I can't remember if I ever played through all of the original Half-Life, but I have completed all the others. They were great. They are old, though, and I would not tell someone 15 years younger than me that they had to play them or they were missing out on life. If we're talking about Dragon Age: Origins, the Mass Effect series, The Witcher 2 and 3, then it'd be a different story. Don't take what I say too far. I would say they are worth playing if you hadn't before. But I wouldn't expect someone to think of me as a better human being because I pointed them to Half-Life.
Eike 22 January 2020 at 8:54 am UTC
I wonder if they now get review bombed for making the new one VR only. OTOH, the people who dislike this move the most will already own the game...
sub 22 January 2020 at 9:08 am UTC
I'm currently replaying the series for the first time in a very long time.

Black Mesa was great.
Now close to the end of HL2 (base game).

Imho, this game has aged particularly well.
Also, I don't mind the linearity that's very often criticised (by younger gamers?).
I love good handcrafted stories and this one is undoubtedly extremely well executed.

Maybe that's one reason I'm not that much into open-world/sandbox games, where content is
too a large extend very repetitive or procedurally generated.
(Exception: I LOVED 'Breath of the Wild'!)

Hope the Index is available again soon.
kuhpunkt 22 January 2020 at 9:19 am UTC
TheRiddickStill good games that hold up well today. I do wonder if Alex is using Source 3.0 engine (has that been announced yet)

One thing for sure, EPIC games has lit a fire under Valves arse by showing them that MAKING games and exclusive deals still matter. Motivated Valve to start making games again which is great news people! We may yet see a HL3 come to life!

Source 3? It's using Source 2.

Epic has nothing to do with this.
Liam Dawe 22 January 2020 at 2:42 pm UTC
Valve are doing an AMA on Reddit today at 5PM UTC: https://www.reddit.com/r/HalfLife/
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