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:
Recent:
Very Positive (369 reviews) - 96% of the 369 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Overwhelmingly Positive (11,322 reviews) - 96% of the 11,322 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

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
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (369 reviews)
Overall:
Overwhelmingly Positive (11,322 reviews)
Recently Posted
Elmo for President
( 68.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 4
Wow this game changed my life...this game is my favourite game of ALL TIME. This game captures the perfect feel for when your fighting aliens and the military. This game is not a run an gun it is a game were you plan your attack.
This game Is PURE Science Fiction
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Schmeed
( 11.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 4
I now realize why Half-Life is one of the greatest games of all time. The game kicks off with a mysterious introduction to the Black Mesa Research Compound via rail car. You are introduced to the main protaganist that you play as - Gordon Freeman. Of course silent protaganists were really big back in early chapter based FPS games, it's kind of refreshing though because you can give Gordon any personality you can imagine. Once you get on the advanced HEV suit, you go to do a science test with a mysterious crystal that you know nothing about. Gordon pushes the crystal into a laser and all hell breaks loose. The crystal causes a portal to open from the border world Xen where various alien creatures slip through and attack the Black Mesa Research Compound. From there you travel throughout Black Mesa searching for a solution to the alien invasion. This game is old school, it does not hold your hand at all. You are going to have to search levels for supplies and solutions to various puzzles. Save often, because this game is a process of trial and error at certain points. The gameplay is fast and exhilerating. The Gold Source engine feels amazing, responsive, and tight. The game is also a decent challenge, mainly because it does not hold your hand at all. You need to use different tactics for different enemies, which adds extra variety to the game. There are a few bugs though, I got stuck on walls a lot while bunny hopping to avoid enemies, and one section of the game just did not work properly, so I had to no clip because I did not want to restart the chapter. Half-Life is a classic, if you have not played it yet, I highly suggest you do. The game stills holds up today, besides the graphics.
TLDR: Half-Life is a classic and exhilerating experience, despite a few annoying bugs. Highly suggest playing the game from start to finish.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
voelz
( 16.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 4
Better graphics than the newest installment of cod.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
bigfooty
( 5.8 hrs on record )
Posted: May 4
Nothing I can say would do this game justice. Best game ever. Timeless as well.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
DevoidChaos
( 14.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 4
Half-Life is an amazing game, however it is somewhat difficult, but the experience is quite worth it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Compsognathus
( 36.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 4
Headcrabs sound like moaning anime girls.

There is no denying. It can't just be me.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
darkscream117
( 24.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 3
Only started playing half-life recently. I love it!

My concerns when playing older games: are the controls reasonably easy to use? They are in this game. And you can re-bind them.

Recommended!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ParkerThisIs
( 21.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 3
This game's got more variety than The Ed Sullivan Show. Tired of shooting aliens? Here's some Marines to shoot. Tired of shooting things? Here's some platforming. Tired of running around the corridors of a research facility? Here's some desert canyons to navigate. Tired of Earth's gravity? Here's some low-gravity alien terriain to bounce around.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Maxvolcanos
( 17.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 3
Reply to me if you also think Mr. Freeman lookes like obamas 14th eyelash cut into thirds. I definetly think so.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mystic Lance
( 6.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 3
If your a dbz fan like me Get esf mod for this game you'll love it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
NamelessDr
( 26.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 3
This is the game I keep coming back to. It stands up to time fairly well. This is the game I used to introduced my soon into FPS. I love all the mods.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
campilla12
( 10.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 2
Loved this game so much. This was the first half-life I have plaed and I cant wait to finish half life 2

9/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sean
( 5.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 2
One of the most genre defining fps of all time.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
sponsored by lamborghini labs
( 21.8 hrs on record )
Posted: May 1
made me want to be a lesbian and do meth
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Horologium
( 9.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 1
This game is simply amazing for a game made in 1998. Its graphics are older, yes but it has been a challenging puzzle game. The storyline is also a bit easy to follow. The weapon selection is actually larger than Gmod or HL2 with up to ~15 weapons.The ending and opening scenes are also quite amazing. The only problem I found was controlling the long jump module, which is crouch-jumping. All-in-all, give it a go, its a remarkable and memorable game. 10/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Raklödder
( 16.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 1
This is as hardcore as it gets.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
mezuro
( 18.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 1
great saga
Helpful? Yes No Funny
maafricky
( 2.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 1
I can't play it on windows 10 i get a black screen
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Recommended
1,367.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 16
I played a little
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
22.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 10
Half-Life, a classic that still got it to this day.

I simply love the way the game just involves you in the story despite being a first person shooter at heart, a thing many games can't seem to accomplish today being either pure fps or completely plot focused. The reason I'm saying this is because I'm not really into the FPS genre, I dislike it quite heavily. But this game is just different.

All of the game's elements just come together to form this excellent masterpiece.

