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:
Very Positive (219 reviews) - 93% of the 219 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overwhelmingly Positive (12,540 reviews) - 96% of the 12,540 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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Very Positive (219 reviews)
Overwhelmingly Positive (12,540 reviews)
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7,668 reviews match the filters above ( Overwhelmingly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
14 of 18 people (78%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
Classic but fantastic
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11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
35.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 28
How can I write a bad review on Half-Life?

Just please, don't make chapters like "On a rail", that's just painful.

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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
71.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 29
Half-life is a great game! The game is beautifully created with passion and creativity. The game play is amazing and to say it's an old game the graphics are sweet as. The story line is smashing and to be honest it can be a long game to complete unless you know what to do and how to solve the puzzles that require both skills and brain power. Over all I would rate this game 10 out of 10 (10 for being a fun game to play) I hope my review on this game has either convinced new players to play Half-Life in confidence.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
46.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
I liked the part where I shot bees out of my fists and used tickly handheld bedbugs to devour a helpless squad of U.S marines. 10/10

Not worse than HL2 and its episodes, but not close to as good either. Fun game though. Can run on a toaster.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 30
Best game of the 1990's, and still one of the best games of all time.

Great puzzles, great shooting, great level design, great story.

Recommend to any true gamer.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 18
Undeniably iconic, it set an unprecedented bar of quality for years following its release. Much has been said about Half-Life, so much so that saying anything is likely reiterating upon the words of others. Maybe that isn't such a bad thing, Half-Life still holds up as one of the best FPS ever made, I can hardly fault it on it's gameplay; whilst yes some parts are notably weaker than others (Ch 8 and 18 come to mind,) its still a must play.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 24
ok this game is actually pretty good
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
A masterpiece. One of the best first person shooters ever made IMO.
The game's highest point is easily its immersion, almost unrivaled even until today, gripping you with its atmosphere and actually putting you in the shoes of a (sort of) Average Joe, who's unlucky enough to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. No cutscenes, no quick time events, no regenerating health, no objective markers cluttering up the screen or excessive handholding, no annoying constant remarks by the protagonist (tbh some games can do a talking protag right, but in this game I feel that a silent protag was perfect for it and used really well), and you're almost never taken away control of Freeman. This all combines with a great setting oozing with atmosphere, memorable enemies such as the headcrab, scripted events that are done in a very natural way to give life to the game world and that trigger often as you explore a space in an organic fashion, lots of environmental storytelling that rewards the player for sticking around to search and listen but doesn't force them to stop, and excellent level design with enough searching and nooks and crannies to explore to not give the feeling of being on rails that other linear games give. It really lets you live and experience the game, not just watch it like a semi-interactive movie as so many modern first person shooters now do.
From a more gameplay-wise perspective, the weapons are rather fun to use and enemy AI is surprisingly still decent to this day and age, especially the amazing marine AI. You amass a very large arsenal of around 14 weapons, none feeling superfluous or excessively powerful and all surprisingly balanced and functional, each with their own situational ups and downs. No regenerating health naturally encourages you to be on the move and explore, in search of health packs and health stations (this is definately something you want in an FPS, as instead of the stale taking cover all the time to regen health of other games, you're encouraged to play far more dynamically and actually go out there, move and dodge, scavenge and explore). Movement isn't perfect, it can at times be too sensitive, but the speed but definately far faster and more fluid than the average CoD running speed that feels like you have bowling balls for feet.
Cons? Well, if I had to point out problems with the game, then probably the Xen levels, aka the final few levels of the game. The physics in those levels are horrible and really frustrating, the level designs are bad and not fun to play through, and it's mostly a rather disappointing and frustrating last stretch of levels in an otherwise masterpiece game.
Overall, 9.5/10, without Xen it would be 10/10, and either way it's a must play for any FPS fan.

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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
13.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 26
Greatest videogame ever made, don't question me just buy it, or better yet buy the Valve Complete Pack because that is absolutely worth the money.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
136.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 27
I love this game to its core. Half-Life is one of my favourite games of all time. It's an excellent fps that does a fantastic job taking the player into it's world with a great selection of weapons, monsters and an overall outstanding atmosphere. It has aged quite ungracefully interms of graphics as the game was released way back in 1998 but the ai, music, atmosphere and gameplay still hold up very well. If you want to experience a fun, scary and action packed fps play this game! If I had any problems with it (not even things I find to be too much of a problem as I am a fanboy of this game) it would be that it may not always be clear to new players what exactly they should be doing in the story or overall goal. Alot of the more in depth stuff you will only find by searching up wikis about the story. It doesn't bother me but I can imagine it being confusing to newer players. It's told in a much more subtle fashion than some players might expect.

This game also has a huge libary of mods and addons. Games like conterstrike, day of defeat, team fortress and others wouldn't exist today if it wasn't for this game. Developers are still creating mods for this 18 year old game which I find amazing.

BTW if you're gonna play this game, play it in the dark alone. Half-Life is more of an experience than a game you play with your friends although it does have multiplayer in the form of deathmatch (and other mods such as sven coop) I find the best way of playing it and enjoying it a first time is to play alone.
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Recently Posted
27.9 hrs
Posted: October 24
In a couple of decades, someone is going to write a book about important video games that changed the industry. The entire Half-Life series will surely take a couple of spots, but the first game especially is a wonderful moment in time that is worth checking out.

To keep things brief, no first-person shooter that had been released up until this point ever took itself seriously, in the sense that none of them were trying to present a serious story. More than anything, first-person shooter games looked for excuses for you to kill things. You're a space marine, and there's aliens; you're a medieval marine, and there's monsters; you're a guy with a bunch of guns and there are monsters! Repeat ad infinitum. Half-Life's opening sequence is around 15 minutes worth of sitting around, walking slowly, and checking out the environment.

I can't even begin to tell you how much of a difference this game made. There are a couple of moments in gaming history where you can pinpoint a distinct before-and-after. Half-Life is one of those moments, where the game took itself seriously and gave you an atmospheric experience that demanded you to take it seriously.

I think the game has aged relatively well, all things considered, however the final section of the game somehow manages to be one of the absolute worst parts of any video game, ever. The graphics are ugly, but Black Mesa is dripping with atmosphere. There are some old-school gameplay mechanics that you might have never experienced, and if so, welcome to the time when jumping puzzles were all the rage.

An absolute masterpiece, worthy of a playthrough if you can stomach older games. If you want an updated version of this, check out Black Mesa. Notably, Black Mesa (as of writing) is actually missing the final section of the game still... but the entirey of the final section is uniformly awful, so, you really aren't missing much.
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\m/ Murder One \m/
0.3 hrs
Posted: October 23
Helpful? Yes No Funny
18.4 hrs
Posted: October 22
Great game considering it's from the 98. Varieties of puzzles, weapons and scripted events, I'll give it a 10/10+a marshmallow.
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7.2 hrs
Posted: October 22
Well, it's fun and nostalgic and has a good story line.
It also needs next to no graphical resources and runs on anything.

So yeah, go buy this if you like FPS.
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SquidHat |
3.2 hrs
Posted: October 22
♥♥♥♥ ladders forever
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8.9 hrs
Posted: October 22
Such Old and Nice Game I really Recommand it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
15.6 hrs
Posted: October 21
If you're going to every negative Half-Life review and downvoting it without even reading it, shame on you.

You know, I'm going to get downvoted all the way to hell. But what the hell? Why not? YOLO!
Even I felt stupid saying that.

I honestly have no idea how this game is one of the top rated on Steam. I know it was revolutionary back in 1998. But by today's standards, it's pretty bad. I know people say that I should judge it by it's time. But just because it's old doesn't make it any more fun. Let me explain.

Part 1: Graphics

Incredibly outdated. I know it was made in 1998. But like I said, old doesn't make anything better. I don't really have anything else to say.

Part 2: Story

People say it's deep and extensionally vague. But there's a point where it can be too vague. A story shouldn't be too vauge, but should be fairly vauge. For example, Portal. (Portal was also made by Valve. So I know they can make a good story.)

Portal doesn't tell you the story from start to end. But it gives you every piece of the puzzle. A good amount are turned over. And they aren't all layed out in order. It isn't too hard to solve. But you need to put some work into it.

Half-Life, on the other hand, isn't anything like that. The puzzle is like this. Every piece is turned over. Okay, not too hard. But I'm not done. The pieces aren't in front of you. They're hiding all over the world. But not in obvious spots. In the spots nobody would ever look. Would that be a good puzzle? No!

Part 3: Characters


Part 4: Gameplay

This game isn't a FPS. It's Portal with guns that shoot bullets. Or in other words, a puzzle platform game where you shoot stuff sometimes. The game constantly throws puzzles at you. And they are either ball hair pulling impossible, or so easy you didn't even realize you were solving a puzzle. Easy puzzles are mostly pressing a button. And hard puzzles are mostly pressing a button.

The platforming sections most of the time is just jumping across thin strips of land on the wall. The other ones are just, well, platforming sections. That's the only way I can describe it.

The shooting is just finding what gun works the best against certain enemies. And when you see the enemy, shoot it with that gun.

Part 5: Difficulty

The average video game difficulty level should be something like this. The game should be easy at the beginning, get gradually harder, be really difficult at the end, and give a break once in while. Half-Life's difficulty goes something like this It's inconsistent, decides randomly when to be easy or hard, and the difficulty tends to stay pretty high, and getting a break is as rare as Valve making Half-Life 3. Meaning never. Which is a good thing.

Part 6: FInal Boss

All it is is hiding behind pillars. And jumping when a giant baby opens his head. Yeah... Video games for you. Every once in a while, (every three seconds) you get thrown a teleporter, and get teleported into an incredibly tedious platforming sections. With gravityfrom a different planet. Yay! The boss is an incredibly easy end to an incredibly hard game.

In conclusion, this game is boring slugfest. All the game is is trial and erroring through soldiers that take way too many hits. It is undeserving of critical acclaiam. It is okay at best, and a waste of money at worst. Please don't buy unless you are a Steam game colecter.

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evidence -R-
2.0 hrs
Posted: October 21
100% Awesome.
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5.8 hrs
Posted: October 21
Half-Life more like You would not play your favorite CSGO if this game wasnt realeased back when your mom got little sexual with your dad.
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Games > Rank
5.6 hrs
Posted: October 21
Helpful? Yes No Funny