The original Half-Life just got patched for some reason

(Image credit: Valve)

Valve may or may not be working on Half-Life 3. (This guy might know, but he's no squealer.) What it is working on, it turns out, is Half-Life. Yesterday—20 years, 10 months, and 19 days after Half-Life was released—Valve released a new update for the game that fixes a surprising number of, admittedly, very minor problems.

Update: It turns out that we are in for another Half-Life, just not one with "3" in the title. Instead, Valve has announced the prequel Half-Life: Alyx coming in 2020.

Here's the full list of changes:

  • Fixed setting monitor refresh rates through -freq when used with -nofbo
  • Fixed unnecessary texture rescaling with NPOT textures
  • Fixed slist command, will now show servers on the local network
  • Fixed erroneous return in SV_ClipToLinks (HL #1685)
  • Fixed inability to reload a partially empty weapon after reloading a save game
  • Fixed MP5 spread factor, multiplayer factor was being used for single player and single player for multiplayer
  • Fixed progress bar for individual files in resource download always showing at 100%
  • Added auto-saving of several cvars (HL #2237)
  • Fixed missing localizations in spectator UI
  • Fixed NPC turn rate when running at >60FPS
  • Reordered columns in server browser to prevent game descriptions from being used to fake server player count
  • Fixed sv_cheats from being settable by players in a multiplayer game (sv_cheats is controllable by the server)
  • Added cl_autowepswitch cvar with values 0/1 to disable/enable auto weapon switching when a new weapon is picked up
  • Fix various weapon animation/sound issues
  • Security fixes to console commands
  • Security fixes to resource loading
  • Security fixes to saving/loading

None of these fixes are going to put Half-Life back atop the Steam Top 100 (although it maintains a surprisingly robust player count for a 20-year-old shooter), but it is kind of amusing to see some of the things that have gone unaddressed until now. All this time, for instance, the MP5's singleplayer and multiplayer spread factor has been reversed—how does that happen? Columns in the server browser have also been reordered to keep unscrupulous operators from using game descriptions to fake player counts, which I have to think isn't quite as much of a problem now as it was in, say, 2001.

The Half-Life patch comes just a couple of weeks after a similar out-of-the-blue update arrived for the not-quite-as-but-still-very-old Half-Life 2. And yes, it's a little strange, but Half-Life is a great shooter (and so is HL2), and it's fun to see Valve popping in every now and then to dust and straighten.

If you'd like to sample Half-Life in all its original glory, we can help. Check out our guide to building a fantastic 1998 PC gaming rig, complete with 16MB RAM and super-hot Voodoo 2 technology, right here.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.