- Release Nov 19, 1998
The Half Life series is a video game icon. As Gordon Freeman, players use futuristic technology as well as classic weaponry to take on monsters and aliens. In the original Half Life, Freeman is a new employee at Black Mesa, a research facility whose research goes catastrophically wrong and accidentally opens a dimensional rift between our world and another called Xen. Monsters pour through the rift, attacking employees and threatening the safety of our world.
In the second game, set twenty years later, Freeman sees the consequences of the rift as the world is ruled by a government consisting of both humans and aliens called the Combine. The Half Life universe is also home to the Portal series, and the first game was bundled in The Orange Box with the original release of Half Life 2.
Both games in the series use a combination of first-person shooting and puzzle solving to advance the story. The game was very well-received by critics, earning high praise for its inventive shooter mechanics and story. It’s been cited as one of the best video games of all time, and has influenced many subsequent games in the genre.