Half-Life 2 fans praise fan-made prequel set in Combine rebellion years before Gordon Freeman shows up

Half-Life 2
(Image credit: Valve)

Half-Life 2 fans are mighty impressed with this fan-made prequel set in Combine rebellion years before Gordon Freeman shows up.

The wait for Half-Life 3 has been eternal, and after all these years, we're still none the wiser as to when, or even if, we'll get to play it. Thankfully, some talented Half-Life fans have made the situation a little easier to bear with an impressive new Half-Life 2 story-driven mod set between the first two games. 

The mod, Swelter, was created by SnowDropEscape and "explores the internal tensions within the Resistance during their rebellion against the Combine". The action takes place a few years before Gordon Freeman rocks up in City 17, so the scientist is taking a back seat on this one. 

Still, all the series' other familiar elements present and correct. According to SnowDropEscape, "You can expect classic shooter gameplay inspired by the original game, along with puzzles involving physical interaction with objects, vehicle control and exploration of various locations."

Swelter takes around two hours to complete, and those that have already delved in have been full of praise for the mod. Currently, it's got a "very positive" user rating on Steam with almost 1,000 reviews.

"Very impressive mod with a fresh setting, but stays true to the core gameplay loop of Half-Life 2," says one reviewer. "It's a fairly condensed campaign and doesn't overstay its welcome - certainly worth your time." 

Another says: "The attention to detail, the environments, set-pieces etc. all feel nice and varied and just oozing with atmosphere. Certainly a stand out in the modding scene."

If you feel like giving Swelter a whirl, it's available to download on Steam. You'll just need a copy of Half-Life 2, and it's yours for free.

For more great shooters you can play right now, check out our guide to the best FPS games.

Anne-Marie Ostler
Freelance Writer

Originally from Ireland, I moved to the UK in 2014 to pursue a Games Journalism and PR degree at Staffordshire University. Following that, I've freelanced for GamesMaster, Games TM, Official PlayStation Magazine and, more recently, Play and GamesRadar+. My love of gaming sprang from successfully defeating that first Goomba in Super Mario Bros on the NES. These days, PlayStation is my jam. When not gaming or writing, I can usually be found scouring the internet for anything Tomb Raider related to add to my out of control memorabilia collection.