Named Game of the Year by over 50 publications, Valve's debut title blends action and adventure with award-winning technology to create a frighteningly realistic world where players must think to survive. Also includes an exciting multiplayer mode that allows you to play against friends and enemies around the world.
User reviews: Overwhelmingly Positive (6,792 reviews)
Release Date: Nov 8, 1998

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Buy Half-Life 1

Packages that include this game

Buy Half-Life 1 Anthology

Includes 4 items: Half-Life, Half-Life: Blue Shift, Half-Life: Opposing Force, Team Fortress Classic

Buy Half-Life Complete

Includes 10 items: Half-Life, Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Half-Life 2: Lost Coast, Half-Life: Blue Shift, Half-Life: Opposing Force, Half-Life: Source, Team Fortress Classic

Buy Valve Complete Pack

Includes 24 items: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Portal 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Left 4 Dead, Portal, Team Fortress 2, Team Fortress Classic, Counter-Strike: Source, Counter-Strike, Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, Day of Defeat, Day of Defeat: Source, Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, Half-Life 2: Lost Coast, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Half-Life, Half-Life: Blue Shift, Half-Life: Opposing Force, Half-Life Deathmatch: Source, Half-Life: Source, Ricochet, Deathmatch Classic

Downloadable Content For This Game

 

Recommended By Curators

"Experience the game that started it all. Become Gordon Freeman as he tries to escape the aftermath of an experiment gone horribly wrong."

About This Game

Named Game of the Year by over 50 publications, Valve's debut title blends action and adventure with award-winning technology to create a frighteningly realistic world where players must think to survive. Also includes an exciting multiplayer mode that allows you to play against friends and enemies around the world.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux

    Minimum: 500 mhz processor, 96mb ram, 16mb video card, Windows XP, Mouse, Keyboard, Internet Connection

    Recommended: 800 mhz processor, 128mb ram, 32mb+ video card, Windows XP, Mouse, Keyboard, Internet Connection

    Minimum: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.3, 1GB RAM, 4GB Hard Drive Space,NVIDIA GeForce 8 or higher, ATI X1600 or higher, or Intel HD 3000 or higher Mouse, Keyboard, Internet Connection
    Minimum: Linux Ubuntu 12.04, Dual-core from Intel or AMD at 2.8 GHz, 1GB Memory, nVidia GeForce 8600/9600GT, ATI/AMD Radeaon HD2600/3600 (Graphic Drivers: nVidia 310, AMD 12.11), OpenGL 2.1, 4GB Hard Drive Space, OpenAL Compatible Sound Card
Helpful customer reviews
449 of 501 people (90%) found this review helpful
22 people found this review funny
188.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 25, 2014
I love half life
i have completed it 12 times
i have 188 hrs play time
It is single player
i have no life
i sold my house to fund my addiction
i am writing this review in a library
10/10
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206 of 225 people (92%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
11.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 5, 2014
You get to play as a mute theoretical physicist who wrecks havoc upon firearms specialists, and aliens from an alternative dimension with a crowbar.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1,030 of 1,303 people (79%) found this review helpful
12 people found this review funny
15.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 26, 2014
Half-Life has 8 letters. (Not counting the -) You write 8 like eight. Eight has 5 letters. 8-5 is 3. Half-Life 3 confirmed.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
156 of 173 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
17.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 17, 2014
It's from 1998 and it's still better than Call of Duty.

PS: I HAVE played Call of Duty.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
238 of 283 people (84%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2014
What NOT TO DO in Black Mesa :
1. Do not press the alarm button under Barney's desk.
2. Do not read other people's message.
3. Do not mess up with the microwave in the kitchen.

And most IMPORTANTLY :
4. DO NOT PUSH the SAMPLE in the REACTOR!!!!!

Rating:
9.5
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
191 of 231 people (83%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 17, 2014
I can't believe we have to wear these ridiculous ties.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
192 of 238 people (81%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 1, 2014
This game gave me headcrabs
12/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
180 of 222 people (81%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 25, 2014
Theoretical Physicist simulator.
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149 of 185 people (81%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
64.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 7, 2014
Look son if you dont like this game theres something wrong with you.
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82 of 91 people (90%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 30, 2014
The FPS game. The game that defined a genre 15 years ago. Now with widescreen support, vsync option and hi-res texture pack! No, not HD texture pack, just high-res (released quite long ago so the game still looks dated).

