Half-Life fans, rejoice! It's been nearly 15 years in the making but the time has finally come. The Sven Co-op team, responsible for the dated (but still updated) Half-Life co-op mod, has been granted full access to build a standalone game based on the popular mod.

What's more, the modders have access to the engine that powered the original Half-Life game and its expansions, Opposing Force and Blue Shift, and have been given the green light to modify the engine as they see fit. Updates to the engine as well as the addition of new features should result in stability, performance and gameplay improvements for everyone.

Half-Life's level editor, Hammer, will also see an update that will allow for much larger and more detailed worlds. Automatic updates will be delivered via Steam's content delivery system called StreamPipe. This will allow the team to perform more frequent and rapid updates as needed.

Perhaps best of all, the next version of Sven Co-op will be free for all Steam users. It will include the official Half-Life campaign for 2+ player co-op play. This means that you won't need to purchase the original game to play this version in the event you don't already own it.

Unfortunately those are the only details we have to work with at this time. No word yet on when the game will be ready but in the meantime, those who already own Half-Life can check out the current version of the mod.