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Five years later, Valve finally fixes Half-Life 2's non-blinking NPC issue

Half-Life 2
(Image credit: Valve)

It may have taken five years, but Valve has finally patched an issue which prevented Half-Life 2's non-playable characters from blinking. 

As spotted by Rock Paper Shotgun, it seemed it was the Steampipe update five years ago that prevented characters from blinking in Half-Life 2, affecting all Source-based games in the Half-Life series, including Episode One and Episode Two.

It was first reported half a decade ago on Valve’s GitHub. Since then, a number of players have periodically popped onto the GitHub hoping for an update, but to no avail. Consequently, a number of fan-made patches sought to address the problem, but now – a little out of the blue – Valve has rolled out a patch to Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Half-Life 2: Lost Coast, and Half-Life: Source. As well as the dry eye issues, the developer also addressed some sound issues, including missing combine soldier sounds, and "fixed a hitch" when saving games.

"Updates to Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Half-Life 2: Lost Coast, and Half-Life: Source have been released," Valve said in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it brief update. "The changes include: fixed a hitch when saving games; fixed SteamVR running when entering the settings menu; fixed missing sounds on combine soldiers; and fixed NPCs not blinking."

On November 16th 2019, Half-Life 2 will turn 15 years old and, as Lucas reported around the time of its tenth anniversary, the influence of Valve's most monumental sequel can still be felt in the current gaming ecosystem. The Half-Life name is just as potent today as it was in 2004, and even now, many revere HL2 as the greatest FPS ever made. You might think that you've heard and seen all it has to offer by now, but you couldn't be more wrong – here are 7 things you probably didn't know about Half-Life 2.

Find so much more to love in our list of the best PC games.