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Half-Life reimagined as a new multiplayer survival game, playable now

Mixing Half-Life, The Forest, and more, a new multiplayer survival game tasks you and five friends to stay alive in a Black Mesa-type lab.

Abiotic Factor Steam survival game: A scientist from Steam survival game Abiotic Factor

Black Mesa is a dangerous place. Collapsing walkways, exploding pipes, laser beams burning through the walls. And that’s not to mention the headcrabs, barnacles, and special forces soldiers all trying to chew you up and spit you out. Gordon Freeman is protected by the good old HEV suit, but what about the unfortunate science team? We’ve all seen them, dangling off ladders and getting caught by the HECU satchel charges. The Half-Life scientists remain some of the most iconic NPCs in all of PC gaming. Now, a new multiplayer survival game essentially casts you as the Black Mesa research team, trapped underground, caught between invading aliens and hostile military clean-up crews. With shades of The Forest and Lethal Company, it’s available to play on Steam right now.

This is Abiotic Factor, aptly named for the scientific process whereby non-living elements of an environment change that environment’s entire nature. In this case, the environment is a loving homage to Half-Life’s Black Mesa. The elements, however, are very much alive. Monsters, soldiers, and biological hazards plague every corridor, creating a survival game and FPS whereby you and five friends need to use science, crafting, and building to stay out of danger.

Put simply, you’re the Black Mesa research team, trapped in the lab for months and months, trying to find food, shelter, and defenses as the entire place is gradually overrun.

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Now, if that’s not a great pitch, I don’t know what is. Every play session has different scientific specialties and the research facility (it looks very Black Mesa, but it’s actually called GATE), is enormous. Pick through the offices, raid the storerooms, and brave the surface to try and find what you need. Find a dark corner of one of the maintenance tunnels and build a base. Arm yourself. Go on supply runs. Stay alive. It’s Half-Life, but there’s no Gordon Freeman, no G-Man, and no nuclear bomb. You’re trapped here for the long haul.

We’re still waiting for a full release date, but the new playtest of Abiotic Factor has just gone live, and runs until Monday, January 1. Just head over to Steam and you can sign up and start playing right now.

Alternatively, you might want to try some of the other best FPS games, or maybe the best multiplayer games available on PC.

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