Half-Life: Before – is a modification for Half-Life with new levels and story. Mod is based on Spirit of Half-Life 1.8 technology, that increases visual and functional component of the mod. You're playing as a Black Mesa scientist Andrew Winner.
User reviews:
Mostly Negative (1,912 reviews) - 36% of the 1,912 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 5, 2009

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Community-Made Mod

This free, community made Mod requires that you own and install Half-Life.

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Half-Life Mod



“Overall Half-Life: Before is a quality made mod, that will mostly appeal to people who like high challenge…”

About This Game

Half-Life: Before – is a modification for Half-Life with new levels and story. Mod is based on Spirit of Half-Life 1.8 technology, that increases visual and functional component of the mod.

You're playing as a Black Mesa scientist Andrew Winner. Your mission is to enter another world to find an artifact that will allow Black Mesa scientists to open portal in another world.


  • Intense action
  • Set in Half-Life universe
  • High quality soundtrack
  • Spirit of Half-Life technology to enhance visuals
  • High definition models

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows® 7 (32/64-bit)/Vista/XP
    • Processor: 1 ghz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 128MB Video Card with OpenGL support
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Additional Notes:
Helpful customer reviews
58 of 69 people (84%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2015
This game shows literally nothing innovative, the mod says it uses Spirit of Half-Life modifications, but they used it next to nothing they might as well just not add it.

The story? Non-existent, if it wasn't for the store description I wouldn't even know what I'm supposed to do, and even with the store description it lacks of everything.

Also, this mod makes Gordon Freeman a joke character if you take this mod as canon. Since the final boss is a Nihilant that acts as a Barnacle and is extremely easy to beat.

It took me 40 minutes to beat the game, not because the game is that long no! It's because it crashed the game TWICE and I had to start since the beginning all over again, the mod campaign length only lasts like 15 minutes, 10 if you know what to do.

I seriously don't recommend playing this mod, I only played it because it's on Steam and thought "Welp if it's on the Store it might be high quality mod material right there" and considered the first map (AND ONLY MAP OF THE GAME) just the prologue thinking there's more, oh boy I was wrong.
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11 of 17 people (65%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 8
Let me make it CRYSTAL ♥♥♥♥ING CLEAR that I am recommending this product only because it is FREE. No other reason. Well, that and the fact that it uses up less than 100mb of your hard-earned data - maybe more, if you haven't currently got Half-Life installed - and considerably less than an hour of your precious time.

It's hardly the worst Half-Life mod ever made - hell, it's not even the worst Half-Life mod recently released onto Steam (Wilson Chronicles, stand up and take a bow!) - but it's also a darn sight from the best. But is IS FREE. And it has gobsmackingly inappropriate "metal" music during its fiendishly ♥♥♥♥-poor end boss battle...which is either a plus or minus, depending on whether you're the kind of person who chooses to laugh at this sorry excuse for a world, or cry at it. Better than several small kicks to the groin, if only by the smallest of margins.

Verdict: 5/10.
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24 of 42 people (57%) found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 30, 2015
well i had fun at least
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7 of 11 people (64%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 8
This "game" is pure proof that Valve doesn't care about greenlight at all. I'm still amazed that someone at Valve looked at this garbage of a Half-Life mod and said "yeah this seems good, let's greenlight it".

Set in "another world" of the Half Life universe (which seems to be just an average ship), you play as scientist Andrew Winner, who must go to this new world to find an "artifact," as the title screen says. The story feels like some sort of terrible fanfic, and is only really explained on the intro screen (which I might add, has some of the worst grammar I've ever seen in a game).

The actual control/feel of the game is good, mainly because it's Half Life (aside from a few areas where you can get stuck and must reload a saved game). But don't expect anything new or exciting. The store page of this game says that there are tons of new features, such as new levels, soundtrack, and "high definition models." After playing through this game twice, I can safely say that the store page is a gigantic lie. While it does have a new soundtrack (which to be fair is ok), the other new additions are barely noticeable. The "new levels" consist of going to the back of a small ship, talking to a guy with broken english, going back to the front of the ship, and having to fight the final boss from the original Half Life. The "fight" if you can call it that has you literally running in small circles just shooting at it with nothing to worry about. By the time you realize it, you'll have beaten the entire game in about 10 minutes. Also the high definition models are no different than the ones from the updated Blue Shift graphics.