Why do we like Half Life? Because you play an average guy, a scientist, not some spec-ops sir-yes-sir veteran, just one of the common people who finds himself in the middle of a catastrophe and the only way to get out of it is to shoot up some aliens. Oh, and while there, why not go to their planet to blow up the very alien controlling all of them?

I believe this was the game that gave birth to scripted events, or at least made them look very good.

It is an action-packed, amazing game - with some puzzle sequences here and there - that offers roughly 10-15 hours of single player time, if not more. Nowadays, this is very rare.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
57 of 58 people (98%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 14
TL:DR? See Conclusion

NOTE: (MUST READ)
I review games to help fellow gamers decide whether they should purchase a game or not. With that said, although I consider Half-Life as a classical MASTERPIECE and possibly one of the greatest games of all time, I will still list down game mechanics from the past that some people may not enjoy today.

Think of it like this: everyone enjoys flying modern-day commercial jets like the 747, but it doesn't mean however that everyone would like to fly in a DC-3 built in the 1940s despite it being labeled as the 'most significant transport aircraft' in history.

INTRODUCTION:
Half-Life is a narrative-driven linear first-person shooter (FPS) action game and is the debut (and signature) title of Valve. Hailed as one of the greatest games of all time winning dozens of awards on release, Half-Life revolutionized the FPS genre in a way that no other title has done since Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake. This game has since been the industry standard on how to make a perfect FPS game which combines realistic gameplay, fun puzzles mechanics, a narrative-driven single-player experience with fast-paced multiplayer action.

The game follows the story of Gordon Freeman, a theoretical physicist working for the Black Mesa Research Facility that is involved in Weapons Development, Research on Teleportation Technology and occasional cloning of a Security Guard named Barney Calhoun. When an experiment with an unknown alien crystal results in a catastrophic accident that opened a portal to an alien dimension named 'Xen', Gordon Freeman, wearing the H.E.V. Suit, must now travel across the entire Black Mesa facility to reach the Lambda Complex where he must enter a portal to Xen and kill the creature that is keeping the portal open for the alien invaders. Fight against Invading alien monsters and, at the same time, US Military operatives who are attempting to stop the invasion but is also trying to silence any surviving 'witnesses' of the Black Mesa incident.

LEGACY OF HALF-LIFE (PROS):
+ First FPS game to fully incorporate a Narrative-Driven story (as opposed to the industry standard of maze gallery shooters which was the Wolfenstein 3D / Doom mechanic)
+ Excellent level designs
+ Realistic combat mechanics (may be not as realistic now in 2015, but 17 years ago it was)
+ Fun puzzles
+ Great sound effects
+ First FPS game to incorporate scripted sequences for its level transitions rather than cut-scenes
+ Relatively advanced AI (back in 1998), with enemies actively dodging, tactically retreating and often times baiting you into an ambush.
+ Fun fast-paced multiplayer action that set the foundations for Counter-Strike which started as a mere mod of Half-Life
+ Mods; although Half-Life is not the first video game to be modded, it is the first to have several such mods become their own full games that still retain their Half-Life heritage
+ Challenging difficulty modes (but this is a given since most old-school shooters were challenging)

OLD GAME MECHANICS THAT NEW GENERATION OF GAMERS MAY NOT LIKE (CONS):
- Perpetual sprint with optional walking by pressing “Shift” (as opposed to today's standard which is the reverse)
- No objective tracker (players may forget what they were doing especially if they haven't played in a while)
- Melee weapon needs to be equipped rather than bound to a hotkey (though CS:GO players won't have a problem with this)

CONCLUSION:
MASTERPIECE is the only word that best describes Half-Life in my opinion. Although some of its mechanics may not necessarily be applicable in today's (2015) standard, the same can still be considered as part of its charm, much like how most of us still enjoy watching old-school movies and TV shows.

