Every time I add a new game on Steam, I can't help but notice this big block of games all starting with Half-Life in the list of games I own but are grayed out because they're not installed. And every time (or just about every time) I see them in my list of Steam Games, which is nearly every day, I think to myself...

You really should play Half-Life again.

Which one?

All of them.

If I keep this to myself and never say anything, then my fear is I'll never get around to it. But perhaps if I turn this into some sort of a blog series, I'll actually get around to it. I'm not quite sure how yet, but I'll think of something. I'm sure I can squeeze an update in here or there from time to time. And to add a purpose to this play through, I think I'm going to look at it from the perspective of...

Does Half-Life withstand the test of time?

There are popular games and iconic games...games that regardless of their age, they are viewed as classics. Games that people talk about - they talked about them then, they talk about them now, and they will continue to talk about them well into the future. Half-Life falls into this category. While it's true, not everybody loves the game or sees what all of the fuss is about, you simply can't ignore how much attention this title yields from the industry. The older titles can often be found on the "Best Games Ever" lists...and discussions about an upcoming title (or at least the prospects of an upcoming title) often fires up everybody in the industry.


Does Half-Life withstand the test of time?

I'm about to find out.

So what do I have in store for me? Well, let's see what games I have available...


Named Game of the Year by over 50 publications, Valve's debut title blends action and adventure with award-winning technology to create a frighteningly realistic world where players must think to survive. Also includes an exciting multiplayer mode that allows you to play against friends and enemies around the world.

Release Date: Nov 8, 1998

Half-Life Opposing Forces

Return to the Black Mesa Research Facility as one of the military specialists assigned to eliminate Gordon Freeman. Experience an entirely new episode of single player action. Meet fierce alien opponents, and experiment with new weaponry. Named 'Game of the Year' by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences.

Release Date: Nov 1, 1999

Half-Life Blue Shift

Made by Gearbox Software and originally released in 2001 as an add-on to Half-Life, Blue Shift is a return to the Black Mesa Research Facility in which you play as Barney Calhoun, the security guard sidekick who helped Gordon out of so many sticky situations.

Release Date: Jun 1, 2001

Half-Life 2

By taking the suspense, challenge and visceral charge of the original, and adding startling new realism and responsiveness, Half-Life 2 opens the door to a world where the player's presence affects everything around him, from the physical environment to the behaviors even the emotions of both friends and enemies.

Release Date: Nov 16, 2004

Half-Life 2 Episode 1

Half-Life 2 has sold over 4 million copies worldwide, and earned over 35 Game of the Year Awards. Episode One is the first in a series of games that reveal the aftermath of Half-Life 2 and launch a journey beyond City 17. Also features two multiplayer games. Half-Life 2 not required.

Release Date: Jun 1, 2006

Half-Life 2 Episode 2

The second in a trilogy of new games created by Valve that extends the award-winning and best-selling Half-Life adventure.

As Dr. Gordon Freeman, you were last seen exiting City 17 with Alyx Vance as the Citadel erupted amidst a storm of unknown proportions. In Episode Two, you must battle and race against Combine forces as you traverse the White Forest to deliver a crucial information packet stolen from the Citadel to an enclave of fellow resistance scientists.

Episode Two extends the award-winning Half-Life gameplay with unique weapons, vehicles, and newly-spawned creatures.

Release Date: Oct 10, 2007

Starting this Saturday, I'm going to do it. I'm going to fire up Half-Life and start playing through all of them again. The first game released over 15 years ago, and the last game released roughly 7 years ago. That is ancient in terms of a game's lifespan, so it'll be interesting to play through them again to see if they're still as exhilarating as I remember. It'll also be cool to see how much of the game I remember. I do remember a scene in the original Half-Life where you press the elevator button, and the next thing you know...this elevator car comes flying down the shaft with this scientist onboard - he had the most puzzled look on his face as the car went crashing into the ground floor. I do know I will always always always remember that.

Anyway...I'm looking forward to the journey...and hope you, or at least some of you join me for the adventure. Heck, if you own the game...perhaps you'll play through it too...

Until then...

Rise and shine, Mr. Freeman. Rise and shine. Not that I wish to imply you have been sleeping on the job. No-one is more deserving of a rest. And all the effort in the world would have gone to waste until... well, let's just say your hour has come again. The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world. So, wake up, Mr. Freeman. Wake up and smell the ashes.