Half-Life 2

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Half-Life 2

One of three covers for Half-Life 2. This cover shows the series' protagonist, Gordon Freeman; the others show Alyx Vance and the G-Man.
Developer(s) Valve Corporation
Publisher(s) Sierra Entertainment (expired)
Valve Corporation
Distributor(s) Electronic Arts (retail)
Steam (online)
Composer(s) Kelly Bailey
Series Half-Life
Engine Source engine, Havok physics
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Release date(s)
Genre(s) First-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s) BBFC: 15
PEGI: 18+
PEGI: 15+ (Finland)
Media CD, DVD, download or Blu-Ray
System requirements 1.2 GHz processor, 256 MB RAM, DirectX 6 level graphics card, Internet connection (broadband or better recommended)
Input methods Keyboard, mouse (a joystick is also supported on PC), Gamepad

Half-Life 2 is a science fiction first-person shooter computer game and the sequel to the highly acclaimed Half-Life. It was developed by Valve Corporation and was released on November 16, 2004, following a protracted five-year,[3] $40 million[4] development cycle during which the game’s source code was leaked to the Internet.[5] The game uses the Source game engine, which includes a heavily modified version of the Havok physics engine.[6] Originally available only for Windows-based personal computers, the game has since been ported to the Xbox, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 video game consoles.[7]

Half-Life 2 takes place in a dystopian world in which the events of Half-Life have fully come to bear on human society, which has been enslaved by the extraterrestrial civilization known as the Combine. The game takes place in and around the fictional City 17 and follows the adventures of scientist Gordon Freeman. Freeman must fight against increasingly unfavorable odds in order to survive.

Half-Life 2 garnered near-unanimous positive reviews and received critical acclaim,[8][9] winning over 35 PC Game of the Year awards for 2004.[10] The game has been critically praised for its advances in computer animation, sound, narration, computer graphics, artificial intelligence (AI), and physics.

As of December 3, 2008, over 6.5 million copies of Half-Life 2 have been sold at retail.[11] Although Steam sales figures are unknown, their rate surpassed retail's in mid-2008[12] and they are significantly more profitable per-unit.[11]

According to GameSpy, Half-Life 2 is the fifth most played online computer game (excluding MMOGs).[13]


[edit] Gameplay

A screenshot of the player engaging a group of antlions. Along the bottom of the screen the player's health, energy and ammunition are displayed.

Half-Life 2 plays similarly to its predecessor. The player navigates through a linear set of levels, fighting off transhuman troops known as the Combine as well as hostile alien creatures. Puzzles and sequences involving vehicles are interspersed throughout the game, breaking up moments of combat.[14]

Since Half-Life 2 is a first-person shooter, the gameworld is always presented from Gordon Freeman's perspective, and the player is implicitly asked to place himself or herself in Gordon's shoes. A heads-up display at the bottom of the screen shows the player's health, energy, and ammunition status, while a toggle screen shows available weapons at the top. Health and energy can be replenished by picking up medical supplies and energy cells respectively, or by using wall-mounted charging devices.[15]

The player defeats enemies with an assortment of weapons. The game's available arsenal consists largely of modern-day weapons, primarily pistols and shotguns, though more elaborate weapons are available, such as a crossbow that shoots hot metal rods, and a pheromone pod that summons alien creatures. The Source engine's physics capabilities extend into combat via a special device called the Zero-Point Energy Field Manipulator, or "gravity gun." Using this device, the player can pick up objects and either hurl them at enemies or hold them in place to create a makeshift shield.[16] The gravity gun can also perform a variety of non-combat functions, such as grabbing out-of-reach supplies, forming bridges across gaps, and flipping overturned vehicles.[17]

Many puzzles use the game's physics engine. For example, one puzzle requires the player to either turn a seesaw-like lever into a ramp by placing cinder blocks at one end, or to stack wooden crates to form a crude stairway.[18] Puzzles are frequently solved with the gravity gun. One puzzle has the player clear a highway by using the gravity gun to push numerous abandoned vehicles out of the way.[19]

Another major development from the original Half-Life is the introduction of vehicular sections; while the original featured several sections on trains, the sequel features sections where the player makes use of fully functional vehicles such as cars or boats.

[edit] Multiplayer

Half-Life 2 was released without a multiplayer component, and was instead packaged with Counter-Strike: Source.[17] A few weeks later, Valve released Half-Life 2: Deathmatch on Steam.[20] The goal of the game is to kill as many other players as possible, using a variety of means, in either free-for-all or team-based matches.[21] A subsequent update to the game added an additional map and three new weapons.[22] The Xbox release of Half-Life 2 contains no multiplayer component,[23] however the re-release of Half-Life 2, packaged as The Orange Box for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, includes the multiplayer game Team Fortress 2.[24][25]

[edit] Synopsis

[edit] Setting

The original Half-Life takes place at a remote civilian and military laboratory called the Black Mesa Research Facility. During an experiment, researchers at Black Mesa accidentally cause a "resonance cascade" which rips open a portal to an alien world, Xen. Creatures from Xen flood into Black Mesa via the portal and start killing everyone in sight. The player takes on the role of Gordon Freeman, one of the research scientists who had been involved in the accident and who now must escape the facility.

At the end of the game, a mysterious figure colloquially known as the G-Man extracts Gordon from Black Mesa and "offers" him employment. Gordon is subsequently put into stasis.[26]

In Half-Life 2, the story resumes an indeterminate number of years after the Black Mesa incident, with the G-Man taking Freeman out of stasis and inserting him into a train en route to City 17. Official sources differ on the actual length of the intermission; a story fragment written by author Marc Laidlaw for the development team puts the intermission at ten years,[27] while Half-Life 2: Episode One's website puts this intermission as "nearly two decades"[28]. The game is set on Earth which has been conquered by the extraterrestial civilization known as the Combine. This information is not directly relayed to the player; in fact, the friendly characters that Freeman encounters appear unaware of the stasis he was put in and assume that he has full knowledge of everything that went on since Half-Life.

The environments in Half-Life 2, in accordance with the game's story, all have a distinct post-apocalyptic theme, yet in design they are varied, and include the Eastern European-styled City 17, the zombie-infested Ravenholm; the coastal Nova Prospekt prison and the massive Combine Citadel. Viktor Antonov, the art director of Half-Life 2, who spent his childhood in Bulgaria, wrote that the developers consciously modeled Half-Life 2's setting on Eastern Europe because they were fascinated by the region's combination of both new and old architecture and desired to infuse City 17 and its environs with the same sense of history.

[edit] Plot

At the start of the game, the G-Man speaks to Gordon Freeman in a hallucination-like vision as he pulls Gordon out of stasis and places him on a train going to City 17 (to the slight confusion of the other passengers). When the train arrives, Gordon gets off and proceeds through the Combine's security checkpoints where he is detained by a civil protection officer. Once in an interrogation room, the officer reveals himself to be Freeman's former co-worker and colleague, Barney Calhoun, and helps Freeman to get to Dr. Isaac Kleiner's laboratory. After meeting Alyx Vance, Freeman is instructed by Kleiner to step into a makeshift teleporter so that he can be safely extracted to the anti-Combine resistance base Black Mesa East along with Alyx, headed by her father, Dr. Eli Vance. However, Kleiner's pet headcrab Lamarr disrupts the machine, and Freeman finds himself - after briefly appearing in several different locations including in the office of Dr. Breen, the administrator of Earth on behalf of Combine - just outside Kleiner's lab. With the Combine now alerted to his presence, Freeman works his way through the drained canal system,[29] avoiding enemy forces and using the help of human resistance fighters who see Freeman as a messianic figure,[30] to safely arrive at Black Mesa East.

Dr. Vance and Dr. Judith Mossman debrief Freeman on events since the incident at Black Mesa. As Alyx is introducing Freeman to Dog, her pet robot, and showing him how to use the new Zero-Point Energy Field Manipulator ("gravity gun"), the lab is attacked and Dr. Vance is captured. Freeman is separated from Alyx, but she explains that he must travel to Nova Prospekt, a detention facility, in order to save her father.[31] Along the way, Freeman encounters other allies, including Father Grigori in the zombie-infested town of Ravenholm,[32] and Colonel Odessa Cubbage and his forces. After making his way across an Antlion-infested beach, Freeman reaches Nova Prospekt and begins to search for Dr. Vance.[33] Alyx eventually reaches him and joins in his search. Together, they discover that Dr. Mossman is a spy for the Combine, but before they can stop her, she teleports herself and Dr. Vance back to the Combine headquarters known as Citadel using a prototype teleporter.

Freeman and Alyx attempt to follow, but the teleporter explodes as they use it; they materialize in Kleiner's lab one week later, discovering that their actions in Nova Prospekt have inspired the human resistance to mount a full-scale rebellion, turning City 17 into a battlefield.[34] Alyx helps to assist Dr. Kleiner and other innocent humans to escape the city, while Freeman joins with the human resistance to dispatch the Combine forces. As the resistance gains the upper hand, Alyx is captured by the Combine and taken to the Citadel.[35] Freeman enters the Citadel to rescue Alyx but as he enters, all his weapons except the gravity gun are destroyed by an energy field; the gravity gun reacts to the field and becomes much more powerful, and Freeman uses it to remove the Combine forces in his path.[36] Freeman eventually reaches Dr. Breen's office, where Dr. Mossman is also waiting. As Dr. Mossman brings in Alyx and Dr. Vance, Dr. Breen attempts to threaten the Vances, but Judith Mossman has a change of heart and releases the three prisoners. Dr. Breen flees to the Dark Energy Reactor at the top of the Citadel and attempts to teleport away from Earth. Freeman pursues him and attacks the reactor.[37] As the reactor begins to explode a few yards away from Freeman and Alyx, time stops and the G-Man appears. He comments on Gordon's successful endeavors and then places him back into stasis before leaving through a door of pure light.

[edit] Narrative

Throughout the entirety of Half-Life 2, Gordon never speaks, and the player views the action through his eyes only. There are no cut scenes, nor are there any discontinuities or jumps in time from the player's point of view. Some have criticized these design decisions as narrative holdovers from Half-Life,[38] that effectively limit how much of the back-story is explained. Due to the lack of cut scenes, the player never directly sees what happens in Gordon's absence.

The ending of Half-Life 2 is also very similar to that of the original: after completing a difficult task against seemingly overwhelming odds, Gordon is extracted by the G-Man. Gordon is smugly congratulated and told that further assignments should follow. The fates of many of the major characters, such as Alyx, Eli, and Judith, go unexplained. Very few of the questions raised by Half-Life are answered, and several new ones are presented. The identity and nature of the G-Man remains a mystery. A number of these issues are addressed, however, in the sequel games, Episode One and Episode Two.[26][39][40][41]

[edit] Production

[edit] Development

A square in City 17, showing the Source engine's lighting and shadow effects

For Half-Life 2, Valve Corporation developed a new game engine called the Source engine, which handles the game's visual, audio, and artificial intelligence elements. The Source engine comes packaged with a heavily modified version of the Havok physics engine that allows for an extra dimension of interactivity in both single-player and online environments.[42] The engine can be easily upgraded because it is separated in modules. When coupled with Steam, it becomes easy to roll out new features. One such example is high dynamic range rendering, which Valve incorporated into a free downloadable level called Lost Coast for owners of Half-Life 2.[43] Several other games use the Source engine, including Day of Defeat: Source and Counter-Strike: Source, both of which were also developed by Valve.[44] Also using Source is Dark Messiah, and the upcoming game The Crossing, both developed by Arkane Studios.[45]

Integral to Half-Life 2 is the Steam content delivery system developed by Valve Corporation. All Half-Life 2 players on PC are required to have Steam installed and a valid account in order to play.[46] Steam allows customers to purchase games and other software straight from the developer and have them downloaded directly to their computer as well as receiving "micro updates." These updates also make hacking the game harder to do and has thus far been somewhat successful in staving off cheats and playability for users with unauthorized copies.[47] Steam can also be used for finding and playing multiplayer games through an integrated server browser and friends list, and game data can be backed up with a standard CD or DVD burner. Steam and a customer’s purchased content can be downloaded onto any computer, as long as that account is only logged in at one location at a given time. The usage of Steam has not gone without controversy.[48] Some users have reported numerous problems with Steam, sometimes being serious enough to prevent a reviewer from recommending a given title available on the service. In other cases, review scores have been lowered.[49] Long download times, seemingly unnecessary updates, and verification checks are criticisms leveled by critics of the system’s use for single-player games such as Half-Life 2.[50][51] Regardless of whether or not a customer intends to use any multiplayer features, the computer on which the game was installed must have Steam and an Internet connection to verify the transaction.

The book Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar revealed many of the game’s original settings and action that were cut down or removed from the game. Half-Life 2 was originally intended to be a darker game with grittier artwork, where the Combine were more obviously draining the oceans for minerals and replacing the atmosphere with noxious, murky gases. Nova Prospekt was originally intended to be a small Combine rail depot built on an old prison in the wasteland. Eventually, Nova Prospekt grew from a stopping-off point along the way to the destination itself.[27] Half-Life 2 was also originally intended to be more diverse in settings. The book mentions how originally, the player was to follow a different journey from what is in the final release. Weapons were also cut from the game, including the OICW seen in an E3 demonstration video and two different models of the gravity gun; a level was also cut from Ravenholm, dubbed "Traptown". Initially, a sniper rifle was included as one of the weapons Gordon Freeman could wield, but it was replaced by the crossbow.[27]

[edit] Source code leak

Half-Life 2 was merely a rumor until a strong impression at E3 in May 2003 launched it into high levels of hype, where it won several awards for best in show. It had a release date of September 2003, but was delayed. This pushing back of HL2’s release date came in the wake of the cracking of Valve's internal network,[52] through a null session connection to Tangis which was hosted in Valve's network and a subsequent upload of an ASP shell, resulting in the leak of the game's source code in early September 2003.[53] On October 2, 2003, Valve CEO Gabe Newell publicly explained in the HalfLife2.net forums the events that Valve experienced around the time of the leak, and requested users to track down the perpetrators if possible.

In June 2004, Valve Software announced in a press release that the FBI had arrested several people suspected of involvement in the source code leak.[54] Valve claimed the game had been leaked by a German black-hat hacker named Axel Gembe. Gembe later contacted Newell through e-mail (also providing an unreleased document planning the E3 events). Gembe was led into believing that Valve wanted to employ him as an in-house security auditor. He was to be offered a flight to the USA and was to be arrested on arrival by the FBI. When the German government became aware of the plan, Gembe was arrested in Germany instead, and put on trial for the leak as well as other computer crimes in November 2006, such as the creation of Agobot, a highly successful trojan which harvested users' data.[55][56][57]

At the trial in November 2006 in Germany, Gembe was sentenced to two years' probation. In imposing the sentence, the judge took into account such factors as Gembe's difficult childhood and the fact that he was taking steps to improve his situation.[58]

[edit] Contract dispute

On September 20, 2004, the gaming public learned through GameSpot that the parent company to publisher Sierra Entertainment, Vivendi Universal Games (VUG), was in a legal battle with Valve Software over the distribution of Half-Life 2 to cyber cafés. This is important for the Asian PC gaming market where PC and broadband penetration per capita are much lower (except Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan). Therefore, cyber cafés are extremely popular for playing online games for large numbers of people.[59]

According to VUG, the distribution contract they signed with Valve included cyber cafés. This would mean that only VUG could distribute Half-Life 2 to cyber cafés—not Valve through the Steam system. On November 29, 2004, Judge Thomas S. Zilly, of U.S. Federal District Court in Seattle, WA, ruled that Sierra/Vivendi Universal Games, and its affiliates, are not authorized to distribute (directly or indirectly) Valve games through cyber cafés to end users for pay-to-play activities pursuant to the parties' current publishing agreement. In addition, Judge Zilly ruled in favor of the Valve motion regarding the contractual limitation of liability, allowing Valve to recover copyright damages for any infringement as allowed by law without regard to the publishing agreement’s limitation of liability clause.[60]

On April 29, 2005, the two parties announced a settlement agreement. Under the agreement, VUG would cease distributing all retail packaged versions of Valve games by August 31, 2005. VUG also was to notify distributors and cyber cafés that had been licensed by VUG and Sierra that only Valve had the authority to distribute cyber café licenses, and hence their licenses were revoked and switched to Valve's.[61]

[edit] Soundtrack

All listed tracks were composed by Kelly Bailey.[62] Purchasers of the Gold Package of the game were given (among other things) a CD soundtrack containing nearly all the music from the game, along with three bonus tracks. This CD is available for separate purchase via the Valve online store.

Tracks 16, 18 and 42 are bonus tracks that are exclusive to the CD soundtrack. Tracks 44 to 51 are tracks from the game that did not appear on the soundtrack CD. Many of the tracks were retitled and carried over from the Half-Life soundtrack; The names in parentheses are the original titles. Tracks 34, 41, and 42 are remixes.

[edit] Release

[edit] Distribution

A 1GB portion of Half-Life 2 became available for pre-load through Steam on August 26, 2004. This meant that customers could begin to download encrypted game files to their computer before the game was released. When the game’s release date arrived, customers were able to pay for the game through Steam, unlock the files on their hard drives and play the game immediately, without having to wait for the whole game to download. The pre-load period lasted for several weeks, with several subsequent portions of the game being made available, to ensure all customers had a chance to download the content before the game was released.[63]

Half-Life 2 was simultaneously released through Steam, CD, and on DVD in several editions. Through Steam, Half-Life 2 had three packages that a customer could order. The basic version ("Bronze") includes only Half-Life 2 and Counter-Strike: Source, whereas the "Silver" and "Gold" (collector’s edition) versions also include Half-Life: Source and Day of Defeat: Source (ports of the original Half-Life and Day of Defeat mod to the new engine) as well as the right to download all previous games by Valve through Steam. The collector’s edition/Gold version additionally includes merchandise such as a t-shirt, a strategy guide, and a CD containing the soundtrack used in Half-Life 2. Both the disc and Steam version require Steam to be installed and active for play.[64]

A demo version with the file size of a single CD was later made available in December 2004 at the web site of graphics card manufacturer ATI Technologies, who teamed up with Valve for the game. The demo contains part of the opening level of the game, and also part of the chapter "We Don't Go To Ravenholm." In September 2005, Electronic Arts distributed the Game of the Year edition of Half-Life 2. Compared to the original CD-release of Half-Life 2, the GOTY edition adds Half-Life: Source.[65]

On December 22, 2005, Valve released a 64-bit version of the Source game engine that theoretically takes advantage of AMD64 or EM64T processor-based systems running Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows Server 2003 x64, Windows Vista x64, or Windows Server 2008 x64. This update, delivered via Steam, enabled Half-Life 2 and other Source-based games to run natively on 64 bit processors, bypassing the 32-bit compatibility layer. Gabe Newell, one of the founders of Valve, stated that this is "an important step in the evolution of our game content and tools," and that the game benefits greatly from the update.[66] The response to the release varied: some users reported huge performance boosts, while technology site Techgage found several stability issues and no notable frame rate improvement.[67] 64-bit users have widely reported bizarre in-game errors including characters dropping dead, game script files not being pre-cached (i.e., loaded when first requested instead), map rules being bent by AI, and other glitches.[68] As of November 2008 the 64-bit fork of Half-Life 2 has been abandoned. Due to an error in update distribution, Half-Life 2 in 64-bit mode often freezes upon loading. Users of 64-bit operating systems now have to run Half-Life 2 in forced 32-bit compatability mode as a workaround, with no foreseeable official fix.

An Xbox port published by Electronic Arts was released on November 15, 2005. While subject to positive reception, critics cited its lack of multiplayer and frame-rate issues as problems, and the game received somewhat lower scores than its PC counterpart.[69]

During Electronic Arts’s summer press event on July 13, 2006, Gabe Newell, cofounder of Valve Corporation, announced that Half-Life 2 would ship on next-generation consoles (specifically, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360) along with episodes One and Two, Team Fortress 2, and Portal[7] in a package called The Orange Box. The Windows version was released on October 10, 2007 as both retail boxed copy, and as a download available through Valve’s Steam service. The Xbox 360 version was also released on October 10, 2007. A PlayStation 3 version was released on December 11, 2007.[70]

The popularity of Half-Life 2 and the Half-Life series has led way to an array of side products and collectibles. Valve offers Half-Life-related products such as a plush vortigaunt, plush headcrab,[71] posters, clothing and mousepads.[72]

[edit] Critical response

Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 96%[8]
Metacritic 96%[73]
Review scores
Publication Score
Edge 10/10[74]
GamePro 10/10[75]
GameSpy 5/5[76]
IGN 9.7/10[77]
Maximum PC 11/10[78]
PC Gamer US 98%[79]
The Cincinnati Enquirer 4/4[80]
The New York Times Positive[81]

Half-Life 2’s public reception was overwhelmingly positive in terms of reviews, acclaim and sales. As of 2008, 6.5 million retail copies have been sold, but this does not include number of Steam purchases, which would most likely put the game at an estimated 8.3 – 8.6 million copies sold.[82]. The game became one of the most critically acclaimed video games in history. It received an aggregated score of 96% on both GameRankings and Metacritic.[8][73] Sources such as GameSpy,[76] The Cincinnati Enquirer,[80] and The New York Times[81] have given perfect reviewing scores, and others such as PC Gamer[79] and IGN[77] gave near-perfect scores, while the game became the fifth title to receive Edge magazine’s ten-out-of-ten score.[74] Critics who applauded the game cited the advanced graphics and physics[81] along with the relatively low system requirements.[75] Maximum PC awarded Half-Life 2 an unprecedented 11 on their rating scale which normally peaks at 10, and named it the "best game ever made".[78]

Several critics, including some that had given positive reviews, complained about the required usage of the program Steam, the requirement to create an account, register the products, and permanently lock them to the account before being allowed to play, along with complications making it difficult to install and lack of support.[81]

[edit] Awards

Half-Life 2 earned over 35 Game of the Year awards,[10] including Overall Game of the Year at IGN, GameSpot’s Award for Best Shooter, GameSpot’s Reader’s Choice - PC Game of the Year Award, Game of the Year from The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, and "Best Game" with the Game Developers Choice Awards, where it was also given various awards for technology, characters, and writing. Edge magazine awarded Half Life 2 with its top honor of the year with the award for Best Game, as well as awards for Innovation and Visual Design. The game also had a strong showing at the 2004 BAFTA Games Awards, picking up six awards, more than any other game that night, with awards including "Best Game" and "Best Online Game."[83]

Guinness World Records awarded Half-Life 2 the world record for "Highest Rated Shooter by PC Gamer Magazine" in the Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008. Other records awarded the game in the book include, "Largest Digital Distribution Channel" for Valve's Steam service, "First Game to Feature a Gravity Gun", and "First PC Game to Feature Developer Commentary".[84]

[edit] Expansions and modifications

Since the release of Half-Life 2, Valve Corporation has released an additional level and two additional "expansion" sequels. The level, "Lost Coast," takes place between the levels "Highway 17" and "Sandtraps" and is primarily a showcase for high dynamic range rendering (HDR) technology. The first "expansion" sequel, Half-Life 2: Episode One, takes place immediately after the events of Half-Life 2, with the player taking on the role of Gordon Freeman once again and with Alyx Vance playing a more prominent role. Half-Life 2: Episode Two continues directly from the ending of Episode One, with Alyx and Gordon making their way to White Forest Missile base, the latest hideout of the resistance. A further "episode" is set to be released in the future, dubbed Episode Three; being the last expansion, "in a trilogy."[85] In an interview with Eurogamer, Gabe Newell revealed that the Half-Life 2 "episodes" are essentially Half-Life 3.[86] He reasons that rather than force fans to wait another six years for a full sequel, Valve Corporation would release the game in episodic installments.[86] Newell admits that a more correct title for these episodes should have been "Half-Life 3: Episode One" and so forth, having referred to the episodes as Half-Life 3 repeatedly through the interview.[86]

[edit] Third-party mods

Since the release of the Source engine SDK, a large number of modifications (mods) have been developed by the Half-Life 2 community. Mods vary in scale, from fan-created levels and weapons, to partial conversions such as Rock 24, Half-Life 2 Substance and Smod (which modify the storyline and gameplay of the pre-existing game), SourceForts and Garry's Mod (which allow the player to experiment with the physics system in a sandbox mode), to total conversions such as Dystopia, Zombie Master or Iron Grip: The Oppression, the latter of which transforms the game from a first-person shooter into a real-time strategy game. Some mods take place in the Half-Life universe; others in completely original settings; while some are tributes to other games, such as GoldenEye: Source, a recreation of GoldenEye 007, and Resident Evil: Twilight, based on the Resident Evil series. Many more mods are still in development, including Neotokyo, The Myraid, and the episodic single-player mod MINERVA. Several multiplayer mods, such as Pirates, Vikings and Knights II, a predominately sword-fighting game, Insurgency: Modern Infantry Combat, which focuses on realistic modern infantry combat and Jailbreak Source have been opened to the public as a beta.[87][88] As part of its community support, Valve announced in September 2008 that several mods, with more planned in the future, were being integrated into the Steamworks program, allowing the mods to make full use of Steam's distribution and update capabilities.[89]

Valve Corporation’s Half-Life: Source was a direct conversion of the original game to the Source engine. Black Mesa is an unofficial mod under development that attempts to fully recreate the original Half-Life from the ground up using improved graphics, while maintaining the original storyline and level design.[90]

[edit] References

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  3. ^ Keighley, Geoff. "Behind the Games: The Final Hours of Half-Life 2 (Part III)". GameSpot. CNET Networks, Inc.. http://www.gamespot.com/features/6112889/p-3.html. Retrieved on 2006-07-09. 
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  11. ^ a b "Analysis: Valve's Lifetime Retail Sales For Half-Life, Counter-Strike Franchises". Gamasutra. December 3, 2008. http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=21319. Retrieved on December 3, 2008. 
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Awards and achievements
Call of Duty
BAVGA Award for Best Game
Succeeded by
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter

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