Happy Birthday to One of the Best FPS Milestones: Half-Life Turns 25

One of the staple FPS games ever to be released on the market, Half-Life, celebrates its 25th anniversary.

By AtillaTuran, Posted 18 Nov 2023

Time flows very fast when you are having fun. This statement could also be attached to playing games, especially the fun ones. Ever since FPS games landed around the early 90s, they made players attached to the protagonist they were portraying, and it led to many hours being sunk into the stories of the characters. Early games featured bulky, strong characters, which were adequately true as power fantasy was in everyone’s mind. But as we started getting further and further from fantasies, realism started to bring more chill to most of the players.

I am talking about the shift that happened from Quake to Half-Life of course, these two games are legendary on their own status, but what makes Half-Life more appealing than the rest is how realistic it is portrayed, even for the era it was released in. The late 90s saw the “boom” of action movies, and with them mixing up reality and the unthinkable. Half-Life, in the same sense, gets those two elements together with extreme precision and delicacy, that is not possible to actually miss out.

Half-Life was considered one of the most advanced game mechanics ever portrayed in 3D games, and its visual storytelling was quite innovative. The best part of the whole deal with Half-Life was that it was made with sole passion and nothing else. The whole team, being either ex-Microsoft members or Quake modders, had a rough time being developed and eventually got delayed. However, the decision to delay and polish the game was the right choice as Half-Life became one of the best PC games to be ever released.

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The feeling of an alien colony slowly creeping up to the Earth’s surface and feeling of despair as things get wilder and wilder was nothing to scoff at, and we have to consider that the person who was responsible for it, that being you, had to pay it back in some way. The mix and the story elements are fused in such a way that Gordon Freeman seems like an ordinary character, but we all know, that in the deep end, he has the guts to sacrifice everything for the balance of the universe.

Valve, being the masters behind Half-Life, actually did something great for the game’s 25th year anniversary. The title is currently free on Valve’s game service, Steam, until the 20th of November. It is completely worth grabbing it now, our suggestion is not to miss out on it. They also added beta characters- Ivan the Space Biker and his friends- new multiplayer maps, old Valve intro and menu, upscaling of the textures, widescreen option, and Steam Deck compatibility. Being able to lay down and play one of the classics of the late 90s with better graphics and advancements on your palm must be one of the next experiences if you ask me.

Freebies aren’t the only thing Valve has come up with though. Out of the blue, Valve’s YouTube channel uploaded an hour-long documentary about how Half-Life came to be, how it went through the design processes, and the struggles of the development team through the release of Half-Life. It is truly worthy of a watch as some unheard stories are being told by the people who worked on this masterpiece.

Despite gaining the “grandpa” status amongst the FPS games, Half-Life was the first step to what we know as FPS games today. Thrill, excitement, freight, and being able to overcome everything with good positioning and gunfights are what led the genre, and for where it is today, we owe big time to Half-Life. Happy birthday, and hope we see the continuation of the series- which we won’t likely, but one man can dream, right?

Atilla Turan (@burningarrow)
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Half-Life: Alyx


Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Valve
Developer(s): Valve Corporation
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Sci-Fi
Release Date: 2020-03-23

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