Half-Life 25th Anniversary Update Offers Long-Lost Story Content, New Maps, Deck Support

The hugely-influential Half-Life celebrates its 25th anniversary this week, and Valve is throwing the game quite the party. The just-announced Half-Life 25th Anniversary Update offers a ton of goodies, including “Half-Life Uplink,” a special demo including unique story content originally released as one of those CDs packed with game mags, “Half-Life: Further Data,” another disc released as a game store freebie, new multiplayer maps, updated UI, Steam Deck verification, and much more. Before we jump into all that though, Valve also dropped this nice little Half-Life documentary you can check out if you have an hour to spare some time.

Here’s the full rundown on the rundown on the Half-Life 25th Anniversary content…

Half-Life Uplink

Originally released as a CD exclusive for magazines and hardware manufacturers, this mini-campaign was built by the Half-Life team right after the full game went gold. As this was many people’s first experience with Half-Life, we thought it was time to bundle it with the main game — no sound card purchase necessary.

Half-Life: Further Data

In 1999, Valve released a CD called Half-Life: Further Data at retail stores, and we’re finally including much of that content including 3 multiplayer maps (Double Cross, Rust Mill, Xen DM) and multiplayer skins.

Restored Content

  • Ivan The Space Biker And Proto-Barney – After all this time we finally shipped the original heroes from the alpha builds of Half-Life, available as multiplayer skins!
  • Original Main Menu Artwork
  • Valve Logo Intro Video

4 New Multiplayer Maps

  • Contamination – Two-foot-thick steel doors block off access to this contaminated waste facility, which has questionable scientific goals at best. Strap on a gluon gun and roast all intruders.
  • Pool Party – Enjoy a relaxing stay at this abandoned Xen outpost built around a cluster of soothing healing pools free-floating in space. How do you breathe here? It doesn’t matter!
  • Disposal – Processing Area 3, a massive radioactive waste plant gone quiet. Tons of room for you and your colleagues to do experiments with a Tau Cannon or some hand grenades.
  • Rocket Frenzy – The creaking weight of this decaying orbital satellite launch facility somehow feels familiar… If we could switch on the oxygen lines, power, and fuel, we might just be able to light this candle.

UI Scaling Support For Higher Resolutions

The entire UI has been reworked to scale at larger screen sizes. We built most of this stuff for 640×480 CRTs and apparently some of you have upgraded since then.

Updated Graphics Settings

Play the game the way it looked in 1998, but on a modern monitor.

  • Widescreen field of view!
  • Option to disable texture smoothing on the GL renderer!
  • Lighting fixes including the long-lost GL Overbright support!
  • Software rendering on Linux! Crisp colors, animated water, and unfiltered textures!

Steam Deck Support!

We finally put our game through our own “Verified” tests, and… we failed super hard. So we fixed it! After re-testing the game, Half-Life gets to officially wear the green checkmark.

The Half-Life 25th Anniversary Update also includes a host of fixes for various ancient bugs. You can check out the full, unabridged patch notes here.

Half-Life is currently 100 percent off on Steam, so go check out the new stuff for free!

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