Half Life is Officially 20 Years Old Today

AlphaAtlas

[H]ard|Gawd
Staff member
Joined
Mar 3, 2018
Messages
1,713
Its been 20 years since the release of the original Half-Life. While an official successor to Half Life 2 is still nowhere to be seen, fans are carrying on the game's legacy in place of Valve. The Project Borealis team is working on a continuation of the story, while Black Mesa brings the original game up to modern standards.

Check out the "Xen" trailer the Black Mesa devs released today here.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of Half-Life, the long awaited final chapters of Black Mesa are shown in motion for the first time! Xen is targeted for release in Q2 2019.
 

Accursed

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 28, 2008
Messages
430
I wonder if eventually Project Borealis would get hit with some sort of legal actions for finishing Ep3?
 

DrBorg

Gawd
Joined
Jan 22, 2005
Messages
555
I wonder if eventually Project Borealis would get hit with some sort of legal actions for finishing Ep3?
They got an official ok for this; if no one else is working on it, I don't see why there would be a problem with them doing HL3.

I Really, Really hope so. :)

This is awesome; If this can be preordered, I will be breaking a promise to myself. :D

I've played the Black Mesa thru several times, and even went back and played HL, just for a comparison.

These guys are good, I can't wait to see what they've done with this.
 

M76

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
10,445
I can't even remember when was the first time they teased Xen as releasing within the year.
 

NeghVar

2[H]4U
Joined
May 1, 2003
Messages
2,463
I am actually doing a nostalgia run of Half-Life now. I bought Black Mesa on Steam. While the graphics and scenery are indeed impressive, it did not give that feeling nostalgia I yearned for. I am glad you can get refunds. I remember Half-Life is what finally made me drop Matrox and go Nvidia. The Matrox Millenium series did not have the OpenGL support needed for Half-Life.

Another thing I remember about Half-Life is that it was, as far as I know, the first FPS to have not only a decent storyline but an outstanding one.
 
Last edited:

twonunpackmule

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 27, 2005
Messages
1,470
I wonder if eventually Project Borealis would get hit with some sort of legal actions for finishing Ep3?
I mean, probably not, because Valve is pretty good about things. Also, it wouldn't be "Ep3." It would be a fan version. Thus, non-canon.
 

admiralperpetual

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 7, 2015
Messages
415
that Xen trailer looks good.. I was always too scared to play too much Half Life, mostly played all the mods. Maybe after 20 years I've toughened up a bit ;)
 

bigdogchris

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Messages
17,985
Are they going back through the entire game again to make it a better value to justify it having a price now?

It released in 2012 nearly complete, so in the 6 years since I can't imagine they only worked in the last couple chapters.
 

Glock24

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
122
that Xen trailer looks good.. I was always too scared to play too much Half Life, mostly played all the mods. Maybe after 20 years I've toughened up a bit ;)
I didn't like the Xen part in the original game, felt it boring. Maybe the remake is better.
 

Jim Kim

2[H]4U
Joined
May 24, 2012
Messages
3,698
Are they going back through the entire game again to make it a better value to justify it having a price now?

It released in 2012 nearly complete, so in the 6 years since I can't imagine they only worked in the last couple chapters.
Briefly yes, the whole game has been redone. They have only been working on the off-world levels since 2015.
The mod came out in 2012. When Valve offered the team a chance to go Early Access (EA) about half of the team decided it was time to move on with their lives. That left the other half to port the game over to a much newer version of the Source Engine, at this point they were still unpaid and doing it for free.

In May 2015 the game went live on EA.
Since that time they have been able to hire developers and this was also the time that they started working on Xen, along with improvements to the earthbound levels, expanded Surface Tension, engine upgrades and added features, a much expanded and improved Xen, multiplayer etc.

As for the rest of the game here is what a dev recently posted when he was responding to a question about what more they had planned for the earthbound levels.

