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Half-Life mod challenges you to play Half-Life 2 backwards

Half-Life mod Half-Life 2: Mirrored challenges you to complete Valve’s iconic Steam FPS with everything turned back-to-front, a kind of warped Half-Life 3

Half-Life mod challenges you to play Half-Life 2 backwards: the face of Alyx Vance from Half-Life 2

A new Half-Life mod challenges you to try and beat Half-Life 2 with all the levels, assets, and characters turned back to front, as Valve’s iconic, Steam FPS gets a strange new rework that makes it feel almost like a completely different game – a warped kind of Half-Life 3 that’s arrived from a parallel dimension.

Half-Life 2: Mirrored sounds relatively subtle. It doesn’t transform any assets, add any new content, or mess with the story of Half-Life 2 in any way. All it does is flip the levels horizontal, as if there’s an eponymous mirror planted right down their centre. Instead of exiting the train at the start of the game from the left-hand side of the platform, for example, you exit from the right. When you step out into City 17 for the first time, instead of veering right, you go left. It sounds simple, but after 18 years of playing and replaying Half-Life 2, the effect, frankly, is nauseating.

Especially stomach-churning is the sequence where you first enter Kleiner’s lab. Picture it in your mind. You walk in. On the right is Kleiner trying to coax Hedy down from the vent shaft – directly opposite you is the locker containing the HEV suit. You’ve been here a hundred times. Only now, Kleiner is on the left, and you’re entering from the other side of the room, meaning the television monitors and computer banks are all on your right. Radiation Hazard, a prominent Half-Life YouTuber and content creator, shares some footage of the uncanny, just-feels-so-wrong mod below:

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Developed by modder NvC_DmN_CH, Half-Life 2: Mirrored is available to download now from Mod DB. It comes as we learn a little more about Half-Life 3 courtesy of some leaked, legacy artwork, as well as fresh details on a possible Half-Life RTS which have been gleaned from a datamine of Dota 2.

If you want to know more about the mysterious future of Gordon Freeman and Valve’s FPS series, check out our guide to whatever happened to Half-Life 3. You might also want to try out some of the other best FPS games, or perhaps some of the best action adventures, as we wait – and wait – for further Half-Life news.