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Half-Life

2 weeks ago

Half-Life: Alyx is a VR prequel to HL2, coming in March 2020

Valve today formally announced Half-Life: Alyx, a "full-length" game exclusively for VR. Half-Life is returning after 12 years, though Gordon Freeman seemingly is not and this isn't Half-Life 3. Set between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2, this one stars future sidekick Alyx Vance in the years before Gordo's return when she and her dad were building the resistance. And yes, this really is…

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1 month ago

Feature: The worthiest reticules of all time

The best FPS games on PC

The best shooters endure. While other genres warp beyond recognition, there is something solid about the first-person shooter that makes it as dependable as a nice big AK-47. Maybe it’s the gung-ho simplicity - look down a barrel and pull the trigger. It's as fun to fire a double-barrelled shotgun from an early 90s FPS as the slick shotties of today. For that reason, this…

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2 months ago

Half-Life 2’s downtrodden NPCs have been unable to blink for five years, until now

Oof, imagine not blinking for half a decade. My eyes shiver at the thought. But this is what the NPCs of Half-Life 2 have been suffering. The dry eye epidemic was first reported to Valve's GitHub repo back in 2014 and since then it turns out only a select few have felt the joy of smashing their eyelids shut. But after almost five long years,…

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4 months ago

It’s crab-fighting time: Black Mesa’s Xen beta is diving into the Gonarch’s Lair

It feels like only yesterday that Half-Life remake Black Mesa was a joke. The highest-profile vaporware of the Source modding community. That thing had been milling around since 2005. Nobody thought it would ever actually come out. I remember feeling properly shook when eventually did in 2012, seven years later. Except, it wasn't exactly done. Crowbar Collective have been trying to figure out Xen, Half-Life's…

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6 months ago

Black Mesa launches its first three Xen maps into public beta

The long-delayed Xen chapters of Black Mesa - Crowbar Collective's remake of the original Half-Life - feel tantalisingly close now. In a Steam blog post yesterday, the devs warn that "If you want the polished, complete Xen experience, you should wait. It won’t be long!", but if you're ready for your first taste of their re-imagined alien world, you can try it now. The first…

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8 months ago

Feature: Listen now (or watch it)

Podcast: Watch us acting silly at EGX Rezzed 2019

I say “watch” because this week's podcast takes place in a real room in front of a real audience (don’t worry, there’s an audio version too). At Rezzed in London this month, we thought it’d be fun to re-enact three of the most memorable scenes of PC gaming, exactly as you remember them. So strap on your eye-wideners and prepare for some wonderful acting. Including…

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9 months ago

Two Point Hospital headcrab pandemic heralds trial weekend

A calamitous crossing of worlds has occurred in Two Point Hospital, the spiritual successor to Bullfrog's Theme Hospital, with Half-Life headcrabs glomping onto heads and all manner of decorative doodads from Sega PC games scattering around hospitals. If you've not yet played the wacky hospital management sim, hey, you're invited to try the whole thing for free this weekend on Steam. The trial weekend has…

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1 year ago

Black Mesa shows off Xen to celebrate Half-Life’s birthday

To celebrate Half-Life's twentieth birthday today [more on that later today -continuity ed.], the Black Mesa gang have made a new trailer showing progress on their commercial Half-Life fan remake's final chapters, the alien world of Xen. They also say that they're now planning to add the Xen chapter in 2019, some time from March to the end of June, so that's three-ish years after…

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The cruel and unusual Halfquake mod trilogy returns on Steam

The latest Half-Life mod to resurface, repacked and polished on Steam is Halfquake Trilogy - defining 'masocore' well before I Wanna Be The Guy made it a genre. Halfquake is a trilogy of surreal and cruel puzzle-centric mods by Philipp "Muddasheep" Lehner and they're some of the most interesting maps produced for the original Half-Life. Featuring  striking, abstract environments, genuinely clever puzzles, some very stupid ones…

