Someone has managed to put together a playable rough draft of the original Half-Life, which was a very condensed version of the game before the finished product was released in the late 90s. Featuring one of the most iconic crowbars in video game history, not to mention a narrative that deconstructed the first-person shooter and set a precedent for the genre, Valve’s maiden title has gone down as one of the most influential FPS launches in the industry.
Recently, a leaker released assets from Valve’s repository in one of the largest data breaches the developer has ever experienced. The leak was made available on Discord, but shortly afterward, the channel was no longer accepting newcomers due to the sheer amount of users wanting access. The files contain assets from some of the company’s most beloved games, including Team Fortress 2 and both the episodic expansions for Half-Life 2. Now, someone appears to have taken some of what’s there and made a playable, if early, version of the classic shooter.
As seen by PCGamesN, YouTuber Tyler McVicker has uploaded a video showing an unreleased version of Half-Life on their channel The Passionate Gamer. At first glance, it appears very similar to the official release from 1998, but within a few moments, fans familiar with the game will notice a major difference, namely that it’s a very abridged build of the FPS. While much of it runs seamlessly, those who know the game well will notice that it quickly goes from section to section, with huge swathes of the story and map missing.
This is perhaps most noticeable at the start when the player begins Half-Life‘s iconic opening sequence in which Gordon Freeman enters the Black Mesa facility. Whereas in the final release, the mute scientist wanders around the facility, getting into his HEV suit, toying with the microwave in the break room, and seeing other NPCs milling about the place, in The Passionate Gamer’s version, the action begins as soon as Freeman turns the corner after speaking to Barney at the reception desk. It’s also interesting to note the little messages the devs left in the game which depict how certain aspects like animations should behave.
With hopes that Valve will eventually release Half-Life 3, the legendary series is still the subject of much debate in the community. There’s no telling what the studio has in store for Freeman, but most would agree that it’s been far too long since that fateful cliffhanger in 2007’s Episode 2.
Half-Life is available on PC and PS2.