Half-Life 2: Update breathes new life into City 17

half life 2 update free on steam
Half-Life 2 was and remains one of the greatest shooters of its time, but as the game is now over 10 years old, it isn’t looking quite as impressive as it once did. With Valve seemingly uninterested in giving the game the remaster treatment as so many other developers are doing recently, fans have taken it upon themselves to do so.

The remaster, simply named Half-Life 2: Update, is freely downloadable for owners of the original game, and it became available on Steam yesterday. This Half-Life 2 mod “offers both longtime fans and first-time players the most visually advanced, stable, and fully featured version of Half-Life 2 to date in one free mod download,” according to its Steam page.

Developed by fans and lead by community member Filip Victor, the mod offers a slew of new features including High Dynamic Range Lighting, improved fog, and new particle effects. It also fixes a number of bugs — both visual and gameplay-related — that remained in the game after all these years.

In addition to the cleaned-up visuals and squashed bugs, the mod also includes a Community Commentary Mode with voices of well-known YouTubers including Ross Scott from Freeman’s Mind, a series of videos that voiced the thoughts of the game’s silent protagonist.

One thing fans won’t have to worry about is changes to the gameplay. Victor said “While developing the update, I needed to make sure that no matter what I did, I was improving Half-Life 2‘s world without changing its iconic style, tone, or gameplay,” speaking to GameSpot. “Half-Life 2: Update shouldn’t be seen as a mod, but as a true update to what is already there.”

The download weighs in at 7 GB, which is nearly twice the size of the original game. While the system requirements are quite a bit more than the original game, if you are able to run Half-Life 2: Episode 1 or Half-Life 2: Episode 2, you should have no issues with this mod.

For a look at everything that has changed in Half-Life 2: Update, take a look at the comparison trailer below.

Gaming

Blizzard’s latest hiring spree is likely for the unannounced ‘Diablo 4’

Activision Blizzard is hiring for more than a dozen positions on unannounced Diablo projects. Some of the roles are likely for the unannounced Diablo 4, the next mainline entry in the series.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.
Apple

Want a MacBook that will last all day on a single charge? Check these models out

Battery life is one of the most important factors in buying any laptop, especially MacBooks. Their battery life is typically average, but there are some standouts. Knowing which MacBook has the best battery life can be rather useful.
Gaming

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Computing

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.
Gaming

Everything we know about 'Red Dead Online', including the new mode Gun Rush

Red Dead Online will gradually rolled out to Red Dead Redemption 2 players via a beta. We've got all the details about the beta's suite of competitive and cooperative modes, as well as what to expect going forward.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.
Gaming

Fortnite V-Bucks being used by criminals for money laundering on dark web

Criminals are using Fortnite's V-Bucks for money laundering schemes on the dark web. Epic Games, apparently, is not doing enough to prevent the game from being used for the illegal activity.
Gaming

Relive the 8-bit gaming era with the best NES emulators for Android and PC

For years prior to the release of the NES Classic, emulators have offered a means to every NES game ever created without needing the console. Here are the best NES emulators for Android and PC.
Gaming

Mortal Kombat 11 Kollector’s Edition comes with a life-size Scorpion mask

The Mortal Kombat 11 Kollector's Edition will come with a human-sized replica of the mask of Scorpion, one of the most iconic fighters of the series. NetherRealm Studios has also announced the game's preorder bonuses.
Gaming

Xbox app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.
Gaming

These are the best indie games you can get on PC right now

Though many indie games now come to consoles as well, there's still a much larger selection on PC. With that in mind, we've created a list of the best indie games for PC, with an emphasis on games that are only available on PC.
Gaming

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.