You have a good variety of weapons, not too few not too many, the level design is perfect although it can be quite debatable as some levels are just too long but good nonetheless as they all contribute and add to the story, the pace of the story is good and the FPS element of the game is well implemented and quite enjoyable (for someone who doesn't like FPS's this game had me blown away).

There's one area where this game shows it's age; graphics.
I personally don't mind them and I think they add to the overall appeal of the game but they can be a bother to other people.

I definitely recommend this. 10/10 would Gordon Freeman again.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 17
Best FPS of all time. Amazing storyline and good gameplay. The graphics have aged a bit but if that botheres you, than get BMS. This deserves an 100/10.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
33.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 7
Despite its age, Half-Life is still one of the greatest examples of organic storytelling in video games. Valve’s debut title succeeds where most modern games fail—in telling a story without interrupting the game’s pacing or forcing its narrative down the player’s throat.

In fact, the only time Half-Life interrupts it’s frenetic pace is to spoon feed you simplistic puzzles designed to showcase Valve’s fancy 'GoldSrc' engine, and while I’m sure it all looked fantastic back in 1998, it’s lost its relevance, and the frequent interruptions to the game are totally arbitrary now that we’ve seen things like physics engines become commonplace.

Despite technological shortcomings, the way Half-Life tells a story is better than any that came before it and most that came after it. It’s subtle and understated, favouring brief snippets of dialogue between a pair of marines or a brief set piece of a scientist being dragged into an air duct over lengthy cutscenes of exploding helicopters. It gives an air of realism contrary to the game’s sci-fi setting and sometimes over-the-top tone, and it’s a real testament to the value of organic exposition that such evocative atmospheres can be created through such subtle methods.

Surprisingly, Half-Life doesn’t let itself be carried by its storytelling. The narrative is built around solid core gameplay that boasts the tactical complexity of a more modern title on top of the large array of weapons reminiscent of older shooters. As I’ve previously mentioned, the enemy AI is subpar by today’s standards, but it’s really the level design that makes the combat stand out. The environments are varied and engaging in such a way that retains atmospheric consistency while providing some excellent combat scenarios.

Half-Life will always be a classic, and despite some janky behaviour that’s become more evident as its aged, it’s a fantastic shooter—easily one of the best to date.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
9.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 9
This is a good game with good gameplay. Classic game.
And not short game so you have to play a lot with this game if you want to see end of the game. Some place is hard and easy so it is good.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
11.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 17
1. Start the game
2. Is on a tram
3. Likes the way the game looks
4. Sees guy with breifcase on another tram.
5. Recognizes it as G-Man since I played HL2 first
6. Get lost after leaving tram
7. Finds locker room
8. "why do we have to wear these ridiculous ties"
9. Put on HEV suit
10. Spends a few minutes running into scientists trying to kill them
11. fails :(
12. goes to test area
13. see 2 familiar people
14. goes to the big scary machine
15. get xen crystal doo-hicky
16. push into big scary machine
17. TEST GONE WRONG AT BLACK MESA (GONE WRONG) (ALMOST SHOT) (SHOT) (G0NE SEXUAL)
18. leave test area after i pretty much ♥♥♥♥ the whole world
19. get killed by aliens many times
20. gets lost
21. looks up tutorial
22. figures out what too do
23. blablalbalbalba
many steps later.....
903. find giant baby
904. giant baby is too hard
905. search "HOW TO ♥♥♥♥ING KILL NIHILANTH"
906. figures it out.
907. get teleported over and over again
908. punch wall after getting teleported for the 943289th time
909. shoot the portals
910. it destroys them
911. facepalms
912. kills giant baby
913. G-Man saves me yay
914. saves
915. denys G-Mans offer
916. murdered by 94508973259208 aliens
917. reloads game
918. accepts offer.
919. beats game
920. yay only took 10 hours
921. waits for HL3


11/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
28.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 21
Gordon Freeman should have an Olympic gold medal for just how unbelievably fast he can run without ever losing energy.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
13.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 22
If you enjoy playing through classic games and are not put off by a little bit of dated gameplay and graphics then this is definitely a game you want to try!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
10.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 16
*Note: At the time of this review, I have yet to play any other games in the Half-Life franchise. This includes all of the DLC for the original Half-Life, which I am currently reviewing.

Overview
Half-Life is a monumental achievement in the world of PC gaming. I say this as a 15 year old male who has just now played it nearly 2 decades after its release, which was back in November 1998. This game is just over 2 years older than me! It is also still perfect in nearly every way, from its base gameplay on up to the expertly crafted story of tense mystery. In this review I will go over the graphics/performance, gameplay, and narrative of Half-Life, along with some closing thoughts.

Graphics/Performance
Look, I'm not going to try to pull anyone’s leg here. By modern standards, Half-Life is not much of a pleasure to look at. Yet still, there is something unique and special about its design that makes it look impressive, even now. I think it’s the tightness and lack of visual hiccups that really pulls the game into the modern age without too much of a fuss. Another likely reason for this are the modern widescreen resolutions it offers, something almost no games were doing back then. In short, the aesthetics are timeless as long as you aren't a total graphics ♥♥♥♥♥. Now on with the performance; it's near perfection. I am running on Windows 10 with no PC components older than 2012, and it runs flawlessly. I don't know what it is about the Goldsource engine (and newer Source engine for that matter) but everything runs without nearly a single discrepancy. I think I ran into 2 frame drops the entire 10-12 hours Half-Life spans, and one bug, which was how easily you could get stuck on the games environments. Very slight grievances, I know. All in all, Half-Life is utterly unfailing both graphically and performance wise.

Gameplay
This is where the real meat of Half-Life is. The action is visceral, the mechanics are flawless, and it all comes together into a challenging and highly varied orchestra of gameplay splendor. I really can't stress enough how amazing the gameplay is. The combat is fast paced and packed with copious amounts of weapons for you to use against your foes, whether they are the multitudes of Xen monsters, or Gordon's many confrontations with military force. There is also some platforming and simple puzzling to do, which are all executed perfectly. My only qualms with Half-Life on the gameplay side are the somewhat basic goals the game will often give you, and also its level layout on rare occasion. You are constantly tasked with pulling levers, pushing buttons, and turning wheels in order to progress or overcome larger enemies in Half-Life. It wouldn't be too much of a problem if these tactics weren't used to defeat nearly every boss in the game, but I digress. Some explanation for my complaints on the level design; it is normally great, but does get a bit nonsensical at times. It may just be my lack of knowledge on the layout of games in the late 90's/early 2000's, but I got lost every now and then and would then have to use a guide to solve this issue. It wasn't common, but it was a nuisance when it occurred. All this considered, when you look at the big picture, Half-Life's gameplay wraps up into one tight and astounding experience that was far ahead of its time, with only a few moments of tedium or confusion.

Narrative
As far as storytelling goes, Half-Life is a total enigma. It's really hard to pin very much down when you get deep into the game, but I'll give a quick, spoiler free analysis. To sum up, you are Gordon Freeman, a scientist with a degree in theoretical physics working at the Black Mesa science facility. Quickly after starting the game you will find yourself in a test chamber running an experiment with your colleagues, when everything swiftly goes horribly wrong, resulting in countless deaths and an ongoing Xen/government fiasco you will have to endure in order to survive. Skip a little bit ahead to avoid spoilers, and you will eventually find yourself in the middle of a plot of mystery, in which very few questions are ever answered. Half-Life ends on a cliff hanger, and then it's on to Half-Life 2, or the DLC's to see if any of these questions are answered there. That's where I'm going now, but first I'll type up some final thoughts for this review.

Final Thoughts
Half-Life is a classic FPS that has undoubtedly influenced almost every title in the genre that has come after it. Despite some rough edges to keep in mind, I can easily recommend Half-Life to every single fan of the FPS genre. And no, "its old" is not a valid reason to avoid this game. It's older than I am and I still loved it.

Personal Rating: 9.5/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
14.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 29
This game got me hooked to pc-gaming.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
19.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 14
Just grab the C R O W B A R
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
19.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 19
A classic shoot-them-in-the-face-and-when-they-try-to-shoot-you-in-the-face-you-shoot-them-in-the-face-again game
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
17.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 3
Reply to me if you also think Mr. Freeman lookes like obamas 14th eyelash cut into thirds. I definetly think so.
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 90 days
7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
129.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 22
And if you see Dr. Breen, tell him I said ♥♥♥♥ YOU!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 15
i am honestly trying to think of a con for this game, i cant. half-life is amazing, every single second was great, a classic, everyone in the world should own this, it looks pretty good for a game that came out in 1998, and it was valve's first game, so if this game wasnt made, we wont have been able to play the other amazing valve games, 10 out of freaking 10
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 6
if gordobn freeman was a funny clown this game would be called laugh-life
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
10.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 3
One of my All time favorite games. It had everything i desire from a game in 1998. It is impressive.

For today's standards, it has aged graphics, but still plays extremely well, and is really entertaining. Story is told mostly via dialogue from other characters, as the main character is mute, well at least in the game(s). I doubt he is really mute if he got a job like that.

You shoot your way through aliens, and soldiers which try to kill everything inside the Black Mesa Facility. Levels are diverse, game is long enough for single player campaign. I love it.

Apart from SP, game has multiplayer modes, which probably isn't that much populated. To compensate that, there are tons of mods for HL1. New gamemodes for MP, new maps, whole new single player games. Just google some of the best mods, and you have so many that you won't know which to play.

Classic, you should play this if you have not already. If you have, play it again!
If you are turned off by the looks of the game( Which I don't think should be a problem, it's older game)
Look up Black Mesa on steam. It's HL2 Mod, which remade HL1 into HL2's engine, which better visuals and other tweaks. Black Mesa is still missing the games ending at the moment( Early 2016), but otherwise it's solid example of good remaster.
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