Half-Life

Half-Life was created by Valve Software and published by Sierra Studios on 1998-11-18. Half-Life is a First Person Shooter (FPS) game.

Half-Life is a science fiction first-person shooter video game developed by Valve Software and the company's debut product. First released by Sierra Studios on November 19, 1998, the game was also released for the PlayStation 2 on November 14, 2001. Valve, set up by former Microsoft employees, had difficulty finding a publisher, with many believing that the game was "too ambitious". Sierra On-Line eventually signed the game after expressing interest in making a 3D action game. The game had its first major public appearance at the 1997 Electronic Entertainment Expo. Designed for Microsoft Windows, the game uses a heavily modified version of the Quake engine, called GoldSrc.

In Half-Life, players assume the role of Dr. Gordon Freeman, a recent graduate theoretical physicist who must fight his way out of a secret underground research facility, whose research and experiments into teleportation technology have gone wrong.

On its release, critics hailed its overall presentation and numerous scripted sequences, and it won over 51 PC Game of the Year awards. Its gameplay influenced first-person shooters for years to come, and it has since been regarded as one of the greatest games of all time. As of November 16, 2004, Half-Life has sold eight million copies. As of July 14, 2006, the Half-Life franchise has sold over 20 million units. According to GameSpy, Half-Life is the most played online PC game (excluding MMORPGs), ahead of Half-Life 2. In celebration of the game's 10th anniversary, Valve lowered the price of Half-Life to U.S. $0.98 on November 19, 2008 for three days.

Half-Life, a first-person shooter, requires the player to perform combat tasks and puzzle solving to advance through the game. Unlike its peers at the time, Half-Life used scripted sequences, which ranged from small events, such as an alien ramming down a door, to major plot points. While most contemporary first-person shooters relied on cut scene intermissions to detail their plotlines, Half-Life's story is put forth entirely through scripted sequences, keeping the player in control of their first-person viewpoint. In line with this, the game has no cutscenes, and the player rarely loses the ability to control Gordon, who never speaks and is never actually seen in the game; the player "sees" through his eyes for the entire length of the game. Half-Life has no "levels"; it instead divides the game by chapters, whose titles flash on the screen. Progress through the world is continuous, except for breaks for loading.

The game regularly integrates puzzles, such as navigating a maze of conveyor belts. Some puzzles involve using the environment to kill an enemy. There are few "bosses" in the conventional sense, where the player defeats a superior opponent by direct confrontation. Instead, such monsters occasionally define chapters, and the player is generally expected to use the terrain, rather than firepower, to kill the "boss". Late in the game, the player receives a "long jump module" for the HEV suit, which allows the player to increase the horizontal distance and speed of jumps by crouching before jumping. This is used for platformer-style jumping puzzles in the later portion of the game.

For the most part the player battles through the game alone, but is occasionally assisted by non-player characters; specifically security guards and scientists who fight alongside the player, assist in reaching new areas and impart relevant plot information. A wide array of enemies populate the game including alien life-forms such as headcrabs, bullsquids, headcrab zombies, and Vortigaunts. The player also faces human opponents, in particular Hazardous Environment Combat Unit (HECU) Marines and black ops assassins who are dispatched to contain the alien threat and silence all witnesses.

Half-Life has a large array of weapons the player can use. The iconic weapon of the game is the trademark crowbar which can be used for melee fighting as well as a tool for clearing obstructions and breaking apart boxes and crates, which often contain useful items. The game also features numerous conventional weapons, such as the Glock 17 pistol, SPAS-12 shotgun, MP5 submachine gun with an attached grenade launcher, Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver, and rocket launcher as well as abnormal weapons ranging from a crossbow to alien weapons such as Snarks. Two experimental weapons, the tau cannon and the gluon gun, are built by the scientists in the facility and are acquired by the player late in the game. With the installation of the High Definition Pack, the weapons' appearances are substantially updated, mainly due to a larger number of polygons in the models. Although their appearances have changed, they perform exactly the same as their original counterparts in terms of gameplay. The Glock 17 and MP5 are the only two weapons to be completely changed in appearance, being replaced by the Beretta M9 and M4A1 assault rifle respectively.

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