Half-Life: Opposing Force

Like Doc Brown, I once hit my head and saw the future. I didn't come round in the bathroom having the idea for the Flux Capacitor, but I did bonk my noggin pretty hard in the office games room and sit back, dazed but delighted with what had just happened.

I was playing the Budget Cuts demo on Valve's room-scale VR. Budget Cuts is a game about infiltrating an office that's patrolled with deadly robots. Because of the room-scale VR, you're really there: your actual body is your in-game body. This means that the robots are the same size as you - which is terrifying - and it also means that when you have to duck your head through a missing panel in the floor to look into the room below, you really have to do it. Except that while the game floor might be missing a panel, the real floor isn't. Bonk. I did it. Chris Bratt, who had also played the demo, had done it. A day later, so moved by what I'd played I brought in a friend to try it out. They did it too. We all hit our heads and we all saw the future.

More than just the future of video games, I really felt like I had seen the future of one series in particular. I still think this. I still think that Budget Cuts is essentially the closest I've ever gotten to playing Half-Life 3. It's not set in the Half-Life universe, although its mixture of horrific technology and the banal and bureaucratic is not a million miles away. It wasn't made by a Valve team, although I gather the people who made it did end up working on the final game at Valve as incubees. Instead, it channels that magical thing that Half-Life has always done.

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Half-Life: Blue Shift - mikela
A Half-Life update is now available that affects Blue Shift through shared resources.

Please see the Half-Life update notes for details.
Half-Life: Blue Shift - mikela
A small update for Half-Life: Blue Shift is now available:

  • Fixed bug in skybox image loading
  • Fixed bug in demo command processing
  • Prevent certain path characters from being used in commands
  • Enforce certain extensions be used for files specified in some commands
Counter-Strike - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Though Half-Life [official site] is almost nineteen years old and its sanctioned fan remake Black Mesa is nearing completion, Valve have launched a wee patch for their pretty okay or whatever vintage FPS. The patch fixes a few crashes and exploits, and hit other Half-Life engine games too, such as classic Counter-Strike. Given how much of modern PC games history connects to Half-Life and its mod scene, I’m glad Valve are still tinkering a little. Earlier this year, they finally got Half-Life an uncensored release in Germany too. … [visit site to read more]

Half-Life: Blue Shift - alfred
We have updated the public release of Half-Life: Blue Shift.

Changes in this update are:
  • Fixed crash when entering certain malformed strings into the game console. Thanks to Marshal Webb from BackConnect, Inc for reporting this.
  • Fixed crash when loading a specially crafted malformed BSP file. Thanks to Grant Hernandez (@Digital_Cold) for reporting this.
  • Fixed malformed SAV files allowing arbitrary files to be written into the game folder. Thanks to Vsevolod Saj for reporting this.
  • Fixed a crash when quickly changing weapons that are consumable. Thanks to Sam Vanheer for reporting this.
  • Fixed crash when setting custom decals
Half-Life - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>

Gearbox’s Barney-starring add-on is the black sheep of the Half-Life family, although at the time I never encountered any reason why that should be the case. My teenage tastes were perhaps less discerning then, but more importantly any> return to Black Mesa was irresistible. I wanted new monsters and new guns, everything that a young’un wants from a follow-up to their favourite shooter, and I also had a vain hope that maybe I’d get to shoot that creepy suit-guy in the face and rescue Gordon. … [visit site to read more]

Half-Life - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (RPS)

Expansion packs were once a core part of playing PC games, but they can often feel less essential in a world of constant updates and microtransactions. Original game Alec, expansions Adam and Graham, and brief DLC Alice gathered to discuss their favourite game expansions and why they still think the model works.

… [visit site to read more]

Half-Life: Blue Shift - alfred
We have updated the public release of Half-Life: Blue Shift. This update contains all the changes from the recent beta, thanks to the whole community for their help with testing and suggesting new features.

Changes in this update are:
  • Converted Half-Life: Blue Shift to the new SteamPipe content system, for optimized delivery of the game
  • Added support for Mac OS X and Linux operating systems
  • Enabled Cloud support for save games
  • Improved OpenGL rendering pipeline and output to leverage the capabilities in todays GPU
  • Numerous bug fixes
Half-Life - Alice O'Connor

After a grand fourteen years of development, splendid Half-Life mod Sven Co-op is wrapping things up. It's gone out with a bang, releasing on Friday a new version which adds co-op support for Gearbox's expansion Blue Shift. For old times' sake, gather a few friends, put on your HEV suits, and go adventuring in Black Mesa again.

"Version 4.8 will most likely be the final SC mod release, but this is by no means the end of Sven Co-op," the announcement says. "We have a major announcement to make soon," it teases, and we should hear something interesting in a few weeks.

Sven Co-op was jolly welcome back in the day, when co-op campaigns were pretty rare and Half-Life was ridiculously exciting. Yes, having a load of players running around as Gordon Freeman can make things a little silly, but it can also be a right lark.

Grab the mod from the mirrors. You'll need Half-Life to play it at all, and naturally Blue Shift too to join in that campaign. The 4.8 update also brings a ridiculous number of fixes and changes beyond Blue Shift, so do check the full changelog if you're interested.

Half-Life: Blue Shift - alfred
We have released a Beta update for Half-Life: Blue Shift.
Changes in this update are:
<ul><li>Added correct game sound track, mastered at 44kHz, 128kbit MP3 for better listening experience
<li>Fixed test microphone button not working

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