Half-Life 2 Remastered for Free on Steam

Valve-anointed mod renovates City 17 with improved lighting, enhanced visual detail, and numerous bug fixes.


Half-Life 2

A comprehensive fan-made update for Half-Life 2, which makes sweeping changes to the 11-year-old game's visuals, has gone live on Steam.

The 7 GB update adds in subtle visual effects that essentially restore the look of Valve's seminal first-person shooter. Known simply as Half-Life 2: Update, the remaster is the product of three years' development from a team of modders, with the project sanctioned and supported by Valve.

According to promotional materials, Half-Life 2: Update delivers "improvements to lighting, special effects, increased world detail, countless bug fixes, and an original Community Commentary mode." A new trailer can be found below, while a comparison video is embedded above.

Click on the thumbnails below for a closer look at the updated game's visuals
Click on the thumbnails below for a closer look at the updated game's visuals
Gallery image 1Gallery image 2Gallery image 3Gallery image 4Gallery image 5Gallery image 6Gallery image 7Gallery image 8Gallery image 9Gallery image 10Gallery image 11Gallery image 12Gallery image 13Gallery image 14Gallery image 15Gallery image 16

Project lead Filip Victor said the remaster brings Half-Life 2 to the same standards as its episodic sequels, Half-Life 2: Episode 1, and Half-Life 2: Episode 2, "and just a little bit beyond."

He 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."

“My goal is to create something that will draw new players to the Half-Life series, but not alienate long-time fans. Half-Life 2: Update shouldn't be seen as a mod, but as a true update to what is already there."

Along with major improvements to the visuals, Half-Life 2 adds an optional Community Commentary mode, which contains more than 100 in-game audio nodes that, when activated in-game, discuss the original Half-Life 2's development. These are voiced by some well-known YouTubers such as Caddicarus, Brutalmoose, Rice Pirate, ProJared, and Balrog the Master.

The Steam Store page for Half-Life 2: Update can be found here.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

  •   View Comments (0)
    Join the conversation
    There are no comments about this story