Today is Half Life's 25th anniversary and Valve is celebrating with some big changes to the original game! With the new update, we are seeing a lot of restored content, some new maps, support for new Steam features, and a full Steam Input sweep to bring the game to Steam Deck Verified, making it completely compatible and easier to play with controllers.
And yes, the game is free to keep forever if you redeem it this weekend, so make sure to add it to your libraries!
First off, we have the new updates for the Steam Deck. There has been a full Steam Input pass to make sure the game is completely playable and easy to control with a controller, making it significantly nicer to play on Deck. Valve also made sure to set the Linux runtime to be the default, so we can more easily play natively instead of through Proton.
Then, we have the new content, which includes new multiplayer maps, new player models, and tons of new sprays. This brings in a bit of new life to the beginning of one of the most iconic series of all time on PC. We also got the release of the original standalone Half Life demo, Uplink, that was added to the game.
There is also new support for Steam Networking and Rich Presence, which will allow others to join you via game invites through Steam and your profile will show a bit more detail and give others a chance to see exactly where you are in your single-player experience.
There were also a bunch of other small little fixes here and there, like improved randomness in spawn points for multiplayer, improved physics for throwing grenades, and a new texture filtering setting. Valve also re-added the original Valve intro from 1998 and updated the menu design and modfels to fit the original release.
On top of all of this, Valve also released a short film they made to mark this momentous occasion. They got the original development team together to reminisce about what it was like working on the game back in the day. It's quite an interesting watch and I highly recommend checking it out.
Congratulations to Valve on the 25 year anniversary of Half Life!
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