Half-Life is an infamous title, partly because of its inventive gameplay and also because of its long-awaited third installment. The internet maintains a constant buzz around the franchise and now there is movement. Although there is nothing to indicate that a third Half-Life is on the way, there is a mysterious new update for Half-Life almost 21 years after its initial release.

In 1999, Valve released Half-Life, a first-person shooter with puzzles that was unlike anything anyone had seen at the time. After a huge amount of critical praise, awards, and an equally successful sequel, the franchise went deathly quiet. With this in mind, it seems pretty odd that this patch would appear seemingly out of nowhere.

The patch addresses some very minor issues. So minor in fact, it seems weird that they'd be patched 20 years after the release of the game. The update list is:

Fixed setting monitor refresh rates through -freq when used with -nofbo

Fixed unnecessary texture rescaling with NPOT textures

Fixed slist command, will now show servers on the local network

Fixed erroneous return in SV_ClipToLinks (HL #1685)

Fixed inability to reload a partially empty weapon after reloading a save game

Fixed MP5 spread factor, multiplayer factor was being used for single player and single player for multiplayer

Fixed progress bar for individual files in reimg download always showing at 100%

Added auto-saving of several cvars (HL #2237)

Fixed missing localizations in spectator UI

Fixed NPC turn rate when running at >60FPS

Reordered columns in server browser to prevent game descriptions from being used to fake server player count

Fixed sv_cheats from being settable by players in a multiplayer game (sv_cheats is controllable by the server)

Added cl_autowepswitch cvar with values 0/1 to disable/enable auto weapon switching when a new weapon is picked up

Fix various weapon animation/sound issues

Security fixes to console commands

Security fixes to reimg loading

Security fixes to saving/loading

None of these issues ruined the game but its good to have some of the annoying features fixed. Namely, the inability to reload an item if a player loaded a game in which you didn't have full ammo. The added autosaving and fixed NPC turn rates at 60 fps will certainly please fans who are still playing the game, although nothing in the patch is exactly a game-changer. This unexpected update will likely fuel more fan theories and lead to more Half-Life 3 trolls like that given to players by Gabe Newell.

In defense of the conspiracy theorists, Half-Life 2 has also recently received an update. This may be a very long overdue move by Valve, or it could be an intentional way of creating interest in an upcoming project by the developer.

Whether this brings more fans back to an already surprisingly, well-retained amount of players remains to be seen. One thing is for sure: fans will be hoping they don't have a Half-Life 3 release party scheduled for April Fools Day again.

Half-Life is now available for PC and PlayStation 2.

Source: PC Gamer