After almost 2 decades Half-Life 2 has been given a free expansion, except it’s not developed by Valve for the FPS game, with it instead being made by a group of fans and released on Steam. Telling a short story of a rebel fighting off Combine in the woods, Half-Life 2 Evacuation isn’t exactly the explosive narrative of Half-Life 3 we’ve all been waiting for, but at least it’s something – and it’s free.
Simply titled “Evacuation” and developed by the Evac Dev. Team, the add-on isn’t exactly a free game, but it is free to download as long as you own Half-Life 2. The unofficial story-driven add-on for Valve’s FPS sees a rebel crash in the woods, where they need to fight off Combine after finding a walkie-talkie and deciding to escape.
The famous crowbar has been replaced with an axe, and the Half-Life 2 companions are replaced with the aforementioned walkie-talkie. You’ll come up against Combine soldiers, Raiders, and Zombies, and have to “destroy a bunch of enemies who don’t mind fighting each other” at the same time.
There are also puzzles to solve, areas to explore, and mechanisms that’ll need you to activate them as well. Half-Life 2 Evacuation also has a completely original soundtrack, which “will immerse you in the atmosphere of the forest,” after all, you don’t want the beats of City 17 blaring into your ears in the tranquility of nature, do you?
What else can be said about this add-on? It’s for Half-Life 2, it’s on Steam, and it’s free, so you really have no excuse if it sounds even remotely like something you’d want to try out. An update also explains how the developer has started to implement balance changes, with NPCs having reduced health and damage output, with your guns also doing slightly more damage too. Bug fixes are soon to follow as well, so keep an eye on the add-on’s Steam page for updates.
Half-Life 2 is absolutely no stranger to fan-developed content, with Valve’s seminal shooter still getting regular bouts of content almost two decades later. A Half-Life 2 remake based on the game’s beta was recently released, and the interesting spin-off Hunt Down the Freeman got a sort of sequel too.