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Half-Life mod Echoes pushes both its engine and players to their absolute limits

While Black Mesa may be rebuilding Half-Life's world on a slightly more modern foundation, modder James "MrGnang" Cockburn reckons there's some life in Valve's old GoldSrc engine yet. Half-Life: Echoes is an impressive mod released last Friday, putting the player in the shoes of a scientist elsewhere in the Black Mesa facility when everything goes to hell. Cue the usual running, gunning, fighting soldiers and weird…

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Black Mesa’s vision of Xen is bigger, bolder & nearly done

Sometimes, things just take time. When an amateur team remake an FPS classic up to AAA standards in a modern engine in their spare time? Yeah, that'll take a while, but the patience seems to be paying off for fans of Black Mesa. While so so far the ambitious (and Valve-endorsed) Half-Life remake has mostly adhered to the structure of the original, developers Crowbar Collective reckon…

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2 years ago

Feature: The worthiest reticules of all time

The 50 best FPS on PC

The best shooters endure. While the state of the art moves on in other genres and leaves old designs in the dust, it's as fun to fire a well-made shotgun from an early 90s FPS as from one released today. For that reason, this list runs the gamut from genre classics to those released in the last year. There's bound to be something for you…

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Project C is an MMO from the folks behind Dishonored, Thief, Half-Life 2

One of my favorite parts of getting a press release is getting a press release that doesn't reveal any information about the game itself. You get a vague promise about a game that might happen someday if some people get together. Normally, I don't give that much of my time. This announcement is different. There's a new MMO and the folks behind it represent some…

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Commercial Half-Life fangame Hunt Down The Freeman launches to a less-than-glowing critical response

Folks, I think we're going to have to let Half-Life go. It's been over a decade since Valve did anything with the license (beyond cross-promotion deals), and the seemingly posthumous leak of the sequel's planned story beats cemented the sense that the series wouldn't be returning any time soon. Seemingly disinterested in using it themselves, Valve have been approving the use of the Half-Life setting and assets (if…

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Final Fantasy XV getting demo next week, also adding Gordon Freeman cosplay

A proper playable demo of Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition is coming next week, containing the RPG's first chapter, following the recent benchmark tool. A demo! In this day and age! Bless their hearts. Square Enix have talked a lot about wanting to do the PC version right, mods and all, and they do seem to be going for it. They're even teaming up with…

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Black Mesa’s Xen chapters delayed again

If your Christmas plans include gathering the family around the meat tree and singing songs celebrating the return of our saviour, Gordon Freeman, I have bad news: Black Mesa is delaying the launch of its final chapters. The sanctioned fan-made Half-Life remake had previously planned to launch the remade Xen levels in mid-December but yeah, that's not happening any more. Why? Because they're still not…

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Feature: The Loose Canon

Best PC games of all time

There are more wonderful games being released on PC each month than ever before. In such a time of plenty, it's important that you spend your time as wisely as possible. Thankfully, we're here to help. What follows are our picks for the best PC games ever made.

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Ex-Valve chap launches Half-Life mod C.A.G.E.D.

While Valve Software are unable to continue Half-Life in a way they like, some former employees seem drawn back to HL after leaving. Former Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw recently leaked a Half-Life 2: Episode 3 plot idea and now Cayle George has released a new Half-Life mod. Available now free through Steam, C.A.G.E.D. [official site] is a short singleplayer episode set in a prison. I…

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Er… so Half-Life’s writer maybe just revealed the complete plot of HL2: Episode 3

The lesson here is "never go to sleep." All sorts of things happen while people sleep. Cats go on adventures, presidents threaten nuclear war and, well, ex-Valve writers post thinly-disguised plot summaries of the unreleased and, so far as best guesses go, long-cancelled Half-Life 2: Episode 3. Long time Half-Life scribe, the excellent Marc Laidlaw (who left Valve last year), casually tossed out a link…

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