Half-Life is a sci-fi FPS developed by Valve and published by Sierra studios, released in 1998. It is notable for being Valve's debut in the gaming industry and the first game in the Half-Life series. It is well known and acclaimed for its lack of cut-scenes (using scripted sequences instead), realistic worlds, (at the time) advanced AI, and seamless storytelling. It also helped jump-start the FPS storytelling genre. It has sold 9.3 million copies by 2009. It was followed by a sequel, Half-Life 2, and a fan-made remake, Black Mesa. It was also ported to the newer Source engine used in Half-Life 2 instead of the older GoldSrc engine, and subsequently re-branded as Half-Life: Source.
Three Half-Life expansions which were developed by Gearbox Software were spawned after the success of the first game: Opposing Force, released in 1999, Blue Shift, released in 2001 and originally intended for a cancelled Sega Dreamcast port of the game (also including a "High Definition Pack", which replaces all of the game's NPC and weapon models with higher-resolution counterparts), and Decay, which was only officially included alongside the base game in its PlayStation 2 port released in 2001. A fan remake of the first two expansions was developed under the name Operation: Black Mesa. The HD Pack from Blue Shift was later ported back to Half-Life and Opposing Force.
The following weapons appear in the video game Half-Life and its expansions:
The Glock 17 is the standard issue sidearm of the Black Mesa security guards. It has a 17 round magazine capacity and is accurate, but not particularly powerful. The secondary fire button makes it fire faster, but with reduced accuracy. A suppressed version is used by the female Black Ops, and HECU (Hazardous Environment Combat Unit) medics are also seen using the pistol in the Opposing Force expansion pack. The Glock (and the 92FS in the HD pack) is one of the few firearms in the game that can fire underwater.
Glock 17 (2nd Generation) - 9x19mm
Dr. Freeman looks down on a dead bullsquid with his Glock 17 in hand.
Freeman reloads his Glock, showing off its windowed magazine.
Freeman dumps an empty magazine. Whether the magazine is actually totally depleted or not, the ejected magazine shows no rounds in the window, nor a spring. Note also how it falls out oddly.
Freeman fires his pistol. Note how the shell is about the same size as the ejection port.
A suppressed Glock 17 in the hands of a dead Black Ops assassin. This weapon cannot be picked up or used by the player, and remains modeled after a Glock 17 even when the HD pack is installed.
A Black Mesa security guard fires his Glock 17. Their Glocks use unique models from the ones found on the ground, used by Black Ops assassins or HECU medics in Opposing Force
A Glock lays by its former Security Guard companion in Half-Life: Source
Corporal Adrian Shephard reloads his Glock 17 in Opposing Force
(note the different texture) next to a HECU medic checking his surroundings with his own pistol.
The pistols used by Black Ops assassins in Opposing Force
are the same as those wielded by HECU medics, but with a suppressor; unlike the ones from the original game, the suppressor does not use a "chromed" material.
In Blue Shift
, the new texture from Opposing Force is used if not playing with HD models.
Barney Calhoun holds a Glock in the Steam Banner artwork for Half-Life: Blue Shift
replacing the unidentified pistol mentioned below.
The High Definition pack replaces the Glock 17 with the Beretta 92FS, as well as Half-Life: Source's "Ultra" High Definition pack. The change is purely aesthetic, and changes none of the weapon's stats. Although 17-round magazines are possible on a real Beretta 92FS, these ones have a deeper base than the one on the 15-round model in the game, and were not in existence when the HD pack was released.
The Beretta 92FS in Freeman's hand in the HD version of Half-Life. It incorrectly operates in DAO mode.
Having dealt with one of his zombified former co-workers, Freeman reloads his Beretta.
Barney reloads his Beretta in Half-Life: Blue Shift
. Like the Glock from the non-HD version, there are no rounds visible in the magazine, regardless of its remaining ammo count. In contrast to what is seen here, there is no visible magazine at all when performing a partial reload in Half-Life
and Half-Life: Opposing Force
, due to an oversight. Note the nearby "USMC Ordnance" crate which once broken, reveals a Browning M2HB
as described which Barney can arm.
Barney takes some time out of his day to get some shots in at the range. Another difference the Blue Shift
version of the Beretta has is that the slide moves, whereas the Opposing Force
versions has it only move when it runs dry.
