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Huge Half-Life 2 prequel mod explores fallout from the Seven-Hour War

Swelter is a new Half-Life 2 prequel mod that answers the question of what happened before Gordon Freeman arrived in City 17 and Valve's iconic shooter sequel.

A new Half-Life 2 prequel has been developed for the FPS game, as a group of fan developers has released a brilliant-looking expansion that aims to fill the gap between the two games. Focusing on the fallout of the original Combine invasion and the Seven-Hour War, this is a shorter campaign in the spirit of Valve’s own HL2 Episode One and Episode Two. If you want a lore-friendly addition to the world of Half-Life 2, or need something to fill the space until Half-Life 3 arrives (which it will, one day, surely) check this out.

Swelter is a Half-Life 2 prequel expansion developed by Snowdrop Escape, and the free game is available for anyone that owns Half-Life 2 on Steam, which let’s face it, is basically all of us at this point.

The prequel takes place between Gordon’s awakening at the start of Half-Life 2 and the Seven-Hour War, which saw the Combine invade and take over Earth in less than a day. While Gordon awakens in Eastern Europe’s City 17, Swelter takes place in Central Asia’s City 545.

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The unofficial Half-Life 2 prequel lasts around two hours, and is filled with the fast-paced gun battles and physics-based puzzles familiar to Valve’s iconic shooter. There’s a new HUD, the ability to aim down sights with weapons, and loads of other new content, too.

“You can expect classic shooter gameplay inspired by the original game, along with puzzles involving physical interaction with objects, vehicle control, and exploration of various locations,” Snowdrop Escape says.

Swelter also looks visually stunning, with loads of original architecture, dried-out roads, steppes, and a gorgeous bright blue sky as well. The Swelter Half-Life 2 mod was released on Steam this week, so you can play it right now.

Huge Half-Life 2 prequel mod explores fallout from the Seven-Hour War

If you want even more Half-Life, 50 pieces of Valve concept art from Left 4 Dead, Counter-Strike, and many canceled Half-Life games have been made available online, with the collector also discussing some detailed info about each historic Valve project.

Half-Life 2 still gets loads of love from the community today and there are plenty of other games just like it, so we’ve got all the best old games you’ll ever need. We’ve also got the very best single-player games too, if you want another linear FPS to fill your time.