[RE-UPLOAD] The Rise and Fall of Half-Life

This video originally aired on the 20th of May, 2018!

Hey everyone, we’re finally re-uploading our Half-Life video as the original had a song that was marked by YouTube’s copyright system. For the most part, this is still very much the video that we’ve made and uploaded in 2018, with a sizable number of sections now featuring higher quality gameplay and other slight tweaks. We’ve left the narrated audio and the credits the same to reflect the people who have helped us make this video possible at the time.

Considering the franchise has recently made a successful comeback with Half-Life: Alyx, we want to let you know that this is not the last piece of coverage we’ll dedicate to the series. We’re launching a new format that will dive into franchises that have seen new releases or other signs of life since we’ve last covered them in our Rise and Fall videos (Command & Conquer, Crysis and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. to name a few), but more on that later!

For now, we hope you’ll enjoy (again) our video about the history of Half-Life. The re-uploaded Dead Space video will soon follow!

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In 1998, a little known company named Valve released a first-person shooter named Half-Life and changed the face of gaming. Where other shooters struggled to provide even a semblance of a story, Half-Life had brains to match its brawn; a stirring tale featuring a realistic human cast and a protagonist that was more than a hand and a gun unfolded before the player’s eyes as they progressed through each level.

As Valve grew, so too did Half-Life’s reputation, with Half-Life 2 in 2004 once again revolutionizing the genre, and its episodic expansions, Half-life 2: Episode One and Episode Two, further raising the bar. The series didn’t release consistently, and occasionally suffered unexpected and painful setbacks; but when it did, it seemed as if Valve could do no wrong – until the series suddenly stopped. Shifting priorities, a lack of motivation, and other, more nebulous factors would lead Valve to put Half-Life on ice in the middle of its prime, leaving a generation of gamers adrift, and an opus unfinished.

And yet – Half-Life lives on. Be it in the innumerable games and series it inspired or provided the computative bedrock for, an undying stream of mods, or other media based on the franchise, Half-Life’s DNA is permanently embedded in the fabric of the video game industry, and will likely remain so for some time. As sad as it is that a Half-Life 2: Episode 3 or a Half-Life 3 will likely never happen, and as frustrating as it is that Valve remains belligerent as to precisely why, the series, for the most part, has only really fallen… out of Valve’s hands.

This is the rise and fall of Half-Life.

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