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Half-Life 2 just received its first major update in over a decade

Remember all of those quality of life fixes you need 17 years ago? They're finally here.

Updated: Oct 20, 2021 6:02 pm
half life 2

Regardless of how or when you played it, Half-Life 2 was a big deal for thousands of players across PC, Mac, Linux, Console, and VR. Even today, many are still staring at Valve Softwares Twitter feed waiting for news to drop on Half-Life 3. We wouldn’t recommend this seeing as you’ve got more chance of plaiting fog than getting a third head crab outing. Moving onto more positive Valve news, they are currently running a super-secret beta update program that literally everyone online knows about, which includes every major Valve release to date. We’ll let you put two and two together here.

Tyler McVicker, Valve leaker and overall legend (check out his video above) managed to uncover a series of beta updates for Valve titles. These updates seem to focus on some big improvements, most notably Linux and Vulcan optimization. For those not in the know, this is the platform Steam OS, and Steam Deck runs in conjunction with. It looks like they’ll be a ‘Works Well with Steam Deck’ section on Steam OS, with titles such as Half-Life 2 and Portal 2 playing for the winning team.

What’s Been Updated Then?

Although there have been some great community efforts, they’ve also fallen to the wayside as Valves source engine updates and such mods begin to play havoc with overall platform stability over time. The same team who brought us Half-Life 2 update are now apparently working on a remaster of the game, according to big man Tyler himself:

Regardless of opinion, Valve has needed to implement these updates for years. Surprisingly, these updates didn’t even make it into the Orange Box, a popular Valve collection that saw the likes of the Half-Life Collection, Portal, Team Fortress, and more make a console transition. Here’s what they fixed:

  • Scalable user interface
  • Unlocked heads up display and scalable to any aspect ratio
  • Ultra-wide support
  • Field of view increased to 110 degrees
  • Multiple frame rate skip fixes
  • Text resolution and scale improvements for Steam Deck screens
  • Other long-standing bug fixes (Little is known at the time of writing)

Whilst we don’t know the full impact of the update, it looks like the fixes will make for the best Half-Life 2 experience when Steam Deck drops in December. Although wild units will be a rare commodity this Christmas, we’re confident full details on Half-Life 2 will be made available before or on Steam Decks release.

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