Half-Life (video game)

1998 first-person shooter video game
(Redirected from Half-Life)

Half-Life is a science fiction first-person shooter computer game developed by Valve Software and published by Sierra Entertainment in 1998, based on a very changed Quake game engine. It was first published for PCs running Microsoft Windows, and was later ported to Sony's PlayStation 2 video game console. A port for the Dreamcast was planned, but was cancelled. It is the first game in the Half-Life series.

Developer(s)Valve Corporation
Publisher(s)Sierra Entertainment (CD-ROM) Valve Corporation (Steam)
Composer(s)Kelly Bailey Edit this on Wikidata
EngineGoldSrc (GoldSource, Previously Named Half-Life Engine)
Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 2 Edit this on Wikidata
ReleaseNovember 8, 1998
Genre(s)First-person shooter
science fiction video game Edit this on Wikidata

Half-Life, often shortened to HL, has been thought to be very great by computer game critics for its gripping in-depth storyline, which has influenced the development of many other first-person shooters after it. It became very popular after it was released and still has many fans.

The name and logo reference the science term half-life, which is represented by the Greek letter lambda.

The story of the game takes place in a science research facility in New Mexico named Black Mesa. In the game, you play as Gordon Freeman, a scientist who works at Black Mesa. A test that Gordon helps with goes wrong, and causes a "resonance cascade", or a hole in the fabric of reality. This causes portals to appear all over Black Mesa. Aliens from a different dimension come through the portals and kill many of the scientists and workers. The dimension that the aliens come from is called Xen. After that, a branch of the United States Military called the HECU is ordered to kill all the scientists and aliens in Black Mesa to cover up the incident. Gordon must fight aliens and marines on his way through Black Mesa, then teleport to Xen so he can kill the alien leader called the nihilanth. After doing this, a mysterious being called the G-Man, who watches Gordon at many points in the game, praises Gordon’s work and offers him a choice: working for him, or “a battle [Gordon] has no chance of winning”. If the player chooses the first option, the game just ends with the G-Man telling Gordon he made a wise decision. If the player chooses the second option, Gordon is teleported to a huge army of aliens as the screen fades to black.



Half-Life: Opposing Force


Half-Life: Opposing Force is the first expansion for Half-Life, which was made by Gearbox Software instead of Valve. It was released on November 1, 1999. Half-Life: Opposing Force happens during the same time as Half-Life and in the same setting. In the expansion, you play as "Adrian Shephard", a United States marine. He was sent to Black Mesa, and must escape after the helicopter he was riding was shot down.

Half-Life: Blue Shift


Half-Life: Blue Shift is the second Expansion for Half-Life, which was also made by Gearbox Software, and was released on June 12, 2001.[1] Half-Life: Blue Shift happens during the same time as Half-Life and in the same setting, just like Opposing Force. In this expansion, you play as "Barney Calhoun", a security guard who works at Black Mesa during the resonance cascade.

Half-Life: Decay


Half-Life: Decay is the final expansion for Half-Life. Only the PlayStation 2 version of Half-Life has it. A few years after it was released, though, some fans of Decay made a version of it for the computer, and released it as a mod.[2] The expansion is a cooperative multiplayer campaign, where two players have to work together to win.



The G-Man is a mysterious character that constantly appears in the Valve Software games Half-Life, Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Half-Life 2: Episode Two and Half-Life: Alyx.

As of yet it is not yet certain who the suit-wearing man is, although it is commonly agreed that he has a pivotal role to play. He appears in almost every game level, and a number of fan sites have been set up in his honor.



Scientists are scattered throughout the Black Mesa Research Facility that help Gordon get through Certain Doors, Heal players when on low health, and later help the player get to Xen.

Gordon Freeman


"Gordon Freeman" is a scientist that worked at the Black Mesa Research Facility before the main events of the game and is the main character in Half-Life.

Xen extraterrestrials


Aliens from the dimension known as Xen. They include headcrabs, which take over people and turn them into zombies; and Vortigaunts, who later come back in the sequel as allies of the player.



Half-Life has 2 sequels, Half-Life 2 (with its episodes), and Half-Life: Alyx, a VR interquel that follows the character Alyx Vance.


  1. "Half-Life: Blue Shift Review". IGN. IGN. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  2. "Half-Life: Decay". decay.half-lifecreations.com. Archived from the original on 2011-08-14. Retrieved 2018-06-28.