Originally posted by BMS DIGITAL SPORTS:
Different places in the game perform at different levels because Source is almost exclusively bottlenecked by how many different props it is rendering at once. It is extremely CPU intensive and will suffer the most when there are lots of props. Many other factors are borderline irrelevant to Source's performance. It's just how the older engines work - particularly in places with lots of physics props. This is why the office performs poorly. There are lots of individual physics props. One single prop with 1,000 tris performs ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE better than 1,000 props with 1 tri, despite the tricount being the same in both cases (1,000). Modern engines don't have this problem as much.

This is why CS:GO/Portal 2 doesn't have this problem, and will perform better for you. Firstly, they are much less "mesh-dense" than Black Mesa. They tend to use very few physics props. They also use more recent optimisation methods, such as static prop clustering, which is something we've used EXTENSIVELY throughout Xen. It's hard to go back and apply these changes retroactively, as the Earthbound sections were not built with these techniques in mind.

We will continue to make under the hood optimisations and fixes to our own engine changes, but, if you actually took the levels apart and looked at them in the editor, they're mostly about as well optimised as they can be. We make extensive use of all of Source's built in optimisation functions - hint brushes, areaportals, occluders, fade distances, culling entities as you progress - it's all there. We just push the engine a bit too far in general. We have several major optimisation passes planned in the future, however. It can be better.​
 
Last edited:

zkostik

Gawd
Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Messages
929
Its been 20 years since the release of the original Half-Life. While an official successor to Half Life 2 is still nowhere to be seen, fans are carrying on the game's legacy in place of Valve. The Project Borealis team is working on a continuation of the story, while Black Mesa brings the original game up to modern standards.

Check out the "Xen" trailer the Black Mesa devs released today here.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of Half-Life, the long awaited final chapters of Black Mesa are shown in motion for the first time! Xen is targeted for release in Q2 2019.
IDK guys, I hate to be naysayer but this doesn't really feel like Half Life. I tried Black Mesa way back then but didn't play it through despite completing all of HL games multiple times. There's just something about old games that makes you expect them a certain way and simply updating does not make it right. I would much rather they try to create a new one with HL characters if it's really is going that route. Still, props to these guys doing it and getting official go ahead. Lie folks about said might as well someone do it as Valve surely won't...
 
  • Like
Reactions: PeaKr
like this

fightingfi

Look at Me! I need the attention.
Joined
Oct 9, 2008
Messages
2,875
Greatest Pc Game ever Made as to why i still Game today at 48 and half yrs old :D
 

fightingfi

Look at Me! I need the attention.
Joined
Oct 9, 2008
Messages
2,875
The game's engine, GoldSrc, is a heavily modified version of the Quake engine licensed from id Software. Half-Life received acclaim for its graphics, realistic gameplay, and seamless narrative. It won over fifty PC "Game of the Year" awards and is considered one of the greatest video games of all time.
 

Bigbacon

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
16,383
hopefully makes the Xen portion of the game fun. HL was awesome until that point.
 

DrBorg

Gawd
Joined
Jan 22, 2005
Messages
555
I'm older than that, lol

I can still rock FPS games tho.

I just hate all the lag in the controls now; it's not the os; quake2 still rocks, and the raspberrypi version of Q3 has no lag at all.

I gave a disk of Q2 and Q3 skins and mods to a unversity student, and was amazed to see it was the main disk the co-workers were using for Q3, 10+ years later.

My Grogborg Chracter was still on the disk, with my keyboard layout.

I got called to a buddy office when department honor was on the line, I used to get the comment "YOu forgot to change the username; it freaked them out when I told them "This is my username, and my disk, lol"

I never lost a game on the pinet.

:)

I personally loved Black Mesa, and will be getting the Xen part as soon as I can buy it. :)

I seem to remember having a TNT2 in the halflife era.

I got an S3 verge card to render Q2 before the good cars came out; it played at 3 frames per second, iirc.
 

Armenius

Fully [H]
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
21,257
It's also the:

6th Anniversary of the Nintendo Wii U
7th Anniversary of Minecraft
11th Anniversary of Uncharted
12th Anniversary of the Nintendo Wii
15th Anniversary of Beyond Good & Evil
17th Anniversary of RTCW
18th Anniversary of Hitman
 

Unabomber

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
3,834
Buying a copy of Half Life was the best investment I've ever made in terms of getting my money's worth out of a game. At the time, no other game had quite the same level of AI built into the enemies, and the game was certainly challenging, yet not overwhelming.

I also enjoyed the expansions, Opposing Forces, and Blue Shift. It was enjoyable to play the game from the other guys' points of view (Adrian Shepherd, Barney).

I loved the storyline, but when it came to the extras, and online play, being able to enjoy Team Fortress Classic was a big moment in my life. League play was also quite fun, and some of the friends I made by playing in various clans, are good friends to this date.

I admin'ed the Catacombs TFC community for several years, being witness to a lot of the flame wars between clans that either enjoyed competition a bit too much, or flat-out hated each other, along with seeing how many a talented player would resort to cheating in order to keep his prestige (Shark, MassacrE, Reptile, Bones, Colin Black, etc). I still remember many an experience of having to administer forum justice to some of the troublemakers, and some of those ninnies coming onto our IRC channel, where they'd have to explain their actions in a public channel... :D
 

LightsOut41

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 5, 2017
Messages
455
At the time, no other game had quite the same level of AI built into the enemies
So true. I remember a level in HL where there was a room with a catwalk. Two of those gigantic enemies would come in and you could use the laser detonated explosives to destroy them.

I reloaded that scenario over and over and over for hours straight and I was amazed the enemies would react differently every single time.
 

Krenum

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 29, 2005
Messages
15,839
20 years and still going strong. You might say it has a 20+ year Half Life....
 

Nookie420

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 12, 2003
Messages
318
Ah this takes me back to my teen years.
Playing Action Half Life, Science and Industries, Team Fortress, Red Orchestra, and CS beta, all through high school.
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2018
Messages
5
ACTION HALF LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!! man we would play for hours and hours drinking and laughing our asses off , really think this was the high life of gaming times. I really wish valve would have continued the franchise . Sold my original playstation to buy a better graphics card , and never looked back
 

kilroy67

Gawd
Joined
Oct 16, 2006
Messages
973
Half Life and Half Life 2, 2 of the best games I have ever played. Its was Half Life and of course Doom that was hook line and sinker for me when it comes to computer gaming. I actually just finished Black Mesa recently, and started playing Half Life 2 again (Ravenholm is just awesome!). Both look awesome at 1440P and probably still better games then most the crap that comes out today. I even went back and played MOHAA again, forced 8X AA and 16X AF on it and it really looks good for a game almost 20 years old!
 

zkostik

Gawd
Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Messages
929
Half Life and Half Life 2, 2 of the best games I have ever played. Its was Half Life and of course Doom that was hook line and sinker for me when it comes to computer gaming. I actually just finished Black Mesa recently, and started playing Half Life 2 again (Ravenholm is just awesome!). Both look awesome at 1440P and probably still better games then most the crap that comes out today. I even went back and played MOHAA again, forced 8X AA and 16X AF on it and it really looks good for a game almost 20 years old!
Amen to that! For me first 3D game was NFS Hot Pursuit and I think Half Life was one of the first demos I downloaded. Man, I can still remember those head crabs jumping to this day. HL is probably among few old games you can still play in original state and enjoy. To this I'll add Unreal Tournament, Deux Ex, System Shock 2, Thief 1-2 and Rune (great game, too bad hardly anyone knows about it). Maybe add Gothic 2 and Morrowind as well. ;)
 

cptnjarhead

Crossfit Fast Walk Champion Runnerup
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Messages
1,669
Half Life was a really great game... it had the right combination of action and story to keep me playing hours on end. One of the rare games that actually pulled you in and kept you there. Not to mention how well it ran on my budget rig at the time...
 
Top