Half-Life Decay

{{DISPLAYTITLE''Half-Life Decay''}}
{{Article|rw|hl1|good}}
{{Game Infobox
|image=FileDecay menu logo.png|250px
|name=''Half-Life Decay''
|hidei=
|developer=Gearbox Software
|date=November 2001
|genre=WikipediaFirst-person shooter|First-person shooter
|mode=WikipediaSingle-player video game|Single-player, WikipediaCooperative gameplay|Cooperative
|platform=WikipediaPlayStation 2|PlayStation 2
|hidep=
|hideu=
|rating=WikipediaEntertainment Software Rating Board|ESRB M (Mature)
|distribution=Sierra Entertainment
|system=
|input=WikipediaDualShock 2|DualShock 2 controller, WikipediaUSB|USB WikipediaComputer keyboard|keyboard and WikipediaMouse (computing)|mouse
|engine=GoldSrc
|series=''Half-Life and Portal universe|Half-Life''
|designer=
|writer=
|composer=
|previous=''Half-Life Blue Shift'' 
|next=''Half-Life 2''
}}
'''''Half-Life Decay''''' is an add-on included in the Half-Life (PlayStation 2 port)|PlayStation 2 port of the first-person shooter game ''Half-Life'', developed by Gearbox Software and published in 2001.

==Overview==
Like Gearbox's other expansion packs ''Half-Life Opposing Force|Opposing Force'' and ''Half-Life Blue Shift|Blue Shift'', ''Decay'' returns to the setting and timeline of the original story, but with different player characters two female colleagues of Gordon Freeman, Gina Cross and Colette Green. Dr. Cross is the model for the Hazard Course hologram, and can be seen at a point in ''Blue Shift''. Dr. Green is a new character invented for ''Decay''.

''Decay'' is not available through Valve Software|Valve's WikipediaSteam (software)|Steam service. In September 23, 2008, it has been unofficially ported to Windows version of ''Half-Life'' as a modification by a team.http//decay.half-lifecreations.com ''Half-Life Decay'' unofficial PC port website

==Plot==
{{Main|Half-Life Decay storyline}}
FileDecay fighting Vortigaunts.jpg|thumb|left|200px|Dr. Cross and Dr. Green fighting a Vortigaunt.
''Decay'' begins with Gina Cross and Colette Green arriving at the Anomalous Materials Labs at Black Mesa Research Facility and reporting to Dr. Keller, who is readying the day's analysis of an unknown specimen. Despite the objections of Dr. Rosenberg to pushing the analysis equipment beyond its design capacities, Cross and Green are assigned to assist setting up the experiment for Gordon Freeman. When Freeman inserts the specimen into the scanning beam, however, it triggers the Resonance Cascade, causing massive damage to the facility and teleporting alien creatures into the base. Keller and Rosenberg agree that Black Mesa cannot deal with the situation on its own, and so decide to call for military assistance. Cross and Green escort Rosenberg to the surface, where he sends a distress signal to the military. However, the military are ordered not only to contain the situation, but to silence the base by killing its employees. Rosenberg elects to stay behind to meet with the military on arrival and Cross and Green return to Keller.

Once reunited with Keller, Cross and Green work to seal the dimensional tear to stop the invasion. The military arrive and try to remove all personnel as well as the alien force. After resetting key equipment to prevent a second dimensional rift, the two are tasked with preparing a Black Mesa satellite|satellite for launch. The satellite, which is launched by Freeman in Half-Life, is used in tandem with ground-based equipment to significantly weaken the effects of the resonance cascade. Keller tasks Cross and Green with activating this set of prototype equipment, a displacement beacon, which through the satellite may be able to seal the dimensional rift. However, after activating the beacon, