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The amazing new Half-Life inspired survival game just got even better

Half-Life, Black Mesa, and classic PC games of the ‘90s combine in a new survival hit that just got way better thanks to a big first update.

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

More than 25 years since the release of Half-Life, and I feel like I know the Black Mesa lab better than my own hometown. The anomalous materials sector, the blast pit, that horrendous underground railway – between Gordon Freeman, G-Man, and myself we could comfortably sit down and hand draw the entire facility. It begs a question: during the resonance cascade, where would be the best place to hide out and try to survive? A huge hit on Steam, one new survival game lets you test your subsistence skills in a parody of gaming’s most famous scientific facility, and it’s just gotten even better thanks to a vital new update.

Abiotic Factor is like a cross between the original Half-Life, The Forest, and the classic, lower-poly aesthetics of the ‘90s. A survival game set in the bowels of a huge underground laboratory, it essentially casts you as one of the unfortunate NPC scientists from Valve’s iconic shooter. Playing solo or with a team of friends, you need to find a defensible corner of Not Black Mesa, scavenge for supplies, and try to keep out of the way of the alien creatures and government clean-up crews now swarming the doomed facility. With a peak of more than 21,000 concurrent players and a 97% positive rating, Abiotic Factor is currently one of Steam’s biggest hits, and now it’s bigger and better.

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The new Abiotic Factor update adds a vital feature in the form of walkie talkies. Until now, you could only communicate with the rest of your squad via proximity chat, but long-range comms are finally possible – if you had a blast with Lethal Company, poring through those galactic ruins while cautiously whispering, and then screaming, into your radio, Abiotic Factor now delivers the same thrill.

Any creatures that you’ve captured, tamed, and turned into pets will now devoutly follow you. There are also two new quasi quests – you need to reactivate a malfunctioning security shutter and recover the identification card from a missing scientist. New recipes are available, should you manage to gather the tools necessary for cooking, and the fearful IS-0091 has been nerfed slightly so it will no longer appear quite as often.

In general, the GATE facility sounds like it’s now a slightly safer place to make your temporary home. The full patch notes outline some more microscopic tweaks and bug fixes, and you can try the early-access version of Abiotic Factor for yourself right here.

Alternatively, if you’re a big Half-Life fan, you should also get the best FPS games, or maybe relive the golden era of the PC with the best old games that you can still run today.

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