Of course some may argue that it's a mod, and that it isn't going to be high quality. But if you do some searching, you'll find some amazing Half Life mods that were made years before this. The fact that this even got greenlit is just an insult to greenlight and Steam in general. On the bright side, it's free, so you can at least play it just to see how bad it is.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 4
Ten dollars. Only a few hours of gameplay. 16-bit graphics compared to the flashy 1080p stuff in standard games.

But... wow. Half-Life: Before blew me away. It doesn't need flashy graphics or even fanservice to falsify its enjoyment. It just does things right, and boy that was one immensely enjoyable experience.

I think most of the magic of this game comes from knowing absolutely nothing about it. I got this game from a friend and just decided to play it since it looked very interesting and it was getting good responses. So I went in completely blind, knowing nothing but the game's name. And I'm glad I did, because everything the game presented to me was unexpected, notably dark in places, and very emotional, which would have been lost entirely if i watched someone else play it. So, if you happened to have been flooded by everything Half-Life: Before on tumblr (god help us) and the entire story's already laid out for you, the magic has been lost and the game won't be as incredible of an experience. I'm sorry.

Half-Life: Before's ability to completely turn the tables of its story depending on your actions is massive. Upon your game's startup, every little thing you do will be set in stone in the game's story pathing. If you're the type who immerses yourself into the game's charming music, laughs at the childish but hiliarious anctics, and is willing to hork down healing items just to prevent yourself from killing a monster just because a fight is difficult, the game rewards you. It opens up a very character-developing and world-unfolding story, along with some of the most emotionally invested boss battles I have ever experienced. You know a game is good when it breaks the fourth wall so well that you're shaking in your seat in true fear and can't stop the shivers, all while having to fight a hopelessly overpowered god of a boss. The amazing writing only starts once you beat the final few bosses, and the story doesn't stop being good from there onwards.

On the other hand, what makes this game different is that it keeps its dark side from you, and its entirely your choice to experience it. If you scoff at the game's sparing choice since you're too cool or grown up to possibly be nice to people, you can go around and intentionally sink your weapon into a monster who just wants to be a friend. And unlike many other games, this isn't just a simple "Oops, I killed another unnamed enemy, let's reset the game and nothing changes" moment... the weight of a dark choice is huge. It forever changes your playthrough. Reset the game, and the characters know. Events change. And with each curious kill, you, in turn, turn from the only human in a land of monsters into the biggest monster in a land of innocents. In the end, ignoring what Half-Life: Before sets out to do, which is to let you experience childlike innocence and fun, only makes it delibrately change the game into a quieter, more grim story. Very little character development, and the world isn't explained to you, nothing. There's very little reward for going through this route. Yet it is a choice you can do. Granted, you get two of the hardest boss battles by becoming the murderer and will be forced into Game Overs repeatedly from them, but even that is a message from the game... It's trying to stop you from getting to the end of this route. Before its too late.

It's as if you're doing deeds in an actual living, breathing world. And that's what makes it even more terrifying when you decide to become a murderer instead of a savior, because only you know that you're willingly going forward to obliterate every weakling in front of you. It's a test of your willpower, and it's your choice. The worst thing? The damage cannot be repaired. Go clean, or go home tainted. The game even gives you the choice to completely delete everyone's happiness after the most satisfying happy ending. The happiness you worked so hard to earn. And you can even become the murderer after saving the world, which will only permanently taint your game and never let you have a satisfying ending again. That's absolutely brutal, and yet that's still a choice. Amazing.

Yes, this game might not be for everyone. The humour may become dry after a while for some people, and tons of gamers nowadays like to bash at popular games instead of trying it out, just because they feel accomplished by doing it. But, if like me, you are willing to experience why everyone's been talking about this game, give it a shot. This game does the morality concept so well that other games can only dream of doing the same, and it is one not to be forgotten.

It is a sin to call Half-Life: Before a game. Doing that would categorize Half-Life: Before into the bland and consequence-free "kill-em-all" genres that a lot of games are falling into now.

Half-Life: Before a story-driven, emotional experience.
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