Half-Life Mod Overhauls Original’s Levels With Updated Maps And Enemies

Half-Life mods have always overhauled the game and taken it to new, interesting places, whether it's making the experience gorier like its inspirations or giving us whole new stories to dig our teeth into. But Extended chooses to look inward, taking what's already there and adding to it.

"Our idea is to, first of all, expand the vanilla Half-Life maps by adding new areas, puzzles, and enemies," the page reads. "It can range from something simple like adding a janitor closet or a control room to creating whole new areas, sometimes big, sometimes not too much."

The page shows a top-down map of Office Complex. The vanilla build has Dr Newell's office, a turret room, and a loading gate to a new part of the map, as well as the backrooms and a corridor with pushable boxes. You also have the electric puzzle at the start, the shotgun and Barney diversion, and the vents. But Extended adds a lobby to welcome you, a conference room, a security joint, and more, all with the intent to make Half-Life's world feel more lived in.

This not only expands the original game but brings it up to speed with the Gearbox expansions – Decay, Opposing Force, and Blue Shift. These had more lived-in worlds with smaller details, things like canteens, security booths, lobbies, gun ranges, and more. The vanilla Half-Life was revolutionary for making its world more than just a series of corridors and arenas with enemies, taking the FPS genre to more story-driven heights, and pioneering a new era of gaming.

But looking back, the medium has naturally evolved. We saw as much only a little later with Half-Life 2. That's what Extended seeks to do – make Half-Life's world even more convincingly 'real'. We see that with the minute details like the broom closets, but we also get overhauls to existing areas like the turret room pictured above, now featuring filing cabinets and storage containers, making it more than just an empty room with guns firing at you.

You can see the progress in the newest blog post, but the project is a hefty one, so it might be a while before we get to play a completely finished build. Due to the scope and intent, each area is essentially being remade with 80 to 90 percent of the maps being overhauled and updated with better optimisation, consistent style, and new areas. All the while, the team is updating animations and creating movable weapon parts, giving Half-Life a modern lick of paint over its old, archaic '90s jank.

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