Supports cross-platform Steam Cloud - continue your game on any supported OS. Plus, all new Steam achievements!
User reviews:
Very Positive (189 reviews) - 92% of the 189 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (4,276 reviews) - 94% of the 4,276 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jun 1, 2006

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Packages that include this game

Buy Half-Life 2: Episode One

Includes 2 items: Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, Half-Life 2: Episode One

Buy The Orange Box

Includes 5 items: Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Portal, Team Fortress 2

Downloadable Content For This Game


Recommended By Curators

"In this episodic standalone follow-up to Half-Life 2, Gordon Freeman once again teams up with Alyx Vance as they try to escape a besieged City 17."

About This Game

Half-Life 2 has sold over 4 million copies worldwide, and earned over 35 Game of the Year Awards. Episode One is the first in a series of games that reveal the aftermath of Half-Life 2 and launch a journey beyond City 17. Also features two multiplayer games. Half-Life 2 not required.

System Requirements

Mac OS X

    Minimum: 1.7 GHz Processor, 512MB RAM, DirectX® 8.1 level Graphics Card (Requires support for SSE), Windows® 7 (32/64-bit)/Vista/XP, Mouse, Keyboard, Internet Connection

    Recommended: Pentium 4 processor (3.0GHz, or better), 1GB RAM, DirectX® 9 level Graphics Card, Windows® 7 (32/64-bit)/Vista/XP, Mouse, Keyboard, Internet Connection

    Minimum: OS X version Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3, 1GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8 or higher, ATI X1600 or higher, or Intel HD 3000 or higher Mouse, Keyboard, Internet Connection
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (189 reviews)
Very Positive (4,276 reviews)
Recently Posted
Miles (Tails) Prower
( 10.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
I am not gonna say, what this is bad game, but it could be better, though. It feels like, you are doing it for achievements only, not for the game itself. I did only 1 run, you can "Catch them all", if you will constantly save and won't screw in some places. But it's a bit boring, to be honest. But it's also a only a half of this. Maybe it will interesting, if you do episode 2 right after you did this episode.

My advice is grab this game only in discount (and maybe even in a pack, if you want to. It's not worth 8$ (According to SteamDB) for a half of the story.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Not Myname
( 3.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
8 dollars for 3 hours of content. It was worth every penny.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 4.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
Initially, this review was going to be negative and not reccomend it.

The start of the game, is not exactly endearing. It is very difficult to get immersed in what is happening, and the fact that you play Gordon Freeman again (yes, I know he is the main protagonist of the series, but he is just that - the main one). I felt that this was the perfect opportunity to play as Alyx, or Barney again. Someone other than Gordon, indeed, I was more of the mind that this game would have been more interesting if it had changed tact, and the purpose was to find Gordon after the events of Half-Life 2.

Either way, going through the citadel as the opening chapter of this game was tedius. Mind-numbingly so. It was not enjoyable, it was not great storytelling and it definitely did not flow well. Alyx as an NPC Mary-Sue that offered constant exposition became annoying very very quickly. This issue with Alyx would only continue as the game progressed. Too much emphasis was placed on doing things in a buddy-cop fashion, but without the laughs associated with that genre.

The game didn't get too much better for a while. The reliance on the game to pair you up with Alyx had many of the same issues that you got with Half-Life 2 and the squads, they would constantly get in your way. And Alyx would do that with a repetitive glee that could only be described as malicious. I also found that this game seemed buggier than Half-Life 2 in that you could get caught on so much more debris.

The game also has a predisposition to clunky gameplay, revisitng many of the poorer elements used in the series, such as platforming and un-inspired puzzles. But at least you can still shoot things up with the SMG, Pulse Rifle and Crossbow.

However, the game did start picking up once you got to the train station and met up with Barney again. I believe that this sequence and the mini-boss fight afterwards were the saving grace of Half-Life 2: Episode One. They raised the score of the game enough for me to recommend this game. Unfortunately, though, whilst it tips the scales on the fun side, this game did not enhance the lore of the series.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 3.7 hrs on record )
Posted: July 22
Another good game from the HL Series. Not as good as HL2, because it's basically the same as HL2, but shorter. I rate this at 8.5/10. Still worth getting.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 5.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 22
It's Half-Life
Helpful? Yes No Funny
da man who wil burn yo house
( 43.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 21
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 3.1 hrs on record )
Posted: July 19
It's fine.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 10.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 19
Probably the weakest game in the Half-Life 2 trilogy but still really good.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 2.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 18
Even more linear than the main game, patronisingly so, and Alyx's AI is so dumb that she occasionally gets you killed. It's just a zombie-killing fest.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 3.7 hrs on record )
Posted: July 17
3 extra hours of half life 2. not worth $10 but still fun. wait for a sale or something
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
16 of 19 people (84%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
if not played half life you lose half your life

-العالم سورس
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
This game is AWESOME!!! It has AMAZING graphics, NEW ENEMIES for you to kill and the classic ones of course, it's a VALVE game which makes it a OUTSTANDING game, it has NEW ENVIRONMENTS (kinda) and last but not least Alyx is helpful for the first time in a Half-Life game as she helps you to destroy tons of enemies, even though she can die now(in a mission or in one chapter at least) apart from opening doors, keeping you company and talking to you all the time. In my opinion this is an AMAZING expansion to the Half-Life 2 game and if you own Half-Life 2 then you must play it!! P.S Alyx may be sarcastic during the game and a bit annoying when she's standing in front of you but hey she's a programmed NPC and I like her anyway.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 30
Half-Life 2: Episode One is science fiction first person shooter game developed by Valve Software on the Source Engine. It tells the continued story of physicist-gone-action-hero Gordon Freeman as he and action-hero-gone-love-interest Alyx Vance escape from the physically unstable City 17 before it blows up I think.

In my review of Half-Life 2 I definitely wasn't very nice to the game. I said the game was unfocused and average, with interesting ideas and clever storytelling but drawn-out setpeices and a largely uninteresting plot if you remove all that glittery facial animation. Some of that, I think, is still justified but one thing I forgot to mention was how much I actually really like Half-Life 2.

One thing the HL franchise enjoys doing is pulling the rug out from under the player and then throwing a bunch of enemies at them. That's pretty cool but it's also sort of troubling, considering that most of Half-Life 2 feels very aimless as if Gordon is just drunkenly stumbling between ambushes and set-peices. Episode 1 seemingly tries to fix that by making whatever the current goal is very obvious, either with some kind of environmental clue or with Alyx directly telling you what the objective is:

Escape the tower
Get to the train station

The story is more grounded and because of that the gameplay can throw you into as many accidental circumstances and detours as it wants because you always end up back on track.

I also appreciate how the stakes are a lot higher feeling in this game. It isn't just a vague intergalactic business proposition between Breen and some alien terrorist people, the actual city feels like it's about to blow up and if you keep getting interrupted by the combine than everybody involved will actually die. And it isn't just your life that's at stake here, you spend the entire game fighting alongside Alyx Vance, which sounds like a bad idea but this game manages a sidekick-idea very well.

Anybody who played the first game remembers the third act where you command a squad consisting of that guy who sounds like everyone else and a girl who only occasionally dreams of cheese(?) but nobody WANTS to remember that part because not only is it sandwiched between the two best parts of the game but it also is un-doubtably the worst. The AI blocks the player at every turn and is super reliant on Gordon; they will not go anywhere unless you ask them too and they die as quickly as your enemies do so they may as well not be there--heck the game is more fun when they AREN'T there.

The squad idea comes back in Episode 1 but not only are they more resistant, they seemingly abandon the whole "Targeting" thing--they seem to go wherever they want until you start to progress, and most importantly they stay out of the players way. All of this culminates into Alyx who not only follows the player from the very start but is INVULNERABLE to damage. This could make her too powerful but the devs fix that only giving her a pistol until about halfway through, and even before that she's a very good aim. Most of the opening is spent with the player under a variety of handicaps such as only having a gravity gun or not having a ton of ammo and the devs cleverly use Alyx as your second half, which not only ties their mostly plot-based comradery into the gameplay but also makes you feel like a real team by the end.

Ultimately I think Episode 1 expands on HL2 and makes the game better. There's only one new enemy and a smaller arsenal than before but the gameplay is tightened and the story in more investing. I'll be the first to admit that my review of HL2 was a bit hyperbolic but I still recommended that game and I absolutely recommend Episode 1 as well
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
10.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 19
Probably the weakest game in the Half-Life 2 trilogy but still really good.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 24
The Half-Life 2 episodes were meant to be a foray into a new method of game development. Instead of spending several more years making Half-Life 3, Valve would release smaller iterations over shorter spans of time, which would also let them refine their work as they went. Coming out two years after HL2, Episode One was a relatively understated success, with improvements made in AI and the Source engine taking the technical spotlight.

It's not nearly as long, dealing primarily with the aftermath of HL2's finale, but in the process avoids the drag that game sometimes suffered from. There's a decent variety here: the first third of the game only gives you one weapon to work with (albeit a powerful one), the second third is almost survival horror, and the final third is a roaring return to Combine-destroying action.

You're partnered the entire time with Alyx Vance, who is thankfully more helpful and humorous here than annoying, and it's with that you realize that Valve also meant Episode One to be an exercise in character development that did more than just have you stand around for 5 minutes every time an NPC opens their mouth. The game is largely a success in that department too, and Valve's signature stealth brilliance in writing manages to make her not only cool, but human.

If you're reading this, you probably already own it, but if you don't (or do and haven't played it for some reason) and were a fan of Half-Life 2, I'd say go for it. At the very least, it's a good bookend between its predecessor and its more outstanding sequel, Episode Two.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 7
Played it a lot on my old account. Had to buy it once again and try it in 2K with maxed out settings while waiting for the next Half-Life
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 10
It's not HL3 but it'll have to do
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 11
More of the same. Its shorter length actually works to its advantage, as it's much more focussed.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 12
Half-Life 2: Episode One

•• Beautifully put together story
•• Story progression is well paced and exciting
•• Characters do not feel static
•• Graphics are still good even for today's standards
•• Organized and reasonable achievements for the most part
•• Simplistic and engaging combat
•• Well put together environment and futuristic theme
•• Music fits right into the story

•• AI is a little outdated
•• Many times I did not know where to go or what to do
•• Quite a few times the game left me stuck where I had to restart a segment
•• Story still has holes by the end hopefully filled in by Episode 2
•• The "One Free Bullet" achievement is very frustrating where I had to replay half the game to get
•• Puzzles can be annoying at times
•• Physics are inconsistent sometimes
•• Ends in yet another cliff hanger

Final Thoughts: Episode One wraps up quite similar to the previous game with a cliff hanger where you do not know if Gordon survived or not. It also starts with holes not filled and hopefully is filled in by Episode 2. The story is very well crafted but this episode does not do much in the way of the story it just continues the last game. Although there was a few problems with segments not working and the "One Free Bullet" achievement being a hassle, the game is definitely worth your time.

Rating: 8.0/10

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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
As much as I like ALL the Half Life games (and especially HL2 + both episodes), this is THE best game in the series, albeit the shortest. This is the definition of action, immersion and atmosphere.
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