A fan-made Half-Life 2 remaster could be heading to Steam. The "Half-Life 2: Remastered Collection" was spotted by data mining site SteamDB last year, but at the time, it was flagged as “not Valve related”. However, according to another, more recent leak from Tyler McVicker, the mod and a half has now been sanctioned by Valve, and will be coming to Steam “soon”. But what is it?
The "Half-Life 2: Remastered Collection" is a continuation of an older mod. Back in 2015, Filip Victor released Half-Life 2: Update for free on Steam. It’s a subtle upgrade of HL2, with a “complete lighting overhaul including enhanced lighting, more detailed world shadows, and full high dynamic range lighting (HDR).” A few bugs have been fixed in the interim, and an extensive commentary track using well-known YouTubers was included as well. It didn’t change how the game played, just how it looked.
According to @SteamDB, the team that brought us Half-Life 2: Update is working on a further update and remaster of HL2 & the Episodes, with Valve’s consent.— Tyler McVicker (@Tyler_McV) July 29, 2021
The Half-Life 2: Remastered Collection is coming soon to Steam.https://t.co/5YTjhpS2ud
It was known that Filip was working on a similar mod for game’s episodic content, and he commented earlier this year that “The new version will put hl2update/episodes to shame. But sry no release date tho.” So this new mod is essentially a remaster of a remaster.
It’ll probably be a largely visual overhaul of Half-Life 2 and its episodes, but not a Black Mesa head-to-tentacle do-over. It should have elements from Valve’s newer engine work, including their slicker Panorama UI that was added to CS:GO in 2018.
You could have a look at Filip’s work so far by grabbing Half-Life 2: Update from Steam, but that work is now six years old. It still looks good, but a little bit of patience will hopefully get you a whole lot more.