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Josiah Flores
Josiah Flores

Half-Life 2: Update


Half-Life 2 has seen a few small, minor updates over the years. But in advance of Valve's new handheld PC (opens in new tab), the company has spruced up their seminal shooter with a major beta update to ensure it looks as smooth as possible on not just the Steam Deck, but all other contemporary PCs.




Half-Life 2: Update



While not publically announced on the game's store page, the update to Half-Life 2's beta branch was spotted by Valve-centric YouTuber Tyler McVicker. The update supposedly includes numerous bug-fixes that have sat unresolved for years, increases the FOV cap to 110, and adjusts the UI to support ultrawide resolutions.


Perhaps the most notable (if less flashy) additions, however, is support for the Vulkan rendering API, which pointedly plays much nicer with Linux-based operating systems like SteamOS. Valve brought Vulkan support to Portal 2 (opens in new tab) back in February, and with the Half-Life 2 games now on-board, McVicker now reckons we can expect most of Valve's back-catalogue to be updated to work well on the Steam Deck.


Compatibility has been a major concern both for customers and Steam itself, with Valve recently beginning efforts to catalogue the entire platform for compatibility (opens in new tab). While most games won't run on Linux, Valve has been working to ensure its Proton compatibility layer supports as many Windows games as possible (opens in new tab). An early issue saw games with Easy Anti-Cheat struggle to run with Proton, an issue that was remedied with an update last month (opens in new tab).


Half-Life 2's beta update isn't quite ready to go live. McVicker notes that there's a micro-stuttering issue with the current build, though you can download it yourself by selecting the Beta tab under Half-Life 2's properties in your Steam library. Hopefully, the landmark FPS will make for a great showpiece by the time Steam Decks start shipping in December.


Half-Life 2: Update is a new standalone mod released through Steam today that aims to improve on the original game released by Valve in 2004. In addition to a number of bug and behavior fixes, the community-made mod updates Half-Life 2 with all-new lighting, shadows and other visual effects. Most are surprisingly subtle; this is not a total overhaul of the original, but seemingly designed to bring out the best from Valve's seminal shooter.


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As seen above, the latest Half-Life 2 update is not extensive but instead focuses on a few fixes. By the way, if you missed the changes that came with the previous versions, released a while ago, you can check out its patch notes below.


Oho, 'Half-Life 2: Update' is an extremely cheeky name for a mod. Write it on the internet and a few thousand ears will immediately prick up. "Is more Half-Life? Means Half-Life 3? Check file structure! One file will have a 3 in its name! Is Half-Life 3! Rabble rabble rabble!" So no, this is not an official Half-Life 2 update, but it has got the nod for a free standalone Steam release tomorrow.


Designed to take fuller advantage of what more recent updates to the Source engine can do, this apparently final version of the community-made mod includes graphical updates and 'countless' bug fixes, plus a new fan commentary mode. You're probably going to want it.


In 2005, Valve released an extra level, Lost Coast, as a free download to anyone who purchased Half-Life 2.[21] On December 22, Valve released a 64-bit version of the Source engine for x86-64 processor-based systems running Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows Server 2003 x64, Windows Vista x64, or Windows Server 2008 x64. This update enabled Half-Life 2 and other Source games to run natively on 64-bit processors, bypassing the 32-bit compatibility layer. Newell said it was "an important step in the evolution of our game content and tools", and that the game benefited greatly from the update.[22] Some users reported major performance boosts, though the technology site Techgage found stability problems and no notable frame rate improvement.[23]


In 2006, Valve partnered with Taito to release Half-Life 2: Survivor, an arcade game version for the Japanese market.[24][25] Valve rereleased Half-Life 2 as part of the 2007 compilation The Orange Box for Windows, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.[26] On May 26, 2010, Half-Life 2 and its two episodic sequels were released for Mac OS X.[27] In 2013, Valve ported Half-Life 2 to Linux[28] and released a free update adding support for the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.[29] An NVIDIA Shield-exclusive port for Android was released on May 12, 2014.[30] In January 2022, a new UI designed for Valve's portable Steam Deck device was released.[31]


