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Half-Life 2

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Shacknews - Steve Watts

Grab your crowbars and spectacles, everyone. The Source engine fan remake of the original Half-Life is now available. It went live at 8:47 AM Mountain Time, which should sound awfully familiar to fans. The labor of love has taken eight years and has added a few notable tweaks to the classic, with at least one more revision on the way post-launch.

The Source mod has added some new bits of dialogue, and plans to make revisions to the Xen portion of the game sometime in the future. It opted to remove that part completely from the initial release. Other than those changes, it will be a much prettier version of Half-Life. The excitement was enough to garner a spot in the first batch of Steam's Greenlight program, and chances are we have more than a few Half-Life enthusiasts in the Shacknews audience.

You can grab the download from us (direct download), or you can also get it from the official site, of course.

Also available is the full soundtrack for your listening pleasure. Download it from us.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

You thought the day would never come, and it still hasn't quite yet, but Black Mesa now has a release date. After eight years of development, the fan remake of Half-Life in the Source engine will be released on September 14. Except it won't be quite complete; the team is still working on expanding HL's reviled Xen section and plans to release it later.

Come September 14, we should--in theory, if they really mean it this time--be able to return to the Black Mesa complex, project lead 'cman2k' announced on the mod's forum. The mod recreates Valve's classic FPS with all the polygons, shaders, particles, and gratuitous physics objects we expect from the Source Engine.

It's not an exact remake, mind. The team is adding extra touches like new lines of dialogue, while Xen will be far from the unpleasant little ending section we all know and hate when it arrives.

"Xen is going to basically be a complete game in its own right, it's not going to be just an epilogue to the game; more of a whole new chapter," lead developer 'Raminator' explained. "It'll be pretty well expanded." Work on Xen is already underway and the team hopes to finish it "in a reasonable timeframe," so hopefully we won't need to wait until the year 2020.

cman2k added, "We believe this is a great way to provide a complete-feeling 8-10 hour experience with a solid ending, make our fans happy and help us make the best overall game possible."

The soundtrack is now available for your listening and purchasing pleasure.

Check out this leaked video for a recent-ish look at Black Mesa's 'On a Rail' chapter, including its curious intentionally cheesy voice-acting.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

The Half-Life remake mod Black Mesa really is coming, and now a leaked video confirmed as real has surfaced with a peek at its jazzed-up 'On a Rail' chapter. You know, that frightful section with the tedious trains then glorious rocket launch.

The footage leaked to ValveTime is a rough cut of a planned gameplay video the Black Mesa team put together, Black Mesa team member 'Raminator' has responded, which somehow got into the wild early.

"The build featured in the video is between four and five weeks old," he explained. "You won't be seeing very many changes between what's in the video and what's in the final product."

As for the iron sights aiming seen on the revolver, a feature not in the original Half-Life, that's only available for the .357 and crossbow, boosting accuracy a little but lowering firing speed. After fans grumbled about seeing this in the leaked video, an option's been added to disable it.

Raminator says that following the leak, the team is going to be "moving some things forward" when it comes to showing us more of the long, long, long-in-development mod.

Some frankly unwatchable footage of an early version of the 'Surface Tension' chapter has also been leaked, though darned if I can see anything in it.

Shacknews - Chris Faylor
The Half-Life 2 Collection and EVE Online: Tyrannis represent this week's latest additions to the Steam for Mac digital distribution platform, operator Valve has announced.

The Mac editions of Valve's celebrated shooters Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One and Half-Life 2: Episode Two are now available through the digital distribution platform, while Tyrannis--the lastest update to CCP's space-faring MMO EVE Online--will hit "later today" and marks "Steam's first day-and-date release for the Mac and PC."

Half-Life 2 and EVE Online: Tyrannis

To commemorate the occasion, Steam has discounted all three Half-Life 2 titles by 30%, making Half-Life 2 $6.99, Episode One $5.59 and Episode Two $5.59.

Those that already own any of the Half-Life 2 titles via Steam

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Shacknews - Brian Leahy
[Update 4:47 PM - BL] Valve has confirmed to Shacknews that this release includes Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode 1 and Half-Life 2: Episode 2.

[Original Story] Gordon Freeman's epic adventure through City 17 will hit the Mac version of Steam sometime tomorrow. To tease this, Valve has released an homage trailer to the landmark 1984 Apple Macintosh commercial.

Watch the video on Shackvideo.

I've reached out to Valve to find out if this is just the original release of Half-Life 2 or if it will include Episodes 1 and 2.

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