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We’re revisiting Half-Life, 20 years later

See the classic through the eyes of a child

Patrick Gill (he/him) has been making serious and unserious videos for Polygon since 2016. He also co-hosts & produces Polygon’s weekly livestreams on Twitch.

Remember Half-Life? Brian Gilbert doesn’t. Our talented video producer was an actual baby when the game debuted 20 years ago. (Ed. note: He wasn’t. End this ageism, please. — Allegra.) To many of us, Valve’s immersive sci-fi shooter is a seminal work— a game that set industry standards for storytelling, pacing, and level design. To people like Brian, it’s a game that old people played.

Now, in honor of the great warrior scientist Gordon Freeman, we’re conducting a dangerous experiment of our own. Brian Gilbert (a young man) will play through the entirety of 1998’s Half-Life with me (a busted old skeleton). Will the legendary game stand the test of time, or crumble under the weight of its own legacy? I honestly don’t know!

There are efforts underway to modernize the classic. Years ago, Half-Life: Source brought the game to a new engine. Half-Life: Black Mesa is a more recent effort by the Crowbar Collective, a coalition of fans dedicated to recreating the game from the ground up.

We’re going in without textures packs or mods — we’re playing the game pretty much as it launched two decades ago. Wish us luck!

Tune in at 4 p.m. ET as we kick off the streaming series on Twitch, and make sure to like and subscribe to our channel.

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