Four of the best PC games ever made are free right now. Valve has made the previous Half-Life games and episodes free to play for Steam users from now until Half-Life: Alyx’s launch in March.
That’s Half-Life, Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One, and Half-Life 2: Episode Two free of charge. And yes, while the original game is 22 years old now (!), and even the episodes are no spring chickens at 13 and 14 respectively, they still hold up remarkable well considering.
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“Half-Life: Alyx is set before the events of Half-Life 2 and the episodes, but the games share characters and story elements,” Valve explained in the announcement post. “The Half-Life: Alyx team believes that the best way to enjoy the new game is to play through the old ones, especially Half-Life 2 and the episodes, so we want to make that as easy as possible.”
It doesn’t look like the games can just be nabbed free without charge via the store, where they’re showing the same price as ever, but clicking the links in the post worked for me. So click here, follow the links and enjoy some of the finest first-person shooters ever made, gratis.
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As for Half Life: Alyx, details are pretty scarce at the moment, but a few details are known ahead of its March release date. It’s a PC virtual reality exclusive, for a start, though thankfully it’s not just confined to Valve’s own headset. And while past VR experiences have been bite-sized minigames, we’re promised this will be a full game of a similar length to the previous installments.
As the title suggests, it’ll relate not to Gordon Freeman but to Alyx Vance. Set before the events of Half Life 2, you’ll step into Alyx’s shoes investigating the nature of the Combine oppressors and attempting to thwart their plans. You can watch the full trailer below.