Half-Life 2 has no small number of incredible community mods for players to choose from, but its latest major mod release offers virtually all the major 2003 beta content on a silver platter. With no news about a potential new Half-Life project following the release of Alyx, fans of the series need to look back at its earliest content instead, and comprehensive modding tools make this a feasible goal.
It’s no secret that Half-Life 2 had a few major revisions as part of its development process. In fact, the 2003 beta build of HL2 featured huge chunks of content that never made it into the full game, and though explorations of this content aren’t anything new or novel, one mod-maker has dedicated their time to creating a comprehensive “museum emulation” of the whole thing.
Namely, Cvoxalury’s Half-Life 2 2003 Storyline Port is a unique mod that allows players to experience a whopping 50 levels from the game’s 2003 story campaign. Whereas other major projects have done things like successfully adding a VR mode to Half-Life 2, the 2003 Storyline Port is concerned mainly with adding back what was lost, rather than introducing any new elements to the mix. To that end, players can now quickly and easily enjoy all the old levels, though it’s certainly worth pointing out that none of them are as interesting or polished as the final game’s missions ended up being.
Much as was the case with the Half-Life Ravenholm footage that got leaked earlier this year, there aren’t any major modern concessions being made here. Cvoxalury was concerned mainly with preservation for this specific build of the mod, though they did put down additional health items, ammunition, and save points for good measure. Additionally, 2003 Storyline Port players can also try out some of Half-Life 2‘s beta weaponry, such as the XM29 assault rifle.
There’s been no shortage of ambitious mods coming out for HL2 in 2022. The Entropy: Zero 2 mod for Half-Life 2 puts players into the shoes of a Combine trooper, for example, offering an entirely new narrative campaign that does its best to stay in line with the general vibe of the original game. Overall, it’s not a bad time to be a Half-Life fan, even though Valve itself isn’t keen on any official reveals.
For those who want to play HL2 again, but differently, there’s the potentially distressing Half-Life 2 Mirrored mod. It does precisely what it says on the tin by flipping the game on its vertical axis, which is bound to feel incredibly confusing for Half-Life 2 veterans. For extra confusion, one might attempt to combine it with Cvoxalury’s 2003 Storyline Port, even.
Half-Life 2 launched in 2004 and is available on Mobile, PC, PS3, Xbox, and Xbox 360.
MORE: Arkane’s Canceled Return to Ravenholm Game Explained