Did you know there’s an official slice of the Half-Life saga that never found its way to PC? Decay was a bonus game mode in the Playstation 2 port of the first Half-Life, much as Blue Shift was supposed to be the exclusive extra bit in the ultimately canned Dreamcast version. But while the latter saw its own PC release (replete with the at-the-time ace High Definition pack) and can be had to this day from Steam, Decay seemed damned to dwindle into olden console game obscurity. Oh, the irony of its name.
Which is odd and sad, as it was developed by Gearbox and is, to the best of my knowledge, the only official attempt to make something other than a straight FPS out of the Half-Life series. Fortunately, a Ukranian team have painstakingly recreated Decay as a free mod for the original Half-Life, even grabbing the original sound files off the PS2 disc (hope they don’t run into any trouble for that) – which means new voicework from the chaps behind Barney, Kleiner et al, plus a couple of new characters, so this really does feel like Official Half-Life. More importantly, it’s your first and only chance to get chatted up by Barney. Well, unless he has an ulterior motive behind that drink he keeps promising to buy Gordon.
Read the rest of this entry »