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 (6,420 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

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Recommended By Curators

"The classic, the one that started it all. In all its late 90's glory."

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
223 of 249 people (90%) found this review helpful
39 people found this review funny
188.5 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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855 of 1,061 people (81%) found this review helpful
57 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.
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172 of 190 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 18, 2014
What's the first thing that comes to mind, when reviewing a video game? Well, for me, it has to be the visual world that captures the core of our imaginations. And with this little gem called Half-Life, it's no exception that this game continues to boggle the mind and leave people wondering. There is more heart, creativity and scientific ingenuity there is in this one title than there is in most series and is arguably Valve's greatest achievement. (With over 50 game awards, it's a strong justification). Half-Life isn't just one of the greatest FPS games of all time. It's not because Half-Life is one of the best purchases you can ever get on Steam. Half-Life is quite simply, one of the greatest games ever made.

When compared to certain FPS games in the past and modern times, which both heavily rely on long-winded cutscenes to glorify the main plotline, Half-Life annihilates this compulsed aspect, by detailing the plotlines that keeps the player still in control of the first-person viewpoint, leaving the cutscenes rolling while you still have full access to the gameplay and character controllability. For clarification, You will see through the eyes of Gordon Freeman at all times.

The game is a constant puzzle; leaving the player to work at tasks that involve being locked into battle and overall puzzle solving to advance through the many challenges that wait up ahead. Most of the time, the story illuminates the puzzles by the actions to proceed, such as maze scenarios and building boxes to use as staircases. Though Half-Life has short-lived loading screens from time to time after leaving a certain area for a new one, the game has no levels. But, to make up for this traditional concept, the game is split into a number of mind-boggling chapters filled with rich story glory.

To start off with this game's story, you're none other than Gordon Freeman. A young man who holds a Ph.D in theoretical physics who starts his daily grind back at the Black Mesa Research Facility; a fictional complex that is stranded in a remote desert located in the suburbs of New Mexico. Arriving late for work yet again, you take the tram system around the Black Mesa Research Facility and at this point, objectives that his game has fulfilled such as breath-taking visuals and movie quality animation begins to blossom. The tram sequence at the beginning of the game can only be summed up in one word; Incredible. It's as if the things that come flying at you from every angle and position, almost reminiscent of watching an action-packed movie, along with the credits of the producer's names proudly fading in and out on the corner of the screen.

As you make your first step in the heavily secured facility, you're constantly reminded that you put on your Hazardous Enviromental suit, or the H.E.V suit for short. While all things are hunky-dory, those things soon turn to the worst very soon. After a failed experiment, involving a collision between a rare intergalactic specimen from another dimension with an Anti-Mass Spectrometer, the Black Mesa facility falls in ruins, meaning you are one of the only key survivors of the infamous ''Black Mesa Incident''. And with this, alien life-forms from the dimension of ''Xen'' are pulled from their dimension into ours and are running amok the ruined facility, along with the Army that storm the place after the gone, haywired facility's emergency call has been echoed. This of course doesn't make things any easier and you soon find yourself battling both the aliens and army.

While there isn't exactly much to complain about, I would admit that guiding the chickened-out scientists and professors around the facility can be quite a pain now and again, as well as the alien life-form, Vortigaunt, from which you would have to wait and be patient for them to wreck down wooden doors in front of you, as you are not capable of doing that yourself. (You do start off with a crowbar, right?) As well as I'm probably not the only one who made the same mistake by killing them through a small opening, before they did in fact begin to tear down the doors. But then again, this is where the used scripted intermissions started to show, so that's an added bonus.

For the long run, I've had fun and joy both reviewing this amazing game and playing this amazing game. If you haven't play Half-Life and you're not familiar with Half-Life, it's still a massive recommendation from me.
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123 of 134 people (92%) found this review helpful
9 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.
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180 of 214 people (84%) found this review helpful
12 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!!!!!
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106 of 118 people (90%) found this review helpful
11.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 1, 2014
Do you have a PC? Do you have any interest in gaming? Then you should probably play Half-life. Half-life is one of those games that you kind of have to play before you die. It may not be the timeless masterpiece people make it out to be, but what you do get is a really lengthy game with a strong focus on singleplayer. And when you've finished the original game there's literally hundreds of mods to explore.

Full video review:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7tKUlNLL4w
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150 of 181 people (83%) found this review helpful
12 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
146 of 177 people (82%) found this review helpful
6 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
132 of 162 people (81%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 25, 2014
Theoretical Physicist simulator.
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64 of 67 people (96%) found this review helpful
9 people 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.
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99 of 125 people (79%) found this review helpful
6 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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55 of 62 people (89%) 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.
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56 of 68 people (82%) 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.
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42 of 46 people (91%) found this review helpful
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.
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29 of 29 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people 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.)

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.

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66 of 94 people (70%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 30, 2014
half life in one word 'crowbar'
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51 of 69 people (74%) found this review helpful
11.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 4, 2014
Best game ever made. Period.
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53 of 74 people (72%) found this review helpful
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
43 of 58 people (74%) 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.
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26 of 31 people (84%) found this review helpful
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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