Half-Life 2 gets a beautiful but subtle makeover in this community-made mod

Half-Life 2: Update is a new standalone mod released through Steam today that aims to improve on the original game released by Valve in 2004. In addition to a number of bug and behavior fixes, the community-made mod updates Half-Life 2 with all-new lighting, shadows and other visual effects. Most are surprisingly subtle; this is not a total overhaul of the original, but seemingly designed to bring out the best from Valve’s seminal shooter.

In addition to a number of graphical tweaks and stability additions, Half-Life 2: Update also includes new commentary from the community, sourced from interviews, analysis of the game and publisher Prima Games’ behind-the-scenes book Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar.

Mod developer Filip Victor says earlier versions of Half-Life 2: Update have been downloaded more than 250,000 times and that the mod has been in development for more than three years. For a look at what’s new and improved in Half-Life 2: Update, check out the comparison video above.

The mod itself is free, but requires a copy of Half-Life 2 to play.