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 (7,331 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
385 of 426 people (90%) found this review helpful
11 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
110 of 119 people (92%) 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.

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Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
114 of 138 people (83%) found this review helpful
4 people 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
42 of 49 people (86%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
1,074.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 5
The best FPS ever developed. Pure Pwnage.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
38 of 43 people (88%) 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
29 of 32 people (91%) 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
27 of 33 people (82%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
13.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
Half-Life is love, Half-life is life
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
19 of 21 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 12
Classic game!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
12.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 18
One of the best games ever made. The graphics might look dated over 10 years, but eye candy does not make a game great. +++11/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
24 of 34 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2014
Rating: 8/10
Overview First Person Shooter


The Good:

+ 80% of the game has some fantastic level design, in fact it has some of the best level design in any FPS
game, everything just feels right.

+ The pacing in the game is near flawless, the game never relies on the same gimmick twice, and every chapter is designed around a certain concept to keep things interesting. The game offers a great mix of puzzle solving and action.

+ The game has a variety of different weapons to fit the situation at hand as well as your playstyle

+ For an old game the AI is surprisingly pretty good, granted it does get stupid sometimes but that is forgivable

+ I love the sound effects in the game. To me the music and sound effects are a big part of the Half Life experience.

The Bad:

-20% of the level design is bad, sometimes its hard to figure out where to go and some of it just doesn't make a whole lot
of sense.

-the last few chapters of the game are awful.

- I experienced numerous glitches in the game

Conclusions

Half LIfe is the father of modern FPS. Back when it was released I would have given it a 9/10 but the game for all its
strengths is starting to show its age. However given its age it still holds up better than most games and being a FPS that
means something. This game really should be experienced by everyone to see how modern FPS games came to be.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
31.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
Words cannot describe how amazing this game was for its time.

After playing this title for once again I remembered why half life became so famous. Such an incredible length, puzzling difficulty and amazing level design. Fun wepons and above all, a mind blowing story to be told.

And that's how a new cult started. With a giant leap ahead in the gaming history by valve in 1998 setting the flag for a series of success and amazing game releases.

If you are hard cored enough to search into old games while a half life fan then you got to test yourself by playing and finishing this game!
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12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
11.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 22
Even after 17 years the game came out, its still worth every minute you spend in the game.
don't be afraid of outdated graphics/physics, this game is a badass.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
15.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 14, 2014
I got stuck on a valve...
How ironic.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
30.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 15
You play as a mute theoretical physicist with a crowbar fetish.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
32.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 17, 2014
Half-Life is the first game in the Half-Life series. The shortening of "first" is 1st. In "1st" there is a 1.

Half-Life 2 is the second game in the Half-Life series. The shortening of "second" is 2nd. In "2nd" there is a 2.

1 + 2 = 3.

Half-Life 3 confirmed.
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17 of 26 people (65%) found this review helpful
38.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 9, 2014
Half Life - 8/10

If you like shooters and not really fussed about amazing graphics, you have got to play this classic game.

The story is very good and interesting, the story starts picking up about a quarter the way through, as some things you may be wondering about but will eventually unfold as you progress through the game. The story finishes with a good ending which makes you want more, and also with a decent end boss battle. Lots of twists and turns in the story make you want to play more.

The combat is very solid and fun, with lots of various gun types and special equipment. It is also challenging at nearly all times, which is what is really good about the game, It keeps showing you new things and problems that you will have to overcome on your own. The enemies come in different shapes and sizes all unique and creative. The challenge I would say is one of the games greatest aspects as you fight for your own survival and to accomplish your goals.

Although the graphics are 16 years old it still is an amazing game, it did not bother me at all. As for it being about a 16ish year old game it is still a great shooter. The levels are interesting from closed in sections, too areas with lots of room. The game makes good use of balencing them out. There are many hidden areas which spice up the game, and little extras as you continue to play. You will face some interesting and original puzzles in the game which are really enjoyable and make you think.

In conclusion, Have a try of this game if you are into shooters or even just want to try something new. You will be most likely dying quite often, if it is hostile combatents or even hazards that pit the levels. One very slight thing however is that at sometimes things were not as clear, making me think alot and backtrack a bit. This is very minor however which I just forgot about. I enjoyed finishing this game, I just cant wait to continue it in Half Life 2 :D
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
11.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 14, 2014
Get ready to go on a totally non bias nostalgia trip son because your going on gabens WILD RIDE
Here is a list of things to expect when playing this game

>nostalgia
>a room filled with gabes faces on every wall (seriously it exsists look it up)
>praising gaben for blessing us with this game
>Thanking gaben for creating amazing lore
>having the best pontytale to date (go third person and look)
>Ai thats actually better than alot of modern games and any "indie game"
>A whole lotta fun
>no feeling of dissapointment from start to finish... this is the only game that has accomplished this.
>Watching a scientist trip a land mine and exploded into guts and killed his coworkers

called a elevator and accidentely killed three people by doing so... 11/10 would scream out "IM SORRY" again
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11 of 15 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
28.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 15, 2014
get as many half lifes as you want, but you aint getting just 3
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 10
Nothing half-♥♥♥♥♥ in this game, This has to be the finest shooter game ever crafted.
9.5/10
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12 of 18 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 14, 2014
This game is a representation of what happens when you're late for work. Everything goes wrong, aliens invade Earth, nearly everyone is dead, and you end up selling your soul to a Republican at the end of it all

Still a good game though. 15/10

and there's a room with GabeN's face all over it
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