Half-Life and Half-Life 2 are already pretty frightening. In the original Valve classic, it’s the subaquatic ichthyosaur that seriously brings the scares, with that buggy movement and the way it glitches into the camera. Half-Life 2 meanwhile could easily feature among the best horror games of the last 20 years. The fast zombies. The black headcrabs. That part in HL2 Episode Two where you’re crawling through the Antlion nest. Yeesh. But now the adventures of Gordon Freeman have gotten even more terrifying, with a new Half-Life horror experience where you play as a Combine researcher, exploring the ruins of Black Mesa.
Created by Team Vestige, Half-Life Disrepair is a lore-friendly reimagining of the Half-Life formula. Set between the events of the first and second games, it casts you as a solitary Combine scientist, sent to the rubble of the Black Mesa lab to find and photograph a series of ‘anomalies’ that could unlock the secret to new, powerful weapons and technology. But if you’re used to gunning down Civil Protection troops and crowbarring barnacles, you’re in for a surprise.
Half-Life Disrepair plays more like Amnesia The Dark Descent or the classic Slender The Eight Pages. Clutching a flashlight, you tread through the halls of Black Mesa, eerily redesigned using pixelation and monochrome.
In the distance, the shrieks and wails of who-knows-what. As you hack into and photograph each anomaly, you gradually uncover the diaries of erstwhile Black Mesa employees, and it becomes clear they were in the process of creating something very sinister indeed.
If you want to play Half-Life Disrepair, you’ll need a copy of Half-Life 2 Episode 2, which the mod uses as a base. Best played in the dark and with headphones cranked up to maximum, you can download the entire mod right here.
Alternatively, you might want to try some of the other greatest old games, if reading about Half-Life has put you in the mood for nostalgia. You’ll also want to read all about what happened to Half-Life 3, which we swear is out there somewhere.