Group DescriptionHalf-Life is a series of games developed by Valve, which share a common setting and recurrent gameplay elements. The main installments are predominantly linear, story-driven first-person shooters with light puzzle-solving elements, connected by an overarching storyline and a common protagonist, the scientist Gordon Freeman. Portal games, originating in 2007, are set in the same universe and share a few gameplay elements with the main Half-Life games, though they form a separate storyline and are mostly dedicated to puzzle-solving.
StoryThe overarching story of Half-Life begins in the fictional Black Mesa Research Facility in New Mexico, where a failed experiment leads to the opening of an inter-dimensional portal, causing alien beings from the world Xen to invade Earth. Gordon Freeman, a theoretical physicist, escapes from the facility and attempts to stop the alien invasion, eliminating their leader. However, he is confronted by a mysterious person known as the G-man, who puts him into stasis. Nearly twenty years later, Freeman finds himself in City 17, a dystopian society governed by the Combine, a group of humans and aliens who have meanwhile used the dimensional rift to conquer the Earth. Freeman and his friends begin a struggle against Combine, still unaware of the G-man's true intentions.
GameplayHalf-Life games are for the most part composed of straightforward first-person shooter gameplay. However, some of the tasks in the games require specific actions, sometimes resulting in moderate platform exercises (jumping) and mild puzzle-solving activities. The games include many scripted events and action-oriented set pieces, complementing their linear nature. The first Half-Life (1998) was also notable for popularizing seamless cutscenes, during which the player's control of the main character was retained.
Front cover for Portal 2: Sixense MotionPack DLC
Front cover for Half-Life Deathmatch: Source
Front cover for Half-Life 2: Episode One
Front cover for Portal
Front cover for Half-Life 2: Deathmatch
Screenshot from Half-Life Deathmatch: Source
Screenshot from Half-Life 2: Episode One
Screenshot from Portal
Screenshot from Half-Life 2: Deathmatch
Screenshot from Portal 2