After 13 years, Half-Life RTS Lambda Wars releases

An image from the half-life 2 RTS mod Lambda Wars
(Image credit: Valve via Lambda Wars Team)
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In an update posted (opens in new tab) to their Steam page, the team behind the mod Lambda Wars have announced that the Half-Life 2 real time strategy project has left beta. The launch includes singleplayer, co-op, and multiplayer modes. Lambda Wars has two factions, the Combine and Rebels, and lets players refight the battles of Half-Life 2 from a top-down angle. The launch update implements the "lost" enemies of Half-Life 2, like the crab synth and mortar synth, found in artbooks of the original game. 

An image from the half-life 2 RTS mod Lambda Wars

(Image credit: Valve via Lambda Wars Team)

An image from the half-life 2 RTS mod Lambda Wars

(Image credit: Valve via Lambda Wars Team)

An image from the half-life 2 RTS mod Lambda Wars

(Image credit: Valve via Lambda Wars Team)

An image from the half-life 2 RTS mod Lambda Wars

(Image credit: Valve via Lambda Wars Team)

An image from the half-life 2 RTS mod Lambda Wars

(Image credit: Valve via Lambda Wars Team)

The mod itself is actually based off the code of Alien Swarm, the Source engine based mod-turned-full-game released for free by Valve in 2010. In a post on Reddit, one of the mod team outlined how many people have worked on the game over the 13 years of development: "Many developers have come and gone, but the lead programmer started and finished the project." The developers have received a handful of monetary donations for their time, but ultimately the game was a passion project.

For my part, I can remember seeing the first steps at this mod over a decade ago, when it was called Half-Life 2: Wars and wanting to play it very badly. That's now,  incredibly, something I can do. I love these inspirational mod stories for just that reason. They're a testament to what people can achieve in life outside their "real jobs." You can find Lambda Wars on Steam.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.