A quarter century of Half Life

A quarter century of Half Life
Half Life via Valve

Want to feel old? Well, if you remember when Half Life came out, you might. Plus, Sony and Naughty Dog announce The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered and Death Row returns with a new offering. Read on for the details and latest headlines. 

Half Life’s big birthday

Half Life via Valve

Half Life, the classic video game that revolutionized the first-person shooter, celebrated its 25th anniversary this past week. To celebrate, Valve updated the classic game

Changes for the 25th anniversary update include:

  • Four new multiplayer maps
  • Updated graphic settings
  • Controller support
  • Restored content and more

Valve also posted interviews with the original development team. One of the more interesting revelations: all of Half Life’s textures were created by a single person, Karen Laur. Check out the documentary below. 

Half Life centers on Gordon Freeman, a theoretical physicist who is having a very bad day at work. When an accident at the Black Mesa Research Facility triggers an alien invasion, Freeman is forced to fight off the intruders to try and survive. Half Life won multiple Game of the Year awards in 1998, and is widely considered one of the best video games ever made. 

Sony announces The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered

The Last of Us Part 2 is getting the remaster treatment. Sony announced the revised version of the popular game releases on January 19, 2024 for the PlayStation 5.

The game offers a number of new features, including updated graphics, director’s commentary and a new mode called No Return, a roguelike survival mode, “designed to let players prove their mettle in randomized encounters and experience The Last of Us Part II’s combat in a fresh experience.” From Naughty Dog’s press release:

The mode includes a host of playable characters to choose from - some playable for the first time in The Last of Us franchise (which you may have spotted in our trailer) - who each come with their own traits to suit different playstyles. Players will chart their own course on each run, choosing between various stealth and combat encounters that will pit you against a range of enemies, with unique twists that can add new, unexpected factors to any given encounter.

The game will likely be a full priced release, but owners of the PlayStation 4 version of the game can upgrade for $10. Time to hit your local GameStop to see if they have a copy.

Snoop and son launch Death Row Games

TechCrunch, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Rapper Snoop Dogg and his son Cordell Broadus are bringing back an iconic brand in a new form, with the creation of Death Row Games. 

“Myself and my father, we’re avid gamers,” Broadus told the Los Angeles Times. “We’ve witnessed the power of video games and how impactful storytelling is, and we just wanted to provide an immersive experience that represents the neighborhoods and the places that we come up from.”

According to the Times article, Death Row Games “aims to help diverse creators publish content on Epic Games’ online game “Fortnite” via its Fortnite Creative tool set and the editing app Unreal Editor for Fortnite.”

Snoop Dogg purchased Death Row Records in 2022, and the gaming division would utilize the iconic name. Read the full article for the interview with Broadus and to find out more on their plans.

Sony's PlayStation Portal

🏆 The nominees for the 2023 Game Awards were released. What is your game of the Year? 

🎮 The PlayStation Portal sold out in two days, with most purchased by scalpers. 

💿 CD Projekt Red is working on a mod editor for Witcher 3 that will “allow you to create your own experiences in the game by making something completely new or editing existing quests and content.”

🎩 Monopoly Go collects $1billion in revenue in seven months

💰 Embracer Group reduced its debt to $1.4 billion, partially by cutting 900 jobs

👎🏼 Amazon's game division plans to lay off another 180 employees, and is shutting down its Crown channel

📿 Tiffany is releasing a line of Pokémon jewelry, ranging in price from $1,300 to $29,000.

🐉 The release date for Dragon’s Dogma 2 appears to have leaked: March 22, 2024. 

💵 Annapurna Interactive acquired 24 Bit Games, a South African studio best known for its work on Neon White, Cocoon, and Broforce. 

✖️ There is a VERY rare Bluey Xbox.

📈 Lethal Company is an indie hit, with 640,000 copies sold and 57,000 concurrent players.

 ☕ Workers in a New York board game cafe unionized

👎🏽 Meanwhile, Sega of America is accused of threatening workers with mass layoffs if they unionize

New Releases this week: 


Check out our piece on 11 new games to play in November.

11/20: In Stars and Time (PlayStation, Switch and PC)
11/21: Worldless (PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC)
11/23: DOMINO: The Little One (PC)
11/24: Evil Diary (PlayStation, Switch and PC)