Since the release of the Source engine SDK, a large number of modifications (mods) have been developed by the Half-Life 2 community. Mods vary in scale, from fan-created levels and weapons, to partial conversions such as Rock 24, Half-Life 2 Substance and SMOD (which modify the storyline and gameplay of the pre-existing game), SourceForts and Garry's Mod (which allow the player to experiment with the physics system in a sandbox mode), to total conversions such as Black Mesa, Dystopia, Zombie Master or Iron Grip: The Oppression, the last of which transforms the game from a first-person shooter into a real-time strategy game.[65][66] Some mods take place in the Half-Life universe; others in completely original settings. Many more mods are still in development, including Lift, The Myriad, Operation Black Mesa, and the episodic single-player mod Minerva.[67] Several multiplayer mods, such as Pirates, Vikings and Knights II, a predominately sword-fighting game; Insurgency: Modern Infantry Combat, which focuses on realistic modern infantry combat; and Jailbreak Source have been opened to the public as a beta.[68][69] As part of its community support, Valve announced in September 2008 that several mods, with more planned in the future, were being integrated into the Steamworks program, allowing the mods to make full use of Steam's distribution and update capabilities.[70] In Sept 2022, after a decade of development, a fan made full-VR mod was released titled "Half Life 2: VR Mod".[71]


Integral to Half-Life 2 is the Steam content delivery system developed by Valve Software. All Half-Life 2 players are required to have Steam installed and a valid account in order to play. Steam allows customers to purchase games and other software straight from the developer and have it downloaded directly to their computer as well as receiving "micro-updates." These updates also make hacking the game harder to do and have thus far been somewhat successful in staving off cheats and playability for users with unauthorized copies. Steam can also be used for finding and playing multiplayer games through an integrated server browser and friends list, and game data can be backed up with a standard CD or DVD burner. Steam and a customer's purchased content can be downloaded onto any computer, as long as that account is only logged in at one location at a time.


The usage of Steam has not gone without controversy. Some users have reported numerous problems with Steam, sometimes being serious enough to prevent a reviewer from recommending a given title available on the service. In other cases, review scores have been lowered. Long download times, seemingly unnecessary updates, and verification checks are criticisms leveled by critics of the system's use for single-player games such as Half-Life 2. Whether or not a customer intends to use any multiplayer features, the computer the game was installed on must have Steam and an Internet connection to verify the transaction.


On December 22, 2005, Valve released a 64-bit version of the Source engine that takes advantage of AMD64 processor-based systems running a 64-bit version of the Windows operating system. This update, delivered via Steam, enabled Half-Life 2 and other Source-based games to run natively on AMD64 processors, bypassing the 32-bit emulator. Gabe Newell, one of the founders of Valve, stated that this is "an important step in the evolution of our game content and tools," and that the game benefits greatly from the update.[18] The response to the release varied: some users reported huge performance boosts, while technology site Techgage found several stability issues and no notable frame rate improvement.[19] 64-bit users have widely reported bizarre in-game errors including characters dropping dead, game script files not being pre-cached (i.e., loaded when first requested instead), map rules being bent by AI, and other glitches.


These updates are not quite ready for prime-time, yet, so the initial public beta has launched with stock HL2 assets. We intend to make these upgrades available over time as an optional download. In the meantime you are, of course, free to play with existing texture update mods if you like!


To me it just looks like they put it on the newer engine, the one CS: GO uses, along with the other polishing, as far as Speedrunning, they are not changing most of the levels if atall so it should be relatively similar. It could be possible to load the original maps if they do change it so you can speedrun it normally but with better graphics. Does not look as impressive as Cinematic mod, but that changes the levels drastically.Edit: Its also kinda funny Evga and Nvidia are sponsering it since you only need like a potato to play HL2, and the update is probably not that much more demanding. 041b061a72


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