There’s a mod for just about anything when it comes to Half-Life, and now there’s a de-make of its sequel to boot. An intrepid team of modders has been busy taking Valve’s stone-cold-classic shooter sequel and making it look, well, worse. Half-Life 2 Classic is a mod for Half-Life 1 that aims to recreate the entirety of Half-Life 2 within the original pre-Source engine.
You’re probably not alone if the logistics behind this, the hows and the whys, are blowing your mind, but the mod’s lead creator, Sockman111, said development began just for fun more than anything.
“Why? Mainly, just for fun, but also because a lot of people like how the GoldSrc engine feels, or enjoy the gameplay or Half-Life more than Half-Life 2,” he explained. “It's also a way to see what Half-Life 2 could have looked like in the limits of Goldsrc, if valve never developed the Source engine.” In essence, it's Black Mesa, in reverse.
Their point that Half-Life may feel better than the sequel is an interesting one. I’ve always preferred the original Half-Life, and by some distance, although I’ve never been able to put my finger on exactly why. It’ll be an interesting test case to play through the sequel with the demake visuals and Half-Life 1 gameplay. I can’t even imagine how they’re planning to get the Gravity Gun up and running on the GoldSrc engine.
So far the mod looks like an impressive and drastically stripped down recreation of Half-Life 2, complete with low-poly City 17.
"We're still debating if we should stick close to Half-Life 2's graphics, or if we should downgrade them on purpose, and if so, how much. We may even make optional high-res models for the HD model pack, while keeping the base game's models low-res. But it depends on what most people want."
A demo of the Half-Life 2: Classic mod can be downloaded from ModDB.