Half-Life twin-stick shooter fan game gets blessing from Valve and a Steam release

Over on ModDB, a creator by the name of PinkyDev has revealed that Codename: Loop, their project to create a top-down, twin-stick shooter spinoff of Half-Life, has gotten the go-ahead from Valve to be listed on Steam in the near future.

Probably the most impressive thing about Loop is its compatibility with the original Half-Life's BSP file format. This allows Loop to utilize GoldSrc engine assets, preserving the look and feel of Half-Life on the Unity Engine. Loop is also set to support an over-the-shoulder perspective, and even come full circle back to a first-person view for any mapmakers who want to create FPS levels within this new framework.

The BSP compatibility gives Codename: Loop the potential to support a strong modding community of its own, as level designers can use pre-existing tools like Crystice Softworks' J.A.C.K. level editor for Half-Life and Quake to create maps and campaigns in Loop. Preserving that classic Half-Life DIY spirit seems to be a major priority for PinkyDev, who wrote in the project's latest update: "I will be doing everything I can to support the Steam Workshop, this way everybody will be able to share and download campaigns and levels and maintain this game alive forever."

The ambition to become a new modding hub is certainly intriguing and ambitious, but Codename: Loop's core premise of a Half-Life twin-stick spinoff strikes me as an inspired riff on the classic FPS all on its own. An early gameplay video from last year shows that the assets and enemies of HL1 translate well to a new perspective, and it's funky to hear those classic sound effects and see the soft halogen glow of Half-Life's signature UI in this context.

PinkyDev seems to have originally conceived of Codename: Loop as a Half-Life roguelike, and while that ambition is still there, PinkyDev has shifted focus to developing a linear campaign and building in support for other modders. There is currently no release date specified for Codename: Loop, and its Steam hub has not yet gone live. Until then, the fan game's ModDB page is the best way to stay up to date on development.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.