Half-Life 2 Modders Have Made Valve’s Classic Look Better Than Ever

Half-Life 2 Modders Have Made Valve’s Classic Look Better Than Ever

It’s nice to have a good reason to play through one of the best games of all-time again.

Half-Life 2 modder Filip Victor and his team have been toiling away at Half-Life 2: Update for years, and it finally arrives tomorrow. Half-Life 2: Update rolls out a fresh coat of a paint for the seminal shooter. It’s hardly a full-fledged remake, but it certainly makes the game look nicer.

To get a sense of what they have focused on, here's a full comparison video:

I've pulled a few shots, in case you don't want to wait through the video itself:

The changes are subtle but noticeable, and if we're not getting Half-Life 3 anytime soon, I might as well play through a slightly better looking version of Half-Life 2.

A summarised list of changes is as follows:

Complete lighting overhaul including enhanced lighting, more detailed world shadows, and full High Dynamic Range Lighting (HDR).

New particle effects and improved fog.

Countless bug fixes, correcting both visual and game-based issues.

An extensive Community Commentary Mode featuring the voices of well-known Youtubers, including Caddicarus, Brutalmoose, Ricepirate, Balrog the Master, ProJared, and Ross Scott from Freeman's Mind .

Retains the iconic Half-Life 2 visual style and gameplay.

If you want to play Half-Life 2: Update, you'll have to own a copy of Half-Life 2, obviously.


  • Cool little read, i didnt know something like this was going on.
    For anyone that enjoys replaying the HL2 saga, check out Cinematic mod. Its a hefty download but its well worth it for a wrapper mod!

    • Wow, almost forgot about the difference that mod makes. I was going to re-play HL soonish (Starting with Black Mesa), thanks for reminding me about this.

    • I may be in the minority (I don’t actually know) but I’m really not a fan of that mod, even if you don’t use the rubbish porn-star Alyx model the lighting looks really wrong to me and often the aesthetic properties of the game and mod don’t mesh, the drab textures and building layouts to my eye look really good for the sort of story they’re trying to tell, and the surrounds feel like a part of that, which the mod messes with. Besides stock HL2 still looks fantastic to me.

      • i completely agree!
        Nothing will beat the original vanilla HL2.
        Cinematic mod defiantly isnt perfect and i have to agree, i wasnt a fan of the cheesy Alyx skin either but as far as re-tex mods its defiantly my personal top pick.

  • I overlaid the images and reduced the gamma on my monitor and took a screenshot, which in turn I flipped 90 degrees. Then turned my monitor on then off three times, turned my monitor on it’s side, punched the screen full force….you’ll never believe it but the pattern on the screen resembled a lambda sign with a 3 inset…….it’s confirmed.

  • I would definitely play HL2 again to hear Ross Scott’s commentary, now that Freeman’s Mind is finished.

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