Half Life is 10!
A previously unknown company called Valve, released ten years ago, a game called Half Life. Heard of it? Thought you might have- although believe it or not, Gordon Freeman’s debut on our gaming systems was initially more of a ‘quickie’ technology showcase, designed to make the industry take note of this up-and-coming game developer. According to Ars technica:
Initially, Half-Life was supposed to be this quickie FPS that would give the company a resume and get us on our feet to do whatever the real thing was that we were going to do. We could learn some stuff doing this, then we’d do some other thing.”
I remember borrowing a friend’s copy of the game and playing it on my first self-built pc, a relic with a 333Mhz AMD K6-2 processor and 128Mb of RAM, gosh 1998 seems such a long time ago… Despite being a phenomenal game in it’s own right, redefining the baseline for game narrative and story telling, the mod community is what really developed Half Life’s appeal. Mods like Day of Defeat, Counter Strike, Natural Selection as well as literally countless others all attracted their own fan-bases and showed what a small group of fans could accomplish. To this day, the degree of flexibility and mod-ibility of the Half Life engines present a target for other game development houses to aspire to.
Well, ten years later and Half Life has been a remarkable success proving to the world that a guy in a lab coat with an unhealthy penchant for physics problems can have the most amazing adventures and get the girl. To celebrate, Valve are offering this classic for $1 over at their online store Steam.