Half-Life series is free-to-play until Half-Life: Alyx releases

Yolanda Curtis
January 22, 2020

In preparation for the triumphant return of the Half-Life series in the form of the upcoming Alyx VR sequel, Valve is making all the previous games free-to-play.

Just in time for the release of Half-Life: Alyx in March, Valve is giving away copies of the original Half-Life games on Steam for the next two months.

To that end, all Steam users will be able to download and play Half-Life, Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode 1, and Half-Life 2: Episode 2 for free until Half-Life Alyx launches some time in March. The notification advertising the event went out yesterday by mistake before being officially announced today.

Valve says Half-Life: Alyx was "designed from the ground up" for Virtual Reality and "features all of the hallmarks of a classic Half-Life game", including "world exploration, puzzle solving, visceral combat, and an intricately woven story that connects it all with the characters iconic to the Half-Life universe". Given how crowded the spring release bracket is, Valve needed something to remind us that Alyx was coming, and it succeeded. Thus, the developers believe that the best way to enjoy the new game is to play through the old ones. All of them are excellent, including the two Half-Life spin-offs-Opposing Force and Blue Shift, both of which were made by Gearbox-which don't appear to be part of this promotion. We're still waiting for an official Steam blog post or "collection" page to link to, but in the meantime, you can claim the limited-time offer at each game's individual Steam page (collected at this page for now).

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