We've been waiting a very long time for more Half-Life. Like, a very long time. The wait for Episode 3 is probably one of the most well established jokes on the internet. For some it's just a meme to half-heartedly throw around. For others it's been an endurance test, like waiting for your significant other to come back from the corner store only to discover they're never coming back. They've left you. It's over. Deal with it.
Therefore, whenever something Half-Life related does actually pop up in the news, we find ourselves clinging to it in desperation. But today is a good day. Additional content has actually been released for the game that started it all, and it's a ton of fun.
At Least There's A 'Three' In It: Half-Life Multiplayer Mod Comes Back From the Brink
Okay, this is a pretty confusing story of survival, so bare with me here. I'm gonna let you in on what this mod is, where it came from and why it's only become playable for you today.
What Is This Mod?
id Software made a very successful FPS back in the day that you may have heard of, called Quake. In 1996 a mod for that game was released by the name of Threewave and it actually helped popularize the standard Capture the Flag mode that every shooter has overused since. Like, to death. However, thanks to a massive leak back in 2003 (Valve's servers were famously hacked with tons of information pouring out of their office as a result, which is when players first uncovered the existence of Half-Life 2) it appeared that Valve was working on a multiplayer mod for Half-Life in the same vein. It was also called Threewave.
A folder called "wmods" was one of many that arrived on the interwebs thanks to this leak. Within it was a level pack for Half-Life's Deathmatch Classic containing replicas of all the official maps for the Quake Threewave mod. However, they were all made to look like levels in Half-Life. While the mod may have looked complete, it never saw the light of day—though some fans believe it was slated to be released in 2001.
Why Has It Only Come Out Now?
After doing some research on Valve and uncovering the existence of this Half-Life multiplayer mod, Valve News Network's Tyler McVicker decided to hunt down the originally leaked files. After a month of searching online for the complete package, Tyler stumbled upon a complete version of the mod on a Vietnamese FTP server (God knows why it was there). However, the game was completely broken. Attempting to use a server would crash the game entirely, spawn points were broken, textures were all messed up; it was essentially unplayable.
However, after recruiting a programmer by the handle PixelMiner, the talented gent was able to fix every crash the mod was experiencing. The two then spent months working on the rest of the multiplayer mode ensuring that every facet of Valve's creation worked perfectly. They even bought a server for it. Which means you can play it. Right now.
The video above is McVicker's detailed account of how he brought this mod back to life, complete with tons of gameplay. Though it doesn't exactly live up to modern expectations for multiplayer games, this is a fascinating piece of lost gaming history that you can now plaz for free. It's no Half-Life 3, but it's as close as we've come to new HL content in a decade. I'll take that!
Will you be checking out this multiplayer mod?
Enjoy some more Valve content with this awesome teaser!