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News Retro Half-Life 2 Is Getting Its Biggest Patch In Years

IbizaPocholo

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ibiza

17 years after its initial release, Valve's classic shooter Half-Life 2 is getting a fairly major update, including increased FOV, Vulkan support, and fixes for years-old bugs. The update has been quietly pushed to Half-Life 2's beta branch, which players can opt into by selecting the option in the game's properties tab through Steam.

As reported by PC Gamer, the new update was picked up by YouTuber Tyler McVicker, who calls it the largest update the game has had in at least a decade.

While the update is most likely to ensure that one of Valve's most beloved games runs smoothly on the company's upcoming Steam Deck handheld PC, some care has also gone into adapting the game for modern gaming PCs. The patch increases the FOV cap to 110, pushes a number of bug fixes that apparently have sat unaddressed for years, and includes a number of UI fixes designed to support ultrawide displays.

The new update also includes support for the Vulkan rendering API, which has better compatibility with Linux-based systems like the Steam Deck's SteamOS. Valve's Portal 2 was also updated earlier this year to support Vulkan, and it's likely other games in Valve's library will receive the same treatment thanks to the Steam Deck.

McVicker says that the beta update has some issues still, and isn't quite ready to go live yet. Still, curious players can check out the beta version right now by opting in through Steam's interface.

 

Spukc

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Bruv can’t wait to give this a try later tonight..
i want that sweet freishe 21:9
 
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Kev Kev

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Bragr

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I take this as a sign that Half-Life 3 is coming relatively soon. They are brushing up Half-Life 2 to get ready to release a Half-Life trilogy.

And I'm not kidding. With Half-Life Alyx and Valve's renewed commitment to making games it feels natural now, and with the Steamdeck coming soon, Half-Life 3 is the perfect game to sell that thing.
 

Kupfer

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Im currently playing this now for the first time. This game still looks fantastic.
I played it in 2004 when it was released, and I played it again half a year ago - was surprised how good it is even today, 17 years after release. It still plays crisp, the story is timeless and the physics gimmicks still work today; to be honest, not many games make such a good use of physics even today. The characters and environments are lovingly designed, and there's plenty to explore off-route, despite the tube levels.
I played EP01 right after and started EP02, but I want to wait for the deck to finish playing it. At least then I'll have a game to look forward to when the deck is released.
Highly recommend the episodes.
 

Holammer

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I take this as a sign that Half-Life 3 is coming relatively soon. They are brushing up Half-Life 2 to get ready to release a Half-Life trilogy.

And I'm not kidding. With Half-Life Alyx and Valve's renewed commitment to making games it feels natural now, and with the Steamdeck coming soon, Half-Life 3 is the perfect game to sell that thing.
This is mainly to get all, or at least most of Valve's own titles Deck certified. Not only HL2.
With the Deck also being "just a PC", there's no real killer app for it. Your existing games library that was the killer app all along.

Wasn't half life 2 remastered part of that GeForce now leak. Sounds like groundwork
"half_life_2_remastered" in indeed on the list (I saved a copy).
 

CitizenZ

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This maybe the thing I need after spending 3 weeks basically running around New World.
 
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Urban

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I hope they patched the mid level loading times. Thats the only thing that i hate about HL2. The in/between level loading screens but aside from that its one of the best games ever made.
 

Holammer

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Is there a way to downgrade HL2, I want to play the '04 version. It'd be nice to have the option.
Yes, but it takes a little work. This feature may get some restrictions soon for some games, mostly demanded by publishers I reckon. Because of licensed soundtracks and such.

 

Romulus

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I played it in 2004 when it was released, and I played it again half a year ago - was surprised how good it is even today, 17 years after release. It still plays crisp, the story is timeless and the physics gimmicks still work today; to be honest, not many games make such a good use of physics even today. The characters and environments are lovingly designed, and there's plenty to explore off-route, despite the tube levels.
I played EP01 right after and started EP02, but I want to wait for the deck to finish playing it. At least then I'll have a game to look forward to when the deck is released.
Highly recommend the episodes.


The atmosphere surprises me too. Most modern games have almost none.
 
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Kupfer

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I hope they patched the mid level loading times. Thats the only thing that i hate about HL2. The in/between level loading screens but aside from that its one of the best games ever made.
Back in the days, loading the game from a HDD, it took some time - but by todays hardware its more a 2 second freeze than actual loading.
Wonder if the patch will break any speedruns.
AFAIK speedrunners already use the old version of the game, don't they?
The atmosphere surprises me too. Most modern games have almost none.
It's unique and I don't get everything (cyrillic alphabet for example, still G-man is a mystery). But I don't have to, it's what the game wants the player to feel and it nails it.
 
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Sean Mirrsen

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It's unique and I don't get everything (cyrillic alphabet for example, still G-man is a mystery). But I don't have to, it's what the game wants the player to feel and it nails it.
The cyrillics at least are due to being set somewhere in eastern europe. (or more like, all over eastern europe; City 17 is kind of like a slavic Springfield) It's also evident in architecture and the various cars you find wrecked on the streets.
 

Kupfer

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The cyrillics at least are due to being set somewhere in eastern europe. (or more like, all over eastern europe; City 17 is kind of like a slavic Springfield) It's also evident in architecture and the various cars you find wrecked on the streets.
Yes I get that. But why eastern europe? And why is it habitated by more americans than eastern europeans? It definately makes the game more mysterious.
 

Vagswarm

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One of the first games I played after getting this new laptop and back into PC gaming. Can confirm it still holds up incredibly well to this day.
 

DGrayson

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For the first time?



yoo wen GIF
lol ya.

Played HL1 about 5 years ago, and the 3 expansions over the last couple years, as well as Portal 1 and 2 (started a LTTP about it here).

So on HL2 now.
 

STARSBarry

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lol ya.

Played HL1 about 5 years ago, and the 3 expansions over the last couple years, as well as Portal 1 and 2 (started a LTTP about it here).

So on HL2 now.

It's a shame you missed out on the extended online community and mod scene involved in that way back in the day, kickstarted alot of careers that decade, all thanks to the goldsource engine modding scene.

Even now you can see the effects today, Counter Strike and Team Fortress are the most well known, however things like Natural Selection and its sequel allowed for the creation of the team behind Subnautica. Day of Defeat's team resulted in the Insurgency and Day of Infamy team...

Now I feel old, but man what a decade for experimental online experiences... if only there was a modern day Science & Industry game... nothing quite like it.
 
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VN1X

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lol ya.

Played HL1 about 5 years ago, and the 3 expansions over the last couple years, as well as Portal 1 and 2 (started a LTTP about it here).

So on HL2 now.
How come you never played these at release?

Are you a zoomer?
 
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DGrayson

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How come you never played these at release?

Are you a zoomer?

No I wasn't playing a lot of video games during that time. And when I did it was mostly console. Didn't get back into pc gaming until 2013.
 

Wonko_C

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Hopefully they update Half Life Alyx to not need VR, that'd be a great drop near the time of the Steam Deck drop.
You know? Maybe I was "against it" when the game was new but, I'm all for choice. Make Alyx non-VR and make their next Half-Life playable both in VR and flat. Everybody wins.
 
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carlosrox

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Hope they fix that dumb shit where you sink like a rock underwater.

Please don't auto reload my weapons when I switch them out either. Such a dumb feature.

Let the weapon selection stay up for more than 2 seconds too please.
 

mindfreak191

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The cyrillics at least are due to being set somewhere in eastern europe. (or more like, all over eastern europe; City 17 is kind of like a slavic Springfield) It's also evident in architecture and the various cars you find wrecked on the streets.
Oh boy, I remember back in the day all gaming magazines that I read trying to claim that City 17 was based on a city in their country, Croats claimed it was Zagreb while Serbs were convinced it was Belgrade lol We eastern Europeans have so much pride for even a mention of our shit in western media lmao
 
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Hopefully they update Half Life Alyx to not need VR, that'd be a great drop near the time of the Steam Deck drop.
While it makes sense from a business stand point, Alyx without VR is just not Alyx.

And don't get upset, but your post just feels like port begging 2.0.
 

Kuranghi

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Hey DGrayson DGrayson , if you see spray-painted lamba symbols (The HL logo) that means a resistance cache is nearby (ammo + health, etc). I don't think the game ever explicitly tells you that so keep an eye out for them. Mostly during the vehicle sections but throughout the whole game afaik.
 
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DGrayson

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Hey DGrayson DGrayson , if you see spray-painted lamba symbols (The HL logo) that means a resistance cache is nearby (ammo + health, etc). I don't think the game ever explicitly tells you that so keep an eye out for them. Mostly during the vehicle sections but throughout the whole game afaik.

Ya there is now an in game counter. When you find those caches it shows you how many you have found vs the total (I guess its an acheivement).
 
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Kuranghi

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Ya there is now an in game counter. When you find those caches it shows you how many you have found vs the total (I guess its an acheivement).

Ah ofc! I was playing it in 2004 so I dont think they had that then, it took over 8 hours just to verify the files after downloading, so thank yourself lucky you don't have to do that!
 
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kiphalfton

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Im currently playing this now for the first time. This game still looks fantastic.

I'm playing Black Mesa currently, and it looks fine... however, it runs like crap, mapping controls to a controller doesn't stick, and navigating menus with a controller is a nightmare.

I imagine HL2 and the xpansions are worlds better than Black Mesa, since the former is made by valve, but if not I don't think I'll ever play HL2 on PC.