Half-Life 2's G-Man gets a well-earned glow-up

18 years after making his Source Engine debut, Half-Life's enigmatic extra-dimensional businessman is back in the spotlight thanks to a stunning fan animation in Half-Life: Alyx's Source 2.

Notorious G-Man animator Corey Laddo today posted a recreation of a slice from Half-Life 2's tech demo at E3 2003. Back then, Valve showed off their then-revolutionary facial animations with G-Man in the spotlight, flexing his not-quite-human facial muscles and demonstrating some tactful lip-syncing.

What's really striking is that it's not nearly as big a jump as you'd expect. Sure, our man is looking sharper, more detailed, and creepier than ever—but Half-Life 2's facial animations were already years ahead of their time, even in 2003. It doesn't matter that the original footage is shaky and low-res. When he raises a cheeky brow, you feel the discomfort in your soul.

Of course, G-Man's new look is useful for more than recreating decades-old E3 demos. Laddo famously recreated Talking Heads' video for Once In A Lifetime with the alien suit. Together with uncannily talented voice actor JapaneseBushBaby, the pair also penned this phenomenal Half-Life: Alyx cooking video.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.