Freeman brings a Beretta to work in the Ultra HD universe.
Sensing a premonition, Freeman reloads his gun in the Ultra HD version. Note the Beretta trademarks which are clearly visible with this model.
The third-person model is noticeably shorter, somewhat comparable in length to the Beretta 85FS
The stainless .357 Magnum Colt Python is found mid-way through the game at the bottom of a blast pit and is far more powerful than the 9mm pistol, but is offset by a small capacity and a lower rate of fire. Reloading is done with the help of a speedloader, but it is still slower than the Glock's. The reload animation is actually longer than the reload process itself, as the player can fire the revolver right after inserting new rounds into its cylinder (though this is not the case in Half-Life: Source). The Python's cylinder appears to not be attached to its crane nor ejector rod (which remain stationary while reloading), and it can be seen floating outside the gun when it is swung out.
In the multiplayer part of the game, the Colt Python is additionally equipped with a laser pointer under the barrel. This enables the player to use a zoom function, which acts as the secondary fire mode.
Colt Python, Stainless finish with 6" Barrel - .357 Magnum
The original Half-Life version of the Python without the HD patch. Note the lack of cylinder latch, an error which remains present on all
versions of the game's revolver.
The multiplayer version of the Python with an underbarrel laser sight.
Freeman flicks open the cylinder and prepares to dump a couple of .357 rounds. Note that the cartridges are not correctly lined up with the chambers. The chambers on the cylinder are also incorrectly positioned inside the fluted sections of it.
Freeman, in idle, plays with the hammer of the original Python, showing off both the single screw below the cylinder that's indicative of the Python, as well as the model's very odd perspective.
Freeman finds the first Python in the game, next to a dead security guard.
The High-Definition pack replaces the Colt Python by a Colt Anaconda with wood grips, though it is still shown using .357 Magnum ammunition. A cut ammo box model that reads ".44 Magnum" can be found in the game's files, implying that the Colt would have always been a .44 Magnum model.
Colt Anaconda with 4", 6" & 8" barrel and Wooden Grips - .44 Magnum
Freeman repeats the same move in the HD universe as he waits for his H.E.V. suit to be charged up. Note that the trigger actually moves backwards when Dr. Freeman pushes the hammer down.
The multiplayer version of the revolver with laser sight under the barrel.
In the HD version, Dr. Freeman holds the Colt Anaconda as he observes some poorly-spelled Marine graffiti.
Having welcomed a Vortiguant to Earth with a fresh .357 slug, Freeman reloads his revolver. Despite the increased detail, the chambers remain misaligned compared to the fluting of the cylinder.
Freeman then slams a speedloader into the cylinder.
Finding a place where the grass is even greener, despite being named "Source", Freeman plays with a very shiny Anaconda.
The world-model of the HD Anaconda where it first appears in the original game, lying next to a dead Black Mesa security guard.
Desert Eagle Mark XIX
The Desert Eagle Mark XIX appears only in the Opposing Force expansion pack as the standard-issue sidearm of the U.S. Marines. The weapon is also seen used at times by Black Mesa security guards. The Desert Eagle has an attached LAM (Laser Aiming Module), which can be turned on and off using the secondary fire key. Strangely enough, the iron sights are removed from the first person model (whereas the world model appears to have them), which would make any sort of aiming with it difficult in real life unless using the LAM (sure enough, the weapon in-game is quite inaccurate when fired without the LAM active). Another modeling error is that the third person model is strangely short, with the slide and barrel measuring about two-thirds the length of an actual Desert Eagle. Despite being the only other semi-automatic pistol in the game, it cannot be fired underwater. Also attempting to do this will trigger a bug which prevents the player from firing the gun for the rest of the game.
In Opposing Force, the Desert Eagle replaces the Colt Python. It uses .357 Magnum ammunition (the game manual also refers to it as "Desert Eagle .357"), but holds only 7 rounds while its real life .357 Magnum counterpart has a capacity of 9 rounds. This reveals another final (though more minor) modeling error - the lack of barrel fluting which is present on actual .357 and .44 variants of the Mark XIX Desert Eagle (the .50 AE variant, which is more commonly seen in films and television, lacks the fluted barrel). The weapon is very out of place since the Marines have never used the Desert Eagle as their sidearm throughout their history.
Desert Eagle Mark XIX - .50 AE
IMI Desert Eagle MK XIX - .44 Magnum. Note that the .44 Magnum version of the Mark XIX has a fluted barrel (as does the .357 version), which is absent from the .50 AE version (as seen above).
The Desert Eagle in first-person view.
Cpl. Shephard kills a Vortigaunt with his Desert Eagle.
Shephard reloads the Desert Eagle as he stands in front of some more poorly-spelled graffiti.
Reloading the Desert Eagle from empty. Note the slide locked back.
A world-model Desert Eagle seen next to a dead security guard.
Barney Calhoun is depicted with an unidentified pistol on the cover art for Blue Shift. The pistol does not appear in the game itself.
Barney with his pistol on one of the box art variants. The Steam wallpaper for the expansion uses the same image but corrects the gun to a Glock 17.
The Franchi SPAS-12 shotgun is found in some armories in the facility and is also used by some HECU Marines. Strangely, it has the unrealistic ability to fire two shells at once (alternative fire), instead of firing in semi-auto like the real SPAS-12. Seemingly the developers believed the weapon's magazine tube was a second barrel. Oddly, in the HD and original versions of the game, the SPAS-12 ejects shells before it is cycled. In Opposing Force and Blue Shift, the non-HD SPAS-12 has slightly different animations.
Note of interest: the icon for the weapon in the original game's selection screen displays an Ithaca 37 "Stakeout" shotgun.
Franchi SPAS-12 without stock - 12 gauge
Ithaca 37 "Stakeout" - 12 gauge
The original version of the SPAS-12 without stock in the hands of Freeman. Note the Stakeout HUD icon.
Freeman fires "both barrels" of the original SPAS-12, the recoil apparently strong enough to make the shotgun fly out of his hands.
Freeman racks the pump of the original SPAS-12.
Freeman tilts the original SPAS-12, after travelling to the Source Universe, to load a shell into it. Apparently somebody needs to tell Gordon that he's missing the feeding port by about two inches, as cramming shells into the shotgun's heatshield won't actually work in reality.
Having travelled back to the GoldSrc Universe, Freeman looks at a SPAS-12 and some spare ammo boxes. The SPAS-12 pickup actually gives you twelve shells, instead of eight (which is how much it holds), though where those extra four shells come from is anybody's guess; the ammo boxes also give twelve, despite the extra shell outside of them. Note the disproportionately scaled 12 gauge shells compared to the shotgun.
Franchi SPAS-12 with stock folded - 12 gauge
Gone to a realm where HD textures and less polygons exist, Freeman holds his SPAS. Note the HD model has the folding stock (which is strictly cosmetic and unusable in the game).
Freeman loads his SPAS-12, shells still going into the wrong place.
He finishes it off with a satisfying pump.
An HD world-model of the Franchi SPAS-12 on a desk. Note the extremely short receiver and tube. This model appears to lack an ejection port.
Heckler & Koch MP5SD3
The Heckler & Koch MP5SD3 is the primary automatic weapon in the game and is the HECU's standard issue weapon. It features a retractable stock, incorrectly holds 50 rounds in a 30-round magazine, and has an attached M203PI grenade launcher. Since it uses the same ammunition, the MP5 shares its ammo pool with the Glock 17. The Source port of the game increases the MP5's recoil in exchange for matching its damage per shot with the Glock's. As seen in early gameplay videos, the MP5SD3 was originally suppressed as the first person model would suggest. Interestingly, in the config file it is listed as weapon_9mmAR, whereas it is actually a submachine gun. In Opposing Force and Blue Shift, the MP5SD3's handling, firing and reloading animations have been reanimated.
Heckler & Koch MP5SD3 with S-E-F trigger group and stock extended - 9x19mm
Heckler & Koch MP5A3 with lengthened SD-looking flash-hider and mounted M203 Grenade Launcher. This is the weapon used by Arnold Schwarzenegger
's character Jericho Cane in the film End of Days
. It is a fairly close real-world representation of the in-game weapon.
Freeman holds his MP5SD3 while looking at the Marines' incredibly subtle AP mines.
Freeman kills a Vortigaunt with his MP5SD3. Note that there is no peep hole or notch in the rear sight. There is also no charging handle modelled on the gun.
Freeman laments at the lack of a fire selector on the viewmodel and sadly reloads his MP5SD.
Shephard reloads his MP5, showing that it lacks both ammunition in the magazine and a trigger.
Heckler & Koch MP5A3
The world-model of the SD3, and the submachine guns used by the Marines are replaced with Heckler & Koch MP5A3s. The HUD icon of the MP5SD3 is also an A3 model, but has had the forend and barrel of an AR-15-type rifle with an M203 replacing the MP5's.
Heckler & Koch MP5A3 with original "slimline" foregrip - 9x19mm
Freeman looks down on a world-model MP5A3 lying next to a dead Marine. Note the "slimline" forend. While there is no trigger mechanism, the dead Marines' submachine guns are clearly A3 variants, as noted by the SEF lower receiver.
A Marine brings his MP5A3 to bear under fire.
Cpl. Shephard holds his reanimated MP5SD3 while examining a retextured world-model MP5A3.
The MP5A3 HUD icon. Note that the HUD icon has no magazine nor a well for it.
Colt Model 727
The High Definition pack replaces the MP5SD3 with the Colt Model 727, denoted by its M16A2-style rear sights and integrated non-detachable carry handle. The M727 would appear to be more realistic, but it still shoots 9mm rounds and it is still mainly used in close quarters like an SMG due to its stats remaining exactly the same as the MP5SD3. In the PlayStation 2 version of the game, HECU marines tend to avoid close quarters combat with the Model 727.
In early versions of the game, HECU Marines used AR-style carbines with attached M203s which were unusable by the player; however, these early models cannot be positively identified due to their low detail.
Colt Model 727 with M203 grenade launcher - 5.56x45mm NATO
Freeman looks at a discarded M727 on the ground. Note that the M203 grenade launcher has no trigger mechanism on this world-model.
Having found a military supply area, Freeman jumps at the chance and grabs a Colt 727 as well as some spare STANAG magazines. Note the A2-rear sights.
The Colt Model 727 in idle.
Freeman looks over his darker Colt 727 in Half-Life: Source
while his colleagues look on and wonder why this psychopath hasn't been fired yet. This specific version has the knobs that are normally as part of an M4A1's removable carry handle, but the in-game model maintains the non-removable one (which means it is still a Colt 727), nevermind the fact that the knobs are screwed on the opposite side. Also note the mirrored lower reciever with a normal upper.
Freeman fires the rifle. Note the pistol-like casings being ejected.
Despite watching the Gargantua kill several Marines, Dr. Freeman tries his attempt at killing it by engaging with the M727, which doesn't work too well as it can only be killed with explosive or energy weapons.
Freeman reloads his M727.
A HECU Marine with an M727. Note the lower detail compared to the world-model, presumably because any instance where the player character is this close to an enemy will normally result in the deaths of one or both of the involved parties before the player can get a good look at the weapon.
FN M249E2 SAW
The FN M249E2 SAW machine gun appears only in the Opposing Force expansion pack. It is by far the most powerful non-fictional weapon, with high damage, range and moderate accuracy. It should be noted that the belt box carries only 50 rounds whereas its real-life counterpart carries 100 or 200. Interestingly enough, the recoil is so powerful that Cpl. Shephard slides backwards if he fires it continuously.
FN M249E2 SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon) - 5.56x45mm NATO
The M249E2 SAW in first-person view as Shepard arrives at a rather gruesome scene. Note that the holes in the heat shield are incorrectly depicted as a series of horizontal slits instead of a series of three holes; this probably resulted from the modellers only being provided a side view of the weapon (similar to the image above) as a reference. There is also no post in the front sight ring.
Reloading the SAW. Due to an animation glitch, when Cpl. Shephard removes the drum, the ammo link stays on and disappears after a very short delay.
A world-model M249E2 SAW lying on the ground. Note the world-model has a bipod attached.
The M40A1 appears only in the Opposing Force expansion pack as a usable weapon, where it replaces the Crossbow. It is incorrectly depicted to have a detachable box magazine, whereas the real M40A1 has an integral magazine. Other variants of the Remington 700 use detachable magazines (including the M40A5, which was produced a decade after the game's release).
