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Amazing new Half-Life 2 campaign is like a full, unofficial spin-off

Maybe Half-Life 3 is dead, but there’s a new fan-made campaign for Valve’s superb FPS sequel, serving as an unofficial Half-Life 2 spin-off.

Half-Life 2 Raising the Bar Salvation: A scientist in glasses, Gordon Freeman from Valve FPS game Half-Life 2

20 years. It’s almost 20 actual years since the release of Half-Life 2. We’ve had the Episodes. Half-Life Alyx is fantastic. But when it comes to a full-tilt, loose-end-tying mainline sequel – Half-Life 3 – we’re still waiting, hoping, slowly fading away. Valve’s superlative sci-fi shooter series may one day come back, but in the meantime, Gordon Freeman fans are doing a spectacular job of keeping Half-Life alive. Enter a new Half-Life 2 mod, so big and professionally made to call it a mod feels reductive. This is a proper, finished, fully playable pseudo spin-off to Half-Life 2, casting you as one of the FPS game’s most memorable side characters, trapped in what is certainly the most terrifying place Valve has ever built. We’re going back to Ravenholm.

Raising the Bar Salvation, from the remarkable Raising The Bar development team, picks up the story of Father Gregori where Half-Life 2 left off. After guiding Gordon Freeman to safety, Gregori – or rather, you – decide it’s time to get out of Ravenholm for good.

The problem, however, as you might recall, is that the once idyllic coastal town is infested with headcrabs and zombies. When I think about it, the fast zombie in Half-Life 2 is still one of the most frightening creatures in all FPS games – the sounds, the sounds. Unfortunately, they’re back, in abundance, along with a host of entirely new custom monsters built specifically for Raising the Bar Salvation itself.

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Armed with your faithful lever-action rifle Annabelle and some improvised explosives, you need to torch Ravenholm behind you and safely get to the exit. You’ll learn more about Grigori’s personal backstory, and there’s even an ultra-hardcore permadeath mode. Raising the Bar Salvation looks and sounds terrific, and feels, basically, like it’s been made by Valve itself. Available to play in full, right now, you can get Raising the Bar Salvation here.

Alternatively, if you miss the golden era of Half-Life and the boomer shooter, try some of the best old games. You can also get the best zombie games available on PC.

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