The advent of Half-Life was a turning point in gaming history, most notably, the First-person shooter genre. Before this game, the only FPS standard to be followed was Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake, with the first two being plotless maze shooters and Quake being the first to implement a backstory but still retained the maze-like levels. With Half-Life, developers saw a potential for FPS games to combine intense action and gunplay with effective narrative story-telling through leniar levels (which is heavily abused by some FPS games today) and realistic game mechanics (a title, which most people agree, was held by the Metal Gear Solid franchise, a third-person action game)

Let’s put this in an analogy: Wolfenstein 3D is the Wheel (basically invented the mainstream FPS genre), Doom is the Horse-Drawn Carriage (Doom made FPS games extremely popular, accessible and widespread), Quake is the Steam Engine (Quake bridge the gap between plotless maze shooters and plot driven FPS games Credit: Steam User RGX12 for pointing this out) and Half-Life is the Ford Model T Car (Half-Life set the standard for modern day FPS games who's basic and essential features still survives today.)

TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY?
MUST BUY AND MUST HAVE. I, however, do recommend you purchase the Half-Life Anthology if you already have Half-Life 2 but if you don't have it, get Half-Life Complete.

---------------------------------------------------------
Like my Reviews? Follow my Curator's Page:

http://store.steampowered.com/curator/6861651-Miyumi%27s-Review-Corner/
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
93 of 117 people (79%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 24, 2014
there are 3 half life packs
half life
half life anthology
and half life complete

i have three friends who play dis game
half life is on 3 platforms
tags include single player
multi player
and valve anti cheat enabled.
it is a fps
fps is 3 letters
aliens are enemies from xen
xen is 3 letters
i can count to three
half life 3 confirmed

3/3
3 of 3 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
52 of 57 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
23.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 11, 2014
The most Influential game of all time. And it feels as new as it was on the day it ws released November, 8th, 1998 thanks to the HD textures. Also, has one the most revolutionary beginning sequences in gaming by telling a story not by B.S. cutscenes, but in the players perspective in real time. Actually, it's like that throughtout the entire game. Also has a great soundtrack. The characters are memorable, specifically the silent protagonist "Dr. Gordon Freeman Ph.D". Along with that, Gordon is not one demensional, even though he doesn't talk he has a back story.

Recommend it for all valve fans alike.

There're also 2 other expansions that Gearbox software made called Opposing Force and Blue Shift if you want to check those out.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
81 of 111 people (73%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 2, 2014
dont call yourself a pc gamer if you never play this
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
62 of 81 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 15, 2014
This game is an ULTIMATE CLASSIC.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
66 of 90 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
11.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 4, 2014
Best game ever made. Period.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
76 of 109 people (70%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 30, 2014
half life in one word 'crowbar'
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35 of 42 people (83%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
15.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 25, 2014
While I think some of its sequel content rides the wave of their brand to be seen better than it actually is, the original Half-Life is a classic for a reason.

While a tad lengthy and occasionally crippled by strained resources pitted against enemies that absolutely won't pull punches, what's undeniable is that Half-Life is NEVER boring. It's excellently paced and extremely varied, full to the brim of memorable and only occasionally frustrating encounters (looking at you, machine gun bunkers). While some of the weapons get a bit gimmicky, especially towards the end, unlike Opposing Force or HL2 they're never shoved in your face as the hot new thing, just dropped in your path to play with if you like.

The final trip to Xen at the end of the game apparently has a reputation of being disappointing, but personally I didn't mind it at all, and the healing chambers were a welcome relief from limited resources pitted against two different armies. My main issue with Xen is at that point the game had been going on for about 12 hours and I just wanted it to end already.

Other than length, the biggest weakness of Half-Life is probably its plot, in that for most of the middle section there isn't one. The game starts off with a nice slow boil, giving you a brief tour of Black Mesa before everything promptly goes to hell, building up from a survival horror feel against incoming aliens before gradually ramping up into an action game as the HECU marines go from merely killing everything and everyone in sight to targetting you specifically due to your stubborn refusal to die. By that point what little the plot has to say patters out until the third act, and all you're left with is an endless series of action and platforming sequences with no context besides "this is the way forward." They're not BORING, I must emphasize. It's just that they keep coming as Gordon Freeman consistantly fails to find the exit.

