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Which ‘Half-Life’ games to play before ‘Half-Life: Alyx’

/ 06:54 PM November 26, 2019
virtual reality, half-life

Valve’s famous heroes of “Half-Life 2”, Gordon Freeman (R) and Alyx Vance (L). Image: Courtesy of Valve Corporation via AFP Relaxnews

With “Half-Life: Alyx” set for March 2020, four previous entries to the franchise remain essential, with “Half-Life”, “Half-Life 2” and “Half Life: Episode One and Two” taking around 15 hours each. Here’s what they are about, what to play them on, and the other games from the “Half-Life” universe we recommend as optional extras.

Half-Life/Black Mesa

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Set in the early 2000s, “Half-Life” has players assume the role of research scientist Gordon Freeman at a secret government facility in the wilderness of New Mexico. A project to develop teleportation equipment has led to the discovery of a new plane of existence, but a disastrous accident results in an alien invasion. Employees and security forces scramble to escape or contain the outbreak; Freeman goes against the tide, proving himself a resourceful action hero in the process.

First issued for Windows PC in November 1998, and now supported on Mac and Linux, “Half-Life” is also available as impressive PC and Linux restoration project “Black Mesa,” overhauling graphics and significantly reworking the game’s end.

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Console options are currently limited to the PlayStation 2, though an unpublished Dreamcast version has been leaked to the internet.

Half-Life 2/Half-Life 2: Update

Twenty years after the events of “Half-Life,” Freeman is revived from stasis and inserted into a world almost completely subdued by an alien empire. There is, however, an organized resistance operating on limited means; Freeman joins their cause and heads toward the aliens’ towering headquarters.

Like its predecessor, 2004’s “Half-Life 2” debuted on Windows PC with Mac and Linux editions released afterward, and “Half-Life 2: Update” 2015’s graphics upgrade. It landed on a new generation of consoles via the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, part of a collection called “The Orange Box,” and is also available on the Android OS but as an exclusive for Nvidia’s Shield gaming devices.

Half-Life 2: Episode 1 and Episode 2

TOPICS: Computer games, FPS, Half-life, linux, Mac, PlayStation, Valve Corp., Windows, Xbox
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