The whole Half-Life story is free to play on Steam right now


But the games that are available for free play are for on PC only, and require the Steam client.

From now until Half-Life: Alyx launches, visit the game page of each Half-Life game to install it and play as much as you want, right up until the day Half-Life: Alyx is released!

Valve has also re-confirmed that Half-Life: Alyx will come out in March 2020. That's because the offer only applies to Half-Life (the original and Source port), Half-Life 2, Episodes One and Two, Opposing Force, Blue Shift, and for some reason Team Fortress Classic.

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Consider this Valve's warning that you really need to know about the Half-Life series before you dive straight into Half-Life: Alyx.

There isn't anything on Steam, at the moment, called the Half-Life Collection.

You may be wondering why Valve is being so generous, even if only for a limited amount of time.

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Valve's thinking behind it is explained in a more logical announcement than its earlier notifications: "Half-Life: Alyx is set before the events of Half-Life 2 and the episodes, but the games share characters and story elements".

That said, don't look a gift horse in the mouth as they say. At the very least, it's probably worth playing through Half-Life 2 again so that Alyx, which is set before Gordon Freeman arrived in City 17, will make sense to you.

The game, which Valve insists is not a spin-off but "the next part" of the story, can be pre-purchased for $59.99 and is free for owners of the Valve Index VR headset or Index controllers.

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The games might look fairly dated by today's standards, but that's not surprising considering the first Half-Life launched way back in 1998.