If this seems like a mostly negative review, I'm rather critical by nature and it mostly stems from my feelings after finishing the game. As I said, its two chief issues are exhausting length and lacking motivation besides "move forward and don't die." From a purely gameplay standpoint the game is brilliant, full of sprawling setpieces which are linear enough to avoid getting lost but nonlinear enough to give you plenty of corners to explore for loot, and for as long as it is, it's a miracle it never felt repetitive.

While I think Blue Shift is an all-around tighter package, Half-Life has absolutely earned its place as a cornerstone of gaming history.
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25 of 26 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 13
You play the role of Gordon Freeman and arrive late for work at the Black Mesa research facility. As you are walking through the steel corridors to get down to the test chamber all the other scientists keep saying: "They are waiting for you Gordon in the test chamber". After 4 loading screens and alot of waiting on scientists to mock you for being late before letting you progress to the test chamber you at last arrive there to do some testing with crystals from the alien world Xen.

However the test goes wrong the very second you push the Xen crystal mounted on a Lawn mower into a beam for testing. This creates the resonance cascade which creates a rift between earth and Xen, allowing Vortigaunts and other alien species to enter earth at will. The Black Mesa security cannot stop the aliens and the army is called in. The army is however not there to help the Black Mesa personnel. They are there to kill everybody invovled with the project.

Gordon Freeman must now fight the aliens, fight the soldiers, try to save the scientists that mocked him for being late and with the help of the scientists reach Xen to stop Nihilanth(The Alien mastermind).


Overall Half-Life is probably one of those games ive spent the most time playing. Outside of steam that is. Bought it back in 1999 and when steam came along my key was already taken steam said(To verify my key I had to take a photo of my product and its key and send it to valve and back in 2004 that was not an easy thing to do). So I had to play it outside of steam until it ended up on one of those sales. If you have steam and don't have Half-Life then I recomend you buying it as quickly as possible.

Half-Life is also being remade by a team of dudes. The mod is called Black Mesa. Its avalible for download but it lacks the last levels that were sceduled to be released 2 years ago.

I give Half-Life 10/10 for being a great game and having great replay value.
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16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
18.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 24, 2014
What a privilege it is for you if you have finished this game. Half-Life sits in a chair in a vast and golden hall along with only the highlords of the first-person-shooting genre. There we can find the likes of DooM, Wolfenstein, Quake, Unreal, BioShock, GoldenEye, Battlefield 2... Yes, Half-Life is that noble.

Gordon Freeman is a physicist gone survivor/gunslinger in chaotic circumstances surrounding the accidental opening of a dimensional portal that brought about alien hostile presence into the Black Mesa Research Facility. The tension can be felt through every sensorial fibre of the narrative, from the stable low-pitch melodies of the soundtrack to the sudden appearances of creatures throughout the many corridors and laboratories found in the maps. The level design is extraordinary, and intelligent in progressively revealing the labyrinthine network of tunnels and ducts that hide vital items for the adequate fast-paced action of a quintessential shooter. However, such a network also provides the player with the strategic edge to approach danger and conflict, something innovative in itself for a genre that is - usually - sadly stigmatised by the shortcomings of linearity.

Its daring features are a testament to the prime product of an age that it was. Half-Life subtly overcomes limitations of its time: it pioneered non-cutscene dynamic action and continuous immersive narrative, allowing the player to actually be part of everything s/he watches from behind the screen. Gordon may never be seen or heard in the de facto game, but the initial display of routine in Black Mesa (the famous tram sequence) drowns the player in unsullied immersion, not presenting any perspective bias or character automation. Gordon Freeman is as "free" a protagonist as it gets in a game of this kind.

Be it for the strategic patience necessary to solve its puzzles, or for its compelling themes of cosmic conflict and the possible rough edges of scientific discovery, one shall find satisfaction in Half-Life. The dozens of Vortigaunts, Headcrabs, and Alien Grunts are there to remind the player that different kinds of shooting and approaching are necessary in order to survive both Black Mesa and Xen. How far into the dimensions of suspense and cunning one can get - is up to the player's willingness to brave this gaming gemstone from the late 1990s.
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