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Half-Life 2 NPCs can finally blink after years of torment

(Image credit: Valve)
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Valve has finally vanquished a few more bugs in Half-Life 2. We might never get to play the conclusion, but at least we can rest easy knowing that NPCs can blink once again. 

Half-Life 2's NPC have been stuck in this nightmare since 2014, when Steam switched to the SteamPipe (opens in new tab) content distribution system. The change caused problems for a lot of Source mods and games, but the absence of blinking was definitely the most eerie. 

Update: This belated bug fix wasn't actually the harbinger of a third Half-Life game but Valve has since announced a new VR prequel called Half-Life: Alyx coming in 2020.

Despite the visibility of the bug and the mountain of threads bringing it up year after year, Valve seemed content to let its NPCs stare for eternity. Unofficial patches solved the issue, but now Valve's finally put out an official fix. An update (opens in new tab) went out yesterday and deals with a few other lingering issues. 

  • Fixed a hitch when saving games
  • Fixed SteamVR running when entering the settings menu
  • Fixed missing sounds on combine soldiers
  • Fixed NPCs not blinking

Half-Life 2: Episode One and Two, Lost Coast and Half-Life: Source have also been updated.

I just started a new game to see for myself, and both the G-Man and the NPCs on the train have full control over their eyelids again. Revolutionary! I'm sure they're very relieved.

Cheers, RPS (opens in new tab)

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.