A new Half-Life 2 speedrun world record sees the iconic and terrifying Ravenholm level from Valve’s sci-fi FPS defeated in barely over 2 and a half minutes, just enough time to check Steam and see there’s still no Half-Life 3.
Poison headcrabs, awkward platforming, and the dreaded, nightmarish fast zombies make Ravenholm perhaps the standout level in the 2004 Half-Life sequel. It’s dark, atmospheric, and every new room and area seems to bring with it myriad horrors – of the maybe two dozen times I’ve finished Half-Life 2, Ravenholm is always the section I take most slowly. But perhaps that’s the wrong approach. Speedrunner Jokko has an innovative way of avoiding Ravenholm’s many terrors by simply sprinting, jumping, and bugging their way past, well, everything, in less time than it takes to boil a kettle.
Their new world record belongs to a pretty exclusive and highly challenging Half-Life 2 speedrun category, whereby players use mods to import the twitchier, more responsive, and seemingly quicker movement system from the original Half-Life into the sequel. This allows for a variety of impressive and sometimes unfathomable tricks, like dragging an explosive barrel through most of the level to use as a kind of improvised stepladder to jump out of bounds, or, eventually, standing on top of the barrel, blowing it up with the gravity gun, and using the explosion to propel Gordon Freeman halfway across the map. Jokka also takes advantage of hand grenades, which they unpin, drop, then pick up again in order to boost themselves over Ravenholm’s rooftops. It’s a stunning run, made all the more impressive by the fact this is easily one of the scariest levels in all PC gaming, and Jokko doesn’t seem remotely bothered.
Coming in at an official 2 minutes, 31 seconds, Jokko beats the previous record, held by Ukrainian runner FAIT_qq, by an extremely clutch 4 seconds. It’s yet another chapter in Half-Life’s storied speedrun history, which earlier this year saw the entirety of the original game beaten in just over 26 minutes.
Elsewhere in Half-Life world, fans of the Valve FPS recently got together to set a different type of world record by pushing the Steam concurrent user count to new heights. It’s proof the following for Gordon Freeman is still going strong, as we consider whatever happened to Half-Life 3. If you’re a big Half-Life fan, you might want to check out some of the other best FPS games on PC, or maybe some PC classics that are still worth playing. There’s also more 90s shooter news, as the original Doom now has fully-3D monsters thanks to an ambitious new mod.