To celebrate 25 years of Half-Life, Valve’s shooter is available for free on Steam – and over 30,000 players are sinking back into Black Mesa. But there are still more gifts to come!
Some of you may feel old now, but Valve can celebrate 25 years of Half-Life this year. To mark the anniversary, the classic shooter is currently available for free on Steam, which has led to an unprecedented revival of the game with (over 31,000 simultaneously active players) at its peak. But that’s by no means all!
Update from November 19, 2023: We have added new information to this news item.
How can you get Half-Life for free and until when?
If you don’t own Half-Life and want to change that, you’ll have to hurry: The promotion expires on November 20 at 7:00 p.m. German time. (The free download is available on Steam), simply click on the green “Add” button next to the “-100%” discount – the groundbreaking story shooter from 1998 normally costs just over eight euros.
What else is there to celebrate the anniversary?
For the celebrations, Valve has not just flipped the free switch, but has released a big 25th Anniversary Update for Half-Life . It contains:
- The Mini-campaign Half-Life Uplink, which was added to various magazines and hardware products as an exclusive bundle shortly after release
- Four new multiplayer maps, built by Valve designers: Contamination, Pool Party, Disposal, Rocket Frenzy
- Updated graphics options including Widescreen support and an interface adapted to higher resolutions
- Support for Steam Deck, gamepad control and player search via Steam
- Restored content, including four lost multiplayer skins, the original intro and menu, three multiplayer maps and dozens of spray graphics from the 1999 Half-Life: Further Data CD.
(The complete patch notes) can be found on the official website for 25 years of Half-Life, which also has a special extra: Scroll down to the bottom and click on Gordon Freeman’s iconic crowbar. You can then give the headcrabs on the website a good whack:
If the original Half-Life is just too old for you to play again today, despite all these changes in the update, then you can take a look at Black Mesa. This remake developed by fans modernizes the significantly aged shooter considerably so that it still looks great today.
Want more nostalgia? Valve has something for you As the icing on the cake, there’s also something to watch and listen to from the makers of Half-Life. Together with the team from Secret Tape (formerly Noclip), led by journalist Danny O’Dwyer, Valve has released a documentary lasting more than an hour with lots of background information on the development of Half-Life: