The Half-Life games are free on Steam for the next two months

Ruben Fields
January 22, 2020

It's been well over a decade since the release of Half-Life 2: Episode 2, and with Half-Life: Alyx - the enormously long-awaited next instalment in Valve's seminal FPS series - mere months away, there are likely more than a few people in need of a story refresher.

An interesting notification was sent to Steam users yesterday, stating the Half-Life Collection would be free-to-play. No, you are not hallucinating because you hit your head during a resonance cascade explosion; if you have a Steam account, you can play every official game in the franchise for free.

For the next two months, you've got free access to the following games: Half-Life; its two expansions, Opposing Force and Blue Shift; its engine revision, Half-Life Source; Half-Life 2; and its two expansions, Episode One and Episode Two.

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Set between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2, the game sees protagonist Alyx Vance and her father Eli secretly mount a resistance to the occupation of Earth by a mysterious alien race known as The Combine. Valve has announced that the new VR-only game is a "prequel" that takes place between the events of Half-Life 1 and Half-Life 2, while its developers have suggested in interviews that the new game is "the next part" of the series. Thus, the old games are being made available for everyone to play for free before the release of the new game so that players can get maximum enjoyment out of the new game.

Whether you've played these games or not, I can highly recommend putting aside some time to play them (again) now.

Half-Life: Alyx is Valve's virtual reality title and is slated for release in March.

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