As Valve gears up for the launch of its first official Half-Life recreation in 13 years, the developer has given followers an enormous freebie to tide them over whereas they anticipate March 2020: each earlier official Half-Life recreation free of charge.
On Tuesday, Valve introduced that each Half-Life and Half-Life 2, and every enlargement pack and episode revealed straight by the sport maker, could be free for all Steam customers for a restricted time. As of press time, this provide seems to be a brief unlock of the video games till the VR-only journey recreation Half-Life Alyx launches in roughly two months; their free availability will possible expire after HL:A launches. We’re nonetheless ready for an official Steam weblog put up or “assortment” web page to hyperlink to, however within the meantime, you possibly can declare the limited-time provide at every recreation’s particular person Steam web page (collected at this web page for now).
Followers could very properly wish to join the plot dots between the most important Half-Life adventures forward of HL:A‘s launch. Valve has introduced that the brand new VR-only recreation is a “prequel” that takes place between the occasions of Half-Life 1 and Half-Life 2, whereas its builders have urged in interviews that the brand new recreation is “the following half” of the sequence. Therefore, it’s possible you’ll wish to brush up on each tidbit, ought to the brand new recreation include any continuation of what was left unfinished in Half-Life 2: Episode 2. (Reminder: HL:A is not free as a part of this promotion. The brand new recreation does come free of charge with the acquisition of any a part of the Valve Index VR system.)
For the reason that video games, and their linked expansions, have been accessible for therefore lengthy, this promotion could also be moot for a lot of Steam customers. Valve has regularly discounted the ever-living dickens out of its most basic sequence, with every of the sequence’ disparate releases plummeting to $1 every throughout varied gross sales. However in the event you missed these gross sales, or the sequence’ PC-gaming heyday, it is onerous to beat the low, low value of “free.” (And in the event you’ve by no means owned a Half-Life recreation earlier than, try the infinite rabbit gap of superb, community-developed mods for each video games that you could obtain and luxuriate in free of charge.)
Valve’s free-to-play historical past principally revolves round video games that perform as a web based service. Dota 2 launched in 2013 as an inherently free-to-play recreation, whereas fashionable on-line shooters Counter-Strike: International Offensive and Staff Fortress 2 ultimately obtained free-to-play updates. This week’s Half-Life giveaway would not seem to return with any new free-to-play market tweaks, which might be for one of the best.
This giveaway can also be a reminder that Valve cannot declare to be essentially the most beneficiant game-download market of the previous yr. The rise of Epic Video games Retailer as a launcher and market all through 2019 hinged in no small half on Epic’s weekly giveaways of free, well-reviewed video video games.