Valve makes all Half-Life games free to play for a limited time

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Half-Life: Alyx was one of the best surprises of late 2019. Announced in mid-November, the VR exclusive that takes place before the events of Half-Life 2 is set to drop in just a couple of months. To celebrate the occasion, Valve is making the entire Half-Life collection free to play through Steam.

Announced just moments ago, the free games include Half-Life, Half Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One and Half-Life 2: Episode Two as well as extras like Half-Life: Opposing Force, Half-Life: Blue Shift and Half-Life: Source.

Valve’s post said the games will be free to play from now until the day that Half-Life: Alyx launches which is sometime in March. The team said they believe that the best way to enjoy the new game is to play through the old ones, especially Half-Life 2 and the episodes, hence their availability.

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QuantumPhysics

TS Evangelist
Half Life is an incredible FPS experience from beginning to end. Unfortunately, the game dynamics have been copied by many other games and many newcomers won't take to it as quickly. That game was HARD...didn't hold your hand and is the quintessential 90's PC game.

The same goes for Half Life 2 which keeps the conflict escalating to the point of absurdity.

My problem is, that although I got the Orange Box, I bought it for Portal. I got bored with Episode 1 and never opened Episode 2.

I appreciate Valve offering free play of Half Life, but it's obvious why they are doing that: it's to spread the hype for a Half Life 3 once they feel the water is warm enough for it. A lot of people aren't going to play Alyx in VR because: #1 they don't have the VR equipment, #2 they aren't going to buy the VR equipment and #3, it's easier to just watch it on Youtube.

A large number of console and PC owners haven't played Half Life or Half Life 2...or Portal/2 for that matter and to be properly pulled in, I'd say Valve needs to make the digital download of Half Life 1, 2 and the episodes FREE to anyone who pays premium price for Alyx or Half Life 3.

When Quake 4 was released, I was so happy they included a copy of Quake 2. Really helps bridge the gap for people who have no idea what's going on.
 
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I just bought these games (on sale) for the same reason... oh well.

For those who have never played HL1 or haven’t played in a while, take a look at Black Mesa on steam. It’s a redone version of HL1. I think there is some criticism of some changes made to the original, but I found it to be incredibly well done and holds up pretty well even by today’s standards. Just need to keep in mind that back in the 90’s this kind of game was MIND BLOWING!
 

Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
I appreciate Valve offering free play of Half Life, but it's obvious why they are doing that: it's to spread the hype for a Half Life 3 once they feel the water is warm enough for it. A lot of people aren't going to play Alyx in VR because: #1 they don't have the VR equipment, #2 they aren't going to buy the VR equipment and #3, it's easier to just watch it on Youtube.

A large number of console and PC owners haven't played Half Life or Half Life 2...or Portal/2 for that matter and to be properly pulled in, I'd say Valve needs to make the digital download of Half Life 1, 2 and the episodes FREE to anyone who pays premium price for Alyx or Half Life 3.

When Quake 4 was released, I was so happy they included a copy of Quake 2. Really helps bridge the gap for people who have no idea what's going on.
Given that consoles were launched and sold entirely on 1 or 2 good "system sellers", it is certainly not impossible that the sequel to one of the most praised gaming franchises could sell VR. I should point out that Valve has promised 3 AAA Titles for the Index.

I have a feeling you aren't into VR yourself. Watching a 2D game is one thing. Watching a VR game is NOTHING like playing it. VR isn't press button, character takes action. You physically interact with objects in VR, from making the motions to reload your gun and aiming it to grabbing a guy by the throat, shoving his head in a can, and throwing him down a mountain. This extends to everything in VR. Healthpacks don't have to be simple button presses anymore, you can literately grab a burger off the virtual grill and bring it up to your mouth to eat it.
 

QuantumPhysics

TS Evangelist
Given that consoles were launched and sold entirely on 1 or 2 good "system sellers", it is certainly not impossible that the sequel to one of the most praised gaming franchises could sell VR. I should point out that Valve has promised 3 AAA Titles for the Index.

I have a feeling you aren't into VR yourself. Watching a 2D game is one thing. Watching a VR game is NOTHING like playing it. VR isn't press button, character takes action. You physically interact with objects in VR, from making the motions to reload your gun and aiming it to grabbing a guy by the throat, shoving his head in a can, and throwing him down a mountain. This extends to everything in VR. Healthpacks don't have to be simple button presses anymore, you can literately grab a burger off the virtual grill and bring it up to your mouth to eat it.

I'm into VR, but only as a game developer. Otherwise, the difficulties with nausea and dizziness keep me out of it. We have HTC Vive

Valve would be best to make their game a FPS with a VR mode.

All VR games should be done that way.
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
I think their one and only misstep is making the latest edition VR only. That is a tremendous blunder that will offend many, many dedicated players of the series. Hopefully they will come to their senses and release a non-VR version so the rest of us can enjoy it!