Half-Life is officially 25 years old. You might need a moment to absorb that – one of the greatest shooters of all time, which introduced the world to Black Mesa, Gordon Freeman, and the greatest NPC scientists in history, launched a full quarter of a century ago. To take away the sting, Valve has released a slew of new Half-Life material, including an updated version of the original game, restored cut characters and features for Half-Life Deathmatch, and a lot more. But there’s one version of Half-Life that has just been airbrushed from history. As the FPS hits its silver anniversary, Valve has just delisted one iteration from Steam forever.
Half-Life Source arrived in June 2004, just a few months ahead of the defining FPS game sequel Half-Life 2. At the time, we all expected a full remake – or at least something close – using the new, groundbreaking, physics-driven Source engine. What we got was essentially the same Half-Life, but with new water effects and ragdoll deaths. It’s not that Half-Life Source was bad per se. It’s just that everyone expected more, and it felt like an unnecessary, low-effort re-release, rather than a true showcase of Source itself.
Now, with the Half-Life 25th anniversary upon us, Valve makes a statement about Half-Life Source, confirming that although the game will remain on Steam, it will be delisted, and practically impossible to find through search. The updated version of Half-Life, released for the anniversary, is now “definitive.”
“We now consider this anniversary version of Half-Life to be the definitive version, and the one we’ll continue to support going forward,” Valve says. “Therefore, we’ll be reducing the visibility of Half-Life Source on the Steam store. We know Half-Life Source’s assets are still being used by the Source engine community, so it’ll remain available, but we’ll be encouraging new Half-Life players to play this version instead.”
If you access Steam and search for either Half-Life or Half-Life Source, the game will not appear in your results. Searching Google for Half-Life Source will return the game’s Steam page, but it is now renamed ‘Half-Life 1 Source’ and does not carry a rating or any Steam user reviews. The Half-Life 1 Source bundle contains the base re-release and Half-Life Deathmatch Source.
So, if you want to pick up Half-Life and play it again, the renewed, 25th-anniversary version is likely your first port of call. You might also want to try the new, unofficial Portal prequel which just shared some new gameplay footage.
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