You can play Half-Life on your Android smartwatch, but should you?

half life lg smartwatch halflife watch
Step aside, Doom — running Half-Life is the new test of a device’s mettle. Modder Dave Bennett has managed to get Valve’s seminal first-person shooter running on an Android-powered LG G smartwatch. (via Ars Technica)

Bennett — a computer science major with a YouTube channel about modding Android, Chromebooks, and Linux — used the SDLash app to emulate GoldSource, the game’s engine and predecessor to Valve’s popular Source engine. It’s more a proof of concept than a way that anyone would really want to play the classic game. It runs, but not consistently, and the 1.65-inch touchscreen controls don’t lend themselves especially well to the nuance necessary for first person shooters.

“At times, the game got as high as 30 FPS, and other times as low as 2 FPS,” Bennett explains on his blog, where you can find step-by-step technical instructions of how to do it yourself, if you are so inclined, though he advises against it. “Of course, things such as the lava graphics and special lighting caused a huge drop in FPS. Also, trying to play a game on Android Wear is a nightmare within itself. The app offers touchscreen controls, but on a 1.65-inch screen, they are almost impossible to use. Also, swiping to the left causes the screen to go back to the previous window. Are you still interested in doing this?”

Ever since id Software released the source code for its genre-defining Doom in the late ’90s, it has become standard practice for modders and hackers to get it running on digital devices not otherwise designed to play games — a sort of next-level “Hello World” program to demonstrate mastery over a system. Recent examples of nontraditional systems running Doom have included a Canon Pixma printer, a different Android smartwatch, and another copy of Doom itself.

Half-Life was first released in 1998, five years after the original Doom. With 3D graphics and an unprecedented use of scripted sequences to advance the story, Half-Life was a major step forward for the first-person shooter genre, and as such represents a logical next step for hackers to use now that the processors of most digital devices are powerful enough to make running Doom increasingly trivial.

Product Review

With outstanding image quality, the ‘basic’ Sony A7 III excels in every way

Replacing the four-year-old A7 II as the new entry-level model in Sony's full-frame line, the A7 III is an impressively capable camera that gives more expensive models a run for their money.

Multi-monitor issues? Here's how to resolve them

If you're running into multi-monitor problems, you're not alone. Two screens are very useful, but they can present some difficulties. Here are some common multi-monitor problems and how to fix them.

Google's Wear OS update 'H' promises battery life improvements

Google has rebranded its Android Wear operating system to Wear OS. Removing the Android name may help people better understand Google-powered smartwatches, which also play nice with iOS devices. 
Home Theater

You can get a top-tier Vizio P Series TV for a song this Black Friday

Vizio has announced a slew of Black Friday deals for those interested in new home theater offerings, but none are more enticing than the deals the company is running on its top-tier P-Series and P-Series Quantum TVs.

Microsoft is reportedly planning an Xbox One without a disc drive for 2019

Microsoft is reportedly planning to release a new Xbox One model without a disc drive in 2019. The console will be significantly cheaper than other Xbox One systems, including the Xbox One S.

15 tips for keeping your vault-dwellers alive in ‘Fallout Shelter’

The wasteland can be an unfriendly place, if you don't know what you're doing. Here are 15 tips that will help your vault thrive in Fallout Shelter, including information on questing.

‘Spyro Reignited Trilogy’ proves nostalgia only goes so far

Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a faithful and beatiful remaster of the PlayStation classics, but its dedication to retaining the original experience ultimately hinders the experience. Spyro was great in the late-'90s, but it hasn't aged well.

Stock up on Switch accessories this week with these awesome Black Friday deals

Black Friday is right around the corner, and it's the perfect time to stock up on accessories for your Nintendo Switch. Here are the best Switch accessory deals on Black Friday, from controllers to cases and more.
Product Review

Make friends. To survive the wasteland of 'Fallout 76,' you're gonna need 'em

Fallout 76 brings the nuclear wasteland online and invites you to hop in with your friends. It’s fun, and a new direction for the Fallout franchise, but it’s not without its faults.

‘Final Fantasy VII Remake’ director sets record straight on game’s progress

Final Fantasy VII Remake director Tetsuya Nomura clarified some information about the game's progress. There were earlier reports that the RPG was put on hold in favor of Kingdom Hearts III, but that is apparently not the case.

From NES to PlayStation, retro gaming is booming. But will it last?

Everyone craves the good old days, and companies like Nintendo and Sony are cashing in with their mini versions of beloved retro consoles. But is this fad built to last or will our fixation with pixelated graphics come and go like mom…

‘Blockchain gaming’ startup gets $16 million in Series A funding

A gaming startup, Mythical Games, has raised $16 million in Series A funding to work on their concept of blockchain gaming. The aim is for the startup to develop games for the PC, console, and mobile markets.

‘Fortnite’ named Ultimate Game of the Year at the Golden Joystick awards

This year's Golden Joysticks, the gaming awards handed out by GamesRadar, have been announced and Fortnite has been named the Ultimate Game of the Year. It beat out Red Dead Redemption for best game, but Red Dead was named critics' choice.

Want to gift a Steam game so you can play with a friend? Here's how to do it

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.