Valve just released a 25th-anniversary update for Half-Life that adds a whole bunch of new content, some welcome quality-of-life upgrades, and even Steam Deck support, according to an announcement on the Half-Life website (Visit the website and click the crowbar at the bottom to find a way to get Half-Life‘s one and only achievement). Also, you can download the game for free for a limited time.
The game now includes Half-Life Uplink, a “mini-campaign” that was originally available only on CDs from magazines and hardware manufacturers, the company says. There are four new multiplayer maps (Contamination, Pool Party, Disposal, and Rocket Frenzy) that Valve says “push the limits of what’s possible in the Half-Life engine.” Valve also added maps and multiplayer character models from a CD called Half-Life: Further Data (Multiplayer maps: Double Cross, Rust Mill, and Xem DM. Characters include skeleton and fan-favorite Too Much Coffee Man).
Valve added some new settings, too, including the ability to play with a widescreen FOV and support for “a proper gamepad config.” The game’s UI has been updated so that it scales for larger screens. (“We built most of this stuff for 640×480 CRTs and apparently some of you have upgraded since then,” Valve says.) The game is now Steam Deck Verified, meaning it should work well on the Steam Deck without any modding.
You really should check out all of the changes and the extensive list of patch notes — this is a meaty update. There are a couple of important notes at the end: the anniversary edition is now “the definitive version” of the game, Valve says, but the old version of the game is still available on a “steam_legacy” beta branch. Valve will also be “reducing the visibility” of Half-Life: Source.
When you’re done reading the patch notes, you can watch the new 25th-anniversary documentary that Valve just uploaded to its YouTube channel. If you don’t already own Half-Life, you can grab it from Steam for free until November 20th at 1 PM US-ET.