Wed. Sep 28th, 2022
Completely free...for now.
enlarge Completely free…for now.

Valve / Sam Machkovech

As Valve gears up to launch its first official half-life game in 13 years, the developer has given fans a big freebie to help them out while they wait for March 2020: every previous official half-life free game.

On Tuesday, Valve announced that both half-life and Half-life 2, and every expansion pack and episode published directly by the game maker would be free for all Steam users for a limited time. As of the time of writing, this offer appears to be a limited-time unlock of the games to the VR-only adventure game Half-life Alyx launches in about two months; the free availability of the games will probably expire after HL:A launches. Click on the announcement link to view the qualifying game selection (although it does not link to the qualifying ones) HL1 expansion packs, which you can find here).

Fans may want the plot points between the biggest half-life adventures ahead HL:A‘s launch. Valve has announced that the new VR-only game is a “prequel” that takes place between the events of Half-life 1 and Half-life 2, while the developers have suggested in interviews that the new game is “the next installment” of the series. That’s why you might want to refresh every tidbit should the new game include a continuation of what was unfinished in Half-Life 2: Episode 2† (Reminder: HL:A is not free as part of this promotion. The new game is doing get free with the purchase of each part of the Valve Index VR system.)

As part of Tuesday’s announcement, Valve also confirmed that its developers will participate in a Half-life: Alyx Q&A on Reddit on Wednesday, January 22, starting at noon ET

Since the games and their extensions have been available for so long, this promotion can be a problem for many Steam users. Valve has often discounted the ever-living dickens from its most classic series, with each of the series’ disparate releases plummeting to $1 each over several sales. But if you missed those sales, or the heyday of the PC gaming series, it’s hard to beat the low, low price of “free.” (And if you’ve never had a half-life before you play a game, check out the endless rabbit hole of great community developed mods for both games that you can download and use for free.)

Valve’s free-to-play history revolves primarily around games that function as an online service. dota 2 launched in 2013 as an inherently free-to-play game, while popular online shooters Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Team Fortress 2 eventually received free-to-play updates. Of this week half-life giveaway doesn’t seem to be coming with new free-to-play marketplace tweaks, which is probably for the best.

This giveaway is also a reminder that Valve can’t claim to be the most generous game download marketplace of the past year. Epic Games Store’s emergence as a launcher and marketplace in 2019 depended in no small part on Epic’s weekly giveaways of free, well-reviewed video games.

List image by Valve

By akfire1

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