Half-Life Free: Sven Co-op Reborn

To get the full effect, start whacking a crowbar on an anvil. Dat noise.
People of a certain age (oh, alright: old people) will remember Sven Coo-op. It was probably the first action co-op game I played, back when my monitor had a degauss button. I degaussed the hell out of that boxy beauty. It brought co-op to Half-Life and its various mods. It was party co-op, though. Piles of players, bizarre maps, everyone having a good time. Well [record scratch] that good time is now OVER. The mod is now no more, shutting down after 14 year of development. Version 4.8 adds Blue Shift compatibility, but it’ll be the last mod version. [pause for sad news to take effect] Come back here! It’s not going away: Sven Co-op will be reborn as a free, standalone game on Steam, allowing everyone to play Valve’s ancient single-player classic with friends, even if they don’t own it.

I can’t imagine there are that many people who don’t own the original Half-Life on Steam, but the Sven Co-op team are still delighted at this. It means that the new game will be built on their own version of the Half-Life engine, allowing them to add functionality that was previously out of reach while still supporting all the work modders and mappers have done for the game. I’ll let them tell you all about that.

The next version of Sven Co-op will run as a standalone game using a custom build of the Half-Life engine.
The game will be FREE for all Steam users, including the official Half-Life campaign. A Half-Life purchase will not be required.
Automatic updates will be available using Steam’s content delivery system dubbed SteamPipe. This will allow us to perform more frequent and rapid updates as needed.
Updates and new features will be added to the Half-Life engine, as well as a series of improvements to Half-Life’s level editor called Hammer.
Increased Half-Life engine limits to allow for much larger and more detailed worlds.
Stability, performance, and gameplay improvements for everyone.

No news on when it’ll be coming, but I’m downloading the mod right now. I remember some of those levels being pretty messed up.


  1. jellydonut says:

    This is actually fantastic news. My original Steam account with my boxed copy of Half-Life registered to it was lost/hijacked ages upon ages ago. Since then, I have been poor, unhatted, and half-life-less.

  2. Bpy6 says:

    Aghhh, so much salt in my wounds. Degauss is the feature I probably miss the most from 90s.
    RIP, sweet degauss.

  3. Runty McTall says:

    So, uh, excuse me for being dense but have Valve licensed them the engine and materials from HL1 then? Or have they reverse engineered it all? Or something?

    * Sorry again if am being dense.

    EDIT: The announcement says “We’ve been granted access by Valve to work on our own custom version of the Half-Life engine!” so I guess, yes to it being the official stuff.

  4. BooleanBob says:

    So. Farewell then
    Sven Co-op.

    You were the inspiration
    For many a
    Suggestive joke

    About a certain
    England manager.

    ‘Can you play as
    Del’ Ollio?’

    That was
    One of them.

    ‘How about
    Ulrika Johnson?’

    That was

    And now you
    Can’t be
    Played at all.

    • LukeNukem says:

      I wish I could like or thumbs up this post instead of cluttering the place up with my uneloquent praise.
      I can’t, so here is some uneloquent praise.

  5. DrScuttles says:

    Being a heathen, never have I ever played Sven Co-op. It becoming a proper Steam mod made out of particles of Official Valve Stuff ought to bring in a bunch of new players. Perhaps I ought to move confidently into their midst and hide my lack of game / social skills in the storm.

  6. Dowr says:

    “Dad, what does Degaussing mean?”
    “Well, son…”

    Ah, the 90’s.

    • Surlywombat says:

      Anyone who says the know is lying. They only added it because they knew monitors would be dull, sad, lifeless, great things without that excitement button.

      Ah the good old days of 3D monitors, you know, that had depth. Monitors are so shallow these days.

      • LionsPhil says:

        IBM monitors degaussed automatically on power on, because Big Blue likes only ridiculous ties, not fun.

        The best ones were the Acorn monitors with the GREEN button.

      • Splynter says:

        Ah yes, I too miss the joys of degaussing. The noise it made was such a satisfyingly electronic one.

        • LionsPhil says:

          All the noises are being removed from computers.
          Buckling-spring keyboards, or even just ones with any mechanical travel and sound at all.
          Cassette tape screams, if the speaker wasn’t muted.
          “Modern” floppy drives, from the shh-CHNK of insertion through all the whirrs and brrd-DT-DT-DT-DT-DRRRT-DT-whipwhipwhipwhipwhip reads to the TSKH-chh of ejection. (The old 5″ers, not so much.)
          56K modem handshakes and negotiations.
          Even the VRRT-VZD-vwheeeeEEEEEEEEEEE of a CD spinning up.
          Soon, the gentle gurgly buzzing of rotating spindle hard drives will be eventually wiped away by SSDs, and all that will be left is the horrible humming of fans.

          Kids these days don’t know what they missed out on, etc.

          • Splynter says:

            I was so happy when the DVD drive on my new computer had a physical tray and tray door. No more silly friends grabbing the data side with their grubby fingers from the sucking mouth of a modern drive!

          • Greggh says:


        • dE says:

          Not just the noises… I miss the beautiful EMP functionality. On Lan Partys, a single person doing the degauss often took out all monitors within a 3 meter radius. They weren’t really shielded, were they?

    • Raiyne says:

      OMG Yes! Degaussing was thebomb.com. Coolest function ever.

  7. Megazell says:

    By the gods! This is awesome news for all PC Gamers :) To FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEDOM!

  8. A Bunny says:

    I’ve owned Half-Life since it first released (before the HD pack) and I have literally never heard of Sven-Co-op before now.

    Okay, that’s not entirely true. I’ve never played it at least.

  9. Zombat says:

    What ever happened to the source version?

    Maybe Valve bought them and that will be the secret episode 3

  10. LionsPhil says:

    This is the most wonderful thing.

  11. Sidewinder says:

    Wait- what happened to your monitor’s degauss button?