What’s your favorite?
Intrigued by Half-Life: Alyx but you’re without a single Half-Life game under your belt? Or, seasoned Freeman looking to brush up before Alyx launches in two months? Valve has your back either way.
For the next couple of months, every Half-Life game is free to play on Steam. (You have to click through on each individual game to see the “Play for free!” prompt.) That’s Half-Life, Half-Life: Opposing Force, Half-Life: Blue Shift, Half-Life: Source (a remaster of the original), Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Lost Coast (a small tech showcase from 2005 that sampled HDR lighting on the Source engine), Half-Life Deathmatch: Source, Half-Life 2: Episode One, and Half-Life 2: Episode Two. All that’s missing is the co-op focused Half-Life: Decay which is only on PlayStation 2.
For my money (which happens to be zero dollars and zero cents in this case), the Gearbox-developed Half-Life: Opposing Force is my favorite game on this list. It’s an expansion to the original where you don’t play as Freeman, but rather as a Marine who’s infiltrating Black Mesa. I have no idea if that opinion holds up; it’s just what I recall from more than a decade ago. It seems like a good time to revisit Opposing Force to see if nostalgia and quality align like I remember.
Half-Life Franchise [Steam]