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 (5,225 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: Blue Shift, Team Fortress Classic, Half-Life: Opposing Force, Half-Life

Buy Half-Life Complete

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

Buy Valve Complete Pack

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

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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

PC
Mac
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
26 of 29 people (90%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 30
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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23 of 26 people (88%) found this review helpful
15.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
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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14 of 14 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 5
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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15 of 16 people (94%) found this review helpful
11.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
Best game ever made. Period.
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13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 2
dont call yourself a pc gamer if you never play this
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
Theoretical Physicist simulator.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
51.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 7
Look son if you dont like this game theres something wrong with you.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
What can I say about Half-Life that hasn't been said?
I got nothing,

I got this game for $2.50, and I'm not regretting THAT decision.

Half-Life is Valve's debut title, and for their first game, It's the best ♥♥♥♥ing game ever.
10/10, and I'm not joking.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 12
Pretty good game...Except when these guys play it.

http://youtu.be/JjHi2rnDdyY
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 8
It's Half-Life... Do I need to say more?
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 7
Best game ever. I like the characters, servers and maps so what could be more good then half life?
And i would like Half Life Blue Shift, Team Fortress Classic and Half Life: Opposing Force
Also the training room is a little bit annoying because i have to waste my life jumping
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
538.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 7
Great Game :D
Was this review helpful? Yes No
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 10
just finally beat this game this year (2014) and its one of the best cpu games ever made
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
23.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
The most Influential game of all time. And it's feels as new as it was on the day it ws released November, 17th, 1998 thanks to the HD textures. Also, has one the most revolutionary beginning sequences in gaming by telling a story without B.S. cutscenes and in the player's perspectivre. actually, it;s like that throughtout the entire game. Also has a great soundtrack.

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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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 15
Very nice! Recommended
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 10
If you are looking for a game that you can't beat within the first day, aim your crosshairs towards the Half-Life franchise by Valve. In Half-Life, you take the role of Black Mesa employee, Gordon Freeman. Throughout the game, you must work to destory monster life, soldiers, and straight up demonic beings that are out to destroy you. This game requires skill, strategy , and raw FPS skills. Half-Life's pure fun and addictive shooting make up for Its poor graphics, (though take in mind this game was made in 1998, so it wasn't considered poor back then). If you are thinking about getting this game, it is a must. It is one of the most classic shooters of all time neighboring Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Halo, and Unreal Tournament. Will you embark on this Journey through New Mexico laboritories and planets that are out of this galaxy? Then Half-Life is the game for you!
RyanLionZion
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
First played Half Life when I was younger, however as I was newer to games, I wasn't smart enough to beat it. Now that I have played it again after many years I can say that this is such a fun game!

Yes the graphics are a little dated, but the nostalgia you get from playing an FPS that also has puzzles is so satisfying! Would recommend to anyone who hasn't played it yet!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
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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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
12.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 5
You there! Yes, you! Is there a reason your cart contains significantly less low-polygon crowbar than it should? Well what are you waiting for? It's got a great multiplayer, if replayability is your concern.

Look... if you find yourself on the fence about buying this, chances are you're not really a PC gamer after all.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 14
I don`t think a review for Half-Life is really necessary, but I`ll do it anyway.

Story:
Half-Life´s story isn`t really that interesting to begin with, and when it does the game pretty much ends.However, it`s the way the story is told that made it so great, there just wasn´t anything like it back then.The game has 0 cutscenes, meaning that you are always in control throughout the entire game.Unfortunitly, this method of storytelling isn`t seen in many games.Anyway, on to the story.You play as Gordon Freeman, a scientist at a research facility called Black Mesa.One day, Gordon was sent to assist in some sort experiment on a crystal.Unfortunatly, the experiment went completely wrong, triggering a resonance cascade, eventually opening a portal where invading aliens pop up and quickly overrun the facility.Now Gordon needs to find a way to close the portal, while fighting said aliens and other enemies, like marines.So, like I said, the story isn`t amazing or anything like that, it´s just the it´s told that makes it so memorable.

Graphics:
To be honest, the graphics aren`t great, even back then.The textures are kinda blurry and the models look kinda bad too. Valve did patch in an option where you can turn on or off the so called "HD models". However, I would suggest turning those off because otherwise the character and weapon models will look good, but the rest of the graphics will look the same as before, or in other words, like ♥♥♥♥.

Sound:
The sound effects are pretty good for the most part, and some people will think the VA is pretty average, but you have to keep in mind that this is a game from 1998.The music is however is really good.The majority of the game is devoid of music, however there are some parts in the game where music plays (usually during setpieces).I can`t really say what kind of genre the music is, but what i can say is the soundtrack is pretty good for the most part.

Gameplay:
First, let`s talk about the weapons.You start off with a crowbar, then you move on to things like a pistol, a shotgun and even an MP5, then you unlock weapons like the rocket launcher or even experimental weapons, like the Tau cannon.Some weapons are useful, like the MP5 or the shotgun, while others are completely useless, like the snarks.Moving on, we´re now going to talk about the enemies.Like I said, you´re gonna fight against aliens and even marines.Some people say that the marines are pains in the ♥♥♥ because they´re bullet sponges and hitscanners.Personally, I didn´t have that much trouble, mainly because their AI is questionable at times.However, the black ops assassins and the alien grunts are pretty cheap.The assassins take almost a magazine of the MP5 to kill, not to mention the fact that they sprint and jump all over the place, making them hard to kill.The alien grunts on the other hand aren`t dangerous when they´re solitary, it´s just that in the last levels, they attack in groups of 2,3 and even 4 on a rare ocassion.The problem here is that they soak up a lot of damage and their weapon´s projectiles home in on you, making circlestraffing hard against these ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s.Fortunately, the assassins only show up twice, while the alien grunts show up in the last few levels.Speaking of levels, let´s talk about the level design.The levels are well designed for the most part, with some basic puzzles and exploration.The cool thing about the level design is that items like health and ammo are usually found in places where you expect them to be, like storage rooms and crates.Some people also complain about the platforming and how horrible it is.Again, I personally didn´t have any problems with the platforming, but I´m pretty sure that some people will find the platforming annoying.However, if there´s one thing we can all agree is how terrible last levels are.Yes, I am talking about the xen levels.Holy Mother of God, if I find the guy who did these levels, I´ll kick him in the balls!Seriously, they´re that bad.The first xen level is okay, but when you Gonarch´s lair,ohhh man...And the worst part is the final boss, it was so terrible. These levels are so bad that I forced to use cheats.Yes, I used cheats, so what?I bet a lot of people who are gonna play these levels aren´t going to get their bearings.Fortunatly, that does not apply to the other levels.

Counclusion:
Aside from some issues, like the cheapness of some enemies and the xen levels, this is still a classic and one of the greatest games ever made, in my opinion. If you still haven`t bought and played Half-Life, then what are you waiting for?
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