Valve marks the 25th anniversary of Half-Life, a game that revolutionized the first-person shooter genre, with a substantial update. This update not only pays homage to the game’s legacy but also enhances its compatibility with modern gaming systems, including the Steam Deck.
One of the most notable additions in this anniversary update is the revival of Half-Life Uplink, the game’s mini-campaign. Originally released as a CD exclusive for magazines and hardware manufacturers, Uplink served as many players’ first encounter with the Half-Life universe.
The update also breathes new life into the multiplayer aspect of Half-Life. A collection of multiplayer maps from the Half-Life: Further Data discs, including Double Cross, Rust Mill, and Xen DM, have been reintegrated into the game. Adding to the excitement, Valve has introduced four brand new maps: Contamination, Pool Party, Disposal, and Rocket Frenzy, designed to push the original engine to its limits.
Nostalgic Skins and Engine Tweaks
In a nod to long-time fans, the update brings back classic multiplayer skins like the skeleton (now with customizable eye tints), Too Much Coffee Man, Ivan the Space Biker, and Proto-Barney.
Additionally, Valve has implemented several options to enhance the visual experience while retaining the game’s original aesthetic. These include disabling texture smoothing, capturing the old GL Overbright look, and adding software rendering on Linux.
The update also supports modern monitors with widescreen field of view options and a 4K-compatible UI, ensuring that the game’s interface and artwork don’t lose their charm on larger screens.
Acknowledging the evolution of gaming platforms, Valve has ensured that this anniversary update includes full support for the Steam Deck, complete with a gamepad configuration.
This effort represents a blend of modernizing the game for current systems while preserving the essence of what made Half-Life a landmark title in gaming history.