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 (273 reviews) - 97% of the 273 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overwhelmingly Positive (12,347 reviews) - 96% of the 12,347 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 8, 1998

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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

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
Customer reviews
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Overwhelmingly Positive (273 reviews)
Overwhelmingly Positive (12,347 reviews)
Recently Posted
10.1 hrs
Posted: August 24
A historical gaming gem that revolutionized first person shooters and marked the first step in advanced gaming technology.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.3 hrs
Posted: August 24
Made the fps genre dank
Helpful? Yes No Funny
20.9 hrs
Posted: August 23
I killed my whole entire familt to this game pls dady gabe giimme ur thiic bodyand the succ and pls gimmie half lyfe 3
Helpful? Yes No Funny
The Punisher
6.1 hrs
Posted: August 23
So I bought this recently (the game is as almost as old as me) after seeing how acclaimed it was as a revolutionary FPS. And after playing 5 hours a day for several days I can honestly say that, if you are genuinely looking for a solid game (and not good graphics) you will LOVE this game. The gunplay is seamless, the conversations are real and somehow funny (and if they aren't, go ahead and shoot the scientist), and the level design is phenominal. This is still better than any other singleplayer fps out there. Buy it. You know you want to.
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Mr. Goof
89.7 hrs
Posted: August 23
This game is overall my favorite game of all time. The game has a great way of telling the story of Gordon Freeman and his escape from Black Mesa. The game has a lot of cool iteractions to make this game more imersive. The game also has puzzles in some areas to give you a break from just shooting things. Enough talk and to get down to the point. YOU NEED TO BUY THIS GAME.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
35.7 hrs
Posted: August 23
Defiantly worth $10. I had a lot of fun playing this, it was amazing.
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Revolver Choco-lot
13.4 hrs
Posted: August 23
Awesome game. Difficult at times but extremely rewarding. Being able to solve every puzzle without checking a walkthhrough either. I loved every second of this game and cant wait to start Half Life 2
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0.7 hrs
Pre-Release Review
Posted: August 23
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.9 hrs
Posted: August 23
One of the fathers of FPS had to buy it. After i finish my brain feels like a story..Thx gaben
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Kaeso Bedrai
0.5 hrs
Posted: August 23
One of the best platformers I've ever played. Like the only one. The intro and the outro are OK. Everything in the middle is kind of mediocre, but must have looked good back in 1998.
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
31 of 34 people (91%) found this review helpful
35 people found this review funny
47.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 28
Welcome to Half Life 1.

In this game you will:

Be stunned as your health rapidly drops due to headcrabs
Not figure out you had a flashlight to see said headcrabs in the dark
Be shot to bits by marines
Be shot to death by aliens
Be shot to death by frog-slug things
Be shot to death by security guards with bad aim
Try to escort cowardly scientists that refuse to go another step
Abandon said scientists for the sake of game enjoyment
Blow your self up attempting to rocket jump
Get killed by monster fish
Get ignored by monster fish
Get electrocuted by aliens
Get blown up by trip wires
Kill yourself on tripwires
Kill yourself on grenades
Kill yourself on explosive crates
Kill yourself on explosive barrels
Fight ninjas
Get blown up in a pipe
Get killed by suicide beetles
Get sniped by sniper
Get sniped by turrent
Do parkour while being shot at
Do said parkour flawlessly and slip on a pipe while walking straight.
Slip on water and land into an elevator shaft
Get electrocuted by electric water
Waste all your power armor on headcrabs
Blow up tanks
Blow up helicopters
Get blown up by tanks and helicopters
Get killed by surprise turrents
Get stuck about 50,000 times
Try so hard to keep all scientists and security guards alive
Play 33 hours without getting halfway through
Jump into the room after the assassins with the medkit --- seriously it prevents a gamebreaking bug
Navigate a minefield by shooting at it
Blow up not so expecting marines with C4
Get blown up by marines with grenades
Get killed by underestimated zombie health
Battle the combine --- jk thats hl2.
Battle the illuminati --- jk thats hl3
Play multiplayer and die
Witness strange glimpses of the mysterious gman
Get radiated
Get flame grilled
Get disentagrated
Get hl2
Make hl3

All in all the game is a top-notch, excellent, 10/10 sci-fi shooter themed "i should have saved the game back there" simulator.
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14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
29.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 29
18 years after the release of this game, I feel a sudden desire to review it, as if anyone doesn't know about its acclaim already.

The videogame that marked Valve's global debut, HALF-LIFE is an absolutely genre-defining release. Fresh for its time, unique, different, and still fun, it took the PC gaming world by storm in the late 90s, with its critical praise following it greatly into the turn of the century, with a large modding community and a great engine (GoldSrc) that carried a fulfilling lifespan until the release of its successor, the dominant Source Engine.

In HALF-LIFE, you are put into the shoes of Dr. Gordon Freeman, a 27 year-old theoretical physicist working for the mysterious BLACK MESA Research Facility located in New Mexico. After an experimental test goes wrong, Gordon is found fighting for his life, defending himself from hostile alien lifeforms crossing over to Earth from the borderworld, Xen, after the experiment creates a resonance cascade, opening an interdimensional portal between planets. Gordon meets many of his colleagues along the way, struggling for their own safety against the alien forces, and eventually, the massive military unit HECU, sent to wipe out anything related to the incident. Gordon travels through numerous complexes, canyons, and worlds in his quest for survival.

But that's the special thing about Half-Life: it never feels like you're just "playing as Gordon Freeman." It feels like every action is your own. Every step, jump, and gunshot is a power that YOU hold, not just something you're telling the protagonist to do. This is a goal that Valve had set out to achieve, a goal that was realized through the use of NO protagonist dialogue, an uncommon detail in FPS games at the time. This helped breathe life into the games motto: Run, Think, Shoot, Live.

The controls are great, with the same control scheme being subsequently used in most future Valve games. The gunplay is fun, with a fair amount of weaponry, both human and alien. The atmosphere is what I truly think makes the game. It brings such a feeling of desperation, dread, and isolation that I didn't quite get in the future titles. A true "you against the world" feeling, where every corner can pose a new threat. It's such an intense feeling of cold desolation, unforgiving and eerie as every footstep echoes throughout the metallic hallways that stretch deeper into treacherous facilities.

This is a game that greatly defined my vision of what games should be. It has so much heart put into it that it's mindblowing for a debut game. There's just so much life in Half-Life that I find myself replaying it every so often to this day. Despite its look, it never grows old. It may be difficult to get into if you haven't played before, but anyone who has played it could tell you it's worth the time.

There's not enough good things that I can say about Half-Life, but it's best if you experience it and decide for yourself. While not without its flaws, this is still about as close as I can get to considering a game perfection. Everybody should give this at least one playthrough in their lifetime.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
19.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 15
Half-life was the first game that I properly remember playing. It was given to me by a friend when I was in Grade 5 and I remember playing until the first part of 'Residue Processing'. By that time, holidays were over and my friend had entered the Xen world and I was full of awe when I saw him playing in a low-gravity world with alien weapons. I decided to return back to Half-life. But alas, I had to move houses and with the passage of time and age, I somehow forgot to continue playing Half-life.

Then surprise surprise I saw the half-life pack on a steam sale. No second questions were asked and I immediately bought the pack. I had to finish this game. With its outdated graphics and linear gameplay, I wouldn't be surprised if people thought Minecraft 'looked' better than Half-life. But let me tell you, there is no other game (aside from Half-life 2) that could even come close to the brilliance of its gameplay. The storyline and the gameplay itself is revolutionary and not many games today can even compare to the shooter known as Half-life.

I shall always remember today (15th August 2016) as the day that I finally finished the original Half-life after 14 years. Thank you Valve for making the game that introduced me to the world of gaming.

I can finally sleep in peace before I move onto another masterpiece known as Half-life 2.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
18.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 31
Experience the original masterpiece of a game.

Have a taste of the original first person shooter with a story completely based on scripted events, which became the catalyst for the creation of Counter Strike, The Ship, Natural Selection, and arguably Team Fortress (even though TF existed in the Quake engine before).

If you're coming from Half Life 2 and wondering how this game is different, the main difference really is that this game does not hold your ♥♥♥♥ing hand. Prepare for pure hell to be unleashed onto you as you realize that the easiest difficulty in this game is harder than the hardest difficulty in Half Life 2. Cower in fear as enemies that take a quarter of your ammunition to kill charge you from every direction. Be confused as you end up in mazes with no idea of where the ♥♥♥♥ you're supposed to go and deathtraps awaiting you if you make the wrong turn.

Oh and get to fight a giant testicle attached to a 20 foot tall armored spider.

Ultimately, if you're up to the challenge, I highly recommend this entertaining masterpiece of a game!
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
12.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 16
A Physics student. Thanks to Valve, now I know where not to apply for a job. #BlackMesaIncident #PhysicistLivesMatter #ThanksObama
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 17
You can't live your life without living half of it first - Zeno of Elea (ca. 490–430 BC)
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
146.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 17
Product received for free
Half life was the first FPS game that I played and it means a lot to me. I've played many first person shooters but nothing comes close to this one. This game is revolutionary. I've played this game six times now and it just keeps getting better the more I play it. Of course it has crappy graphics and a few bugs here and there, but such things are expected from a game made in 1999. Half life was the game that led to the creation of some very successful mods such as Counter Strike, Day of Defeat, Ricochet and team fortress. If it wasn't for the increasing popularity of this game and the mods, Steam itself wouldn't exist. This game has made some everlasting impressions in my memory and is one that I will never forget.

A must-buy for any PC gaming enthusiast, or for anyone looking for a good game.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
It was great back then when it came out, one of those ground-breaker games that showed us what could be done in a video game. A shooter where you're not actually constantly shooting but are also experiencing some civilized situations (like e.g. at the beginning of Doom 3), and one of the first 3D 1st person games with scripted events. It was pretty revolutionary back then to see e.g. how a laser wandering around the room destroys equipment. Much love went into making this game.

If you want to play it today *for the game* and not to try to explore what the people back then might have experienced, play ***Black Mesa*** instead (which is on Steam, too). That's a worthy remake of Half-Life.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
33.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 7
So what is Half-Life? Well it's got a simple story: You work in an underground research facility and some stuff goes wrong, unleashing aliens into the facility. You try and fight your way out to the surface but the military comes in with grunts and ninjas forcing you back undeground. There a team of scientists transports you to the alien homeworld where you kill an oversized fetus. This weird guy with a briefcase turns up and offers you a job. You accept and the game ends on a cliffhanger.

Half-Life's gameplay is set up in a way that there are no cutscenes. You are in control of Gordon Freeman from beginning to end. It's this gameplay feature that makes this game special, makes it stand out from the crowd as a revolutuionary rollercoaster of epicness. It's not all combat though, sometimes you'll have to navigate puzzles and while that may turn off some players, they're not that bad. Most of the time there will be enemies to keeps you on your toes so be careful!

This is my favourite game of all time, been playing it since I was a kid. I'd definetley recommend it to fans of FIrst-Person Shooters.

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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
27.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 20
One of my favorite games of all time! The start of the Half-Life and Portal Universe! I recommend getting this!
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