And from then on there was silence. Just two more expansions and a thick veil fell on a franchise which was destined to be a reference within the panorama of shooters. Although the truth is that this success, that of the Steam store, is what has saved the PC from remaining a gaming platform today, so in those first moments it must have required all the efforts on the part of the studio, which From that moment on, she put aside her vein as a creator of video games and considered it secondary to spend efforts and economic resources on new projects.
Games ahead of their time
We owe Valve not only the creation of Steam and, therefore, that transformation of the market from the physical to the digital format in a way that not even consoles have experienced, but also She was ahead of her time with the saga half life. So much so, that there are three aspects in which they hardly have any competition when we look at all the titles that make up the series: on the one hand, their mechanics, which are original, fresh and completely innovative, with never-before-seen weapons and tools that move objects, modify them or create portals that we can go through (hence the cool Portal with GladOS), as well as the ingenuity to use physics in all of them with amazing realism. In addition to enjoying thanks to your engine Source of a graphic section that still seems current to us today.
half life 2, specifically, it was a real milestone that marked the way for many studios on how the visual narrative of a shooter should be that is not satisfied with just having extraordinary graphics. The formula of its success also it was based on the mechanics and on making us think to overcome certain moments key to the story. Obviously, most of the time we are shooting, but the gamer does not live by bullets alone: we also carry levers, nails to hang (literally) the enemies on the walls, etc.
A list of anthology games
Here is the list of the (few) games that Valve made of what is to date its best-known saga in history (with the permission of CSGO fans and their Team Fortress, more focused on multiplayer):
Half Life (1998)
The story of the laboratory that accidentally opens a kind of dimensional portal through which strange creatures appear that invade everything, laid the first brick of a spectacular saga. The protagonist is Gordon Freeman, a scientist specializing in theoretical physics by MIT who will have to bring order to Black Mesa and control the invasion. A wonder with an extraordinary narrative section and that already offered in those times original gameplay modes with weapons never seen in other titles with a similar theme.
Over the years he saw different versions arrive, some with cooperative game modes (Opposing Force ) or a Blue Shift edition. Although the real leap was made in 2004 when, to celebrate the launch of half life 2, Valve developed a kind of remake (so they would call it today) with graphics generated with Gabe Newell’s Source engine, which came to replace the old GoldSrc, a variant of the mythical Quake Engine. Quite a milestone and an extraordinary facelift for a title that at that time was already considered a classic.
Half Life 2 (2004)
The world is subjugated by an organization called the Alliance and Gordon Freeman, two decades after the events of half life, wakes up after a hibernation process. The game, working with Valve’s own Sourde engine, It is a real wonder that not only improves the visual aspect of the set, but rather takes it to a new dimension with extraordinarily elaborate game mechanics.
As we tell you, the key will not only be the confrontations, shots and shootouts, but other parts in which we have to use our heads and physics with devices capable of modifying gravity, for example. Of that spirit of the game will be born in 2008 a kind of spin off focused only on solving puzzles, as it is Portalalthough it will not be until 2011 when that idea reaches its zenith thanks to Gate 2 and that corrosive humor of GladOS, which have made this universe one of the best in the history of video games.
Half-Life 2 Episode One (2006)
With the arrival of the first expansion of Hal-Life 2we were all rubbing our hands because not only could we see what happened to Gordon Freeman and his companion Alyx Vance after the end of the second game, at the gates of Citadel 17 of the Alliance, but also Valve was still experimenting with new mechanics and, above all, improving its extraordinary Source graphics engine. This title leaves us with some of the most beautiful settings seen in the saga and left things unfinished for a new installment that would arrive… just a year later.
Half-Life 2 Episode Two (2007)
Indeed, the fact that Valve only waited a year to delight us with the second episode gave us a glimpse that we were going to have half life for a while but it was not. This second episode is, to this day, the last we saw of the franchise since the rumored Half Life Episode 3 it was never marketed. That will remain in Valve’s conscience, not having continued the saga on a regular basis, even if it was in the hands of an external studio that Gabe Newell controlled. But no, with that escape in search of a new rebel haven by Gordon Freeman and Alyx Vance, the Americans cut off any possibility of a returnwhich (figuratively) killed millions of fans of the series around the world who were left with a span of noses.
Half-Life Alyx (2020)
After an abandonment of 13 years, Valve decided to remove from the drawer half life for try to give your steam virtual reality a bigger boost. It happened right on the doorstep of the pandemic in the West, in March 2020 when half-life alyx It was put up for sale to narrate events that occurred between the first two games. What’s more, this is the first time that Alyx Vance is the character we control, accompanied by her father Eli de ella as they fight against the Alliance’s planetary occupation. This title showed the world the Source 2 graphics engine and is compatible with viewers that can be used within SteamVR. A unique opportunity to revive a half life updated.
as we say, half life It is one of the best shooter sagas in all of history but, at the same time, one of the most wasted as well. The blame? Surely it is due to a combination of circumstances and a company that was at the crossroads of having to choose between giving up its soul as a developer of (superb) video games, or maintaining a business that was going to mark the history of gaming on PC during the following decades. What would you have done?