There was previously an oversight that involved the player character merely pulling the bolt back after each shot, and operating the bolt back then forward before reloading an empty magazine (after which it was pushed forward again). These reversed animations were fixed in a patch.
Remington/USMC M40A1 sniper rifle with woodland camouflage finish - 7.62x51mm NATO
Shepard stumbles across a M40A1 as well as its former owner.
Cpl. Shephard holds the M40A1.
Cpl. Shephard operates the bolt of the rifle.
Cpl. Shephard reloads his M40A1.
Shepard spots the ammo-pickup for the M40A1. These magazines are not fully loaded, because the two mags and the cartridge only add 5 rounds to the player's inventory when picked up.
M203 Grenade Launcher
The M203 grenade launcher is attached to the MP5 (and the Colt M727 in the High Definition expansion pack). The MP5 uses the the M203PI variant, whereas the M727 uses the full-length M203. In-game it can carry a maximum of 10 rounds, and is never seen reloading or possessing a trigger mechanism of any kind. The 40mm grenades it fires apparently had their fuses removed, since in real life grenades need to travel for around 30 feet before arming. They also arc extremely fast and tumble end over end while in flight. The M203 is not capable of being mounted on an unmodified MP5 in real life.
RM Equipment M203PI - 40x46mm
Freeman looks at the M203PI grenade launcher mounted on the MP5SD3. Note the missing trigger mechanism.
Freeman somehow fires his triggerless M203 mounted on a gun that also lacks a trigger. The fired grenade model is the same as the one used for the ammo pickups, meaning that either the grenades are caseless, or the launcher fires the entire grenade, case and all. That's 65% more grenade, per grenade!
M203 grenade launcher - 40mm
HD version of the M203 grenade launcher mounted on the M727. Note correct trigger mechanism; despite this, the trigger is still never pulled.
Freeman fires a higher-definition grenade out of a higher-definition launcher.
Freeman looks at the HD ammo pickup for the M203, that being two 40mm grenades.
Armbrust ATW (Futuristic)
The "RPG" is a futuristic version of the Armbrust ATW, and is marked as "GAM14B" in the high-definition version. It is shown as being reloadable and laser-guided. The launcher uses a "soft-launch" system; the warhead is pneumatically ejected from the launcher, and the rocket motor ignites almost a second later. Normally this system is reserved for anti-air missiles and is horribly impractical for the GAM14B's design, as the rocket motor is igniting in the user's face. The secondary fire key can be used to toggle the laser guide on and off, letting the player choose between firing laser guided projectiles or one that travels in a straight line.
Dr. Freeman holds the futuristic Armbrust during the level "Surface Tension". This is the original version, with an unusable scope on the top.
Freeman fires the Armbrust at a conveniently-timed Apache.
A modified Armbrust on the ground.
Dr. Freeman holds the HD Armbrust in the same place. The HD version of the launcher replaces the scope with a ladder sight.
Dr. Freeman reloads the HD Armbrust after launching a rocket at a troublesome sniper.
The HD version of the Armbrust on the ground.
Mk 2 hand grenade
The Mk 2 hand grenade is the standard grenade used by the Marines, and apparently kept in large numbers by security guards (though they never use it). Strangely, instead of rolling to a stop after it is thrown, it simply bounces a few inches then stays there until it explodes. The spoon also stays on when the grenade is thrown, due to an oversight on the part of the developers. This grenade was discontinued from active use by the time of the Vietnam War, making it well obsolete for the period in which the game takes place.
In the multiplayer mode of Opposing Force, the player is able to throw penguins with Mk 2 grenades attached to them. They are essentially a more powerful version of the "snarks", beetle-like alien creatures that the player is able to use as weapons.
Freeman holding the original version of the Mk 2 grenade.
Freeman pulls the pin on the original grenade in an attempt to blow up a wall.
Mk 2 grenades attached to the belt of a Black Ops assassin.
In the HD Texture realm, Freeman looks at some more accurate-looking Mk 2s.
Dr. Freeman holds a remodeled HD frag grenade as he blasts a couple of zombies.
Knowing the only way to distract the Tentacle is to make a boom, Freeman pulls the pin on a Mk 2.
Satchel Charges act as command-detonated bombs with a very high damage output and blast radius. Pressing primary fire will drop a single explosive and secondary fire will deploy an additional charge (as deploying the first charge will bring up the detonator which is then triggered with primary fire). Deploying Satchel Charges can be used to dispatch enemies that are several feet away due to the slippery nature of the explosives when dropped, provided that both the player and target are on the same platform.
Freeman holds the satchel charge; "C-4 PLASTIC EXPLOSIVE" is written in low detail at the top of the backpack.
Freeman holds the detonator for the satchel charge and looks at one deployed on the ground.
The HD version of the satchel charge, which is only marginally more high-definition than the original.
The HD detonator in hand.
The Browning M2HB appears as a usable emplaced weapon throughout all the games. It is mostly seen mounted on tripods, but sometimes on pintle mounts and tanks. The M2HBs have unlimited ammunition, and are used pretty often by the Opposing Force.
In Blue Shift, a crate containing an M2HB has "USMC Ordnance" written on it, essentially a play on the U.S. Ordnance manufacturer name and the USMC featured in the game.
Browning M2HB on M3 tripod - .50 BMG (12.7x99mm NATO)
A Browning M2HB also appears mounted on the hull of an Abrams tank in a very strange way (reminiscent of tanks like the T28). This is from the pre-patched version - The updated M2 looks almost like this but has a sharper texture. This is inaccurate, as the Abrams tank has no hull-mounted machine guns and the actual tank's sole M2HB is mounted on the turret at the commander's cupola.
A Browning M2 on a tripod.
Having dispatched a Marine stronghold only to meet up with a Vortiguant attack, Freeman brings the M2 to bear on the horde.
U.S. Marines with M2 machine guns during the live-fire training in the tutorial level of Half-Life: Opposing Force
seen through the use of a 'noclipping' cheat; these particular M2s use unique simplified models.
Browning M2HB on vehicle mount - .50 BMG
M2 Browning top-mounted on an Abrams tank. Though more closely accurate, this too is incorrect, as it is on the left, which is the loader's cupola (which has an M240D
mounted). The commander's cupola, where the M2HB is mounted, is on the right side on an Abrams.
M230 Chain Gun
USMC and Black Ops Apache helicopters are armed with M230 Chain Guns.
Hughes/Alliant Techsystems M230 Chain Gun - 30mm
Dr. Freeman looks up at a VERY close Apache fly-by as it prepares to engage him. Note the 'ARMY' markings on the supposed USMC choppers (which, while confusing in terms of the game's story context, is accurate IRL - The US Army employs the Apache, not the USMC).
The M202 FLASH appears in the form of an emplaced rocket launcher with some sort of magazine mounted on the top for a larger capacity. It is used by Marines in the original game, but Gordon himself cannot operate it. Oddly, rockets fired at the player can be diverted using the modified Armbrust's laser guide.
Modified M202 FLASH on a tripod. Note the "magazine" which looks suspiciously like a belt box.
Bushmaster M242 Chain Gun
The M242 Bushmaster chaingun is seen mounted on several Bradley IFVs.
M242 Bushmaster Chain Gun - 25mm
Freeman looks at one of the 'Marine' Bradleys (Note that the USMC doesn't use or employ Bradley IFVs/CFVs, the Army does), armed with M242 Chain Gun. Note also the TOW launchers side-mounted on the turret. Interestingly, this vehicle is in proper desert camo while the Abrams tanks aren't. The Bradley in the game is an original production model with ball mounts for M231 Firing Port Weapons on the sides, which were blocked off by later up-armor packages: the vehicle in the game is also shown with symmetrical sides, with the armor from the right-hand side but the firing port positions from the left side.
Another Bradley, this time from the original game and without the BGM-71 TOW launchers.
Twin launchers for the BGM-71 TOW are also seen mounted on Bradley IFVs. Interestingly, some Bradley's use only the M242 Chain Gun when the player makes contact with them, while others fire only the TOW. The game also seemingly treats these missiles as equivalent to those launched by the Armbrust; they share the same model and sounds, and the Armbrust's laser can even be used to redirect the Bradleys' missiles.
BGM-71 TOW launcher mounted on Bradley IFV - 152mm
BGM-71 TOW mounted on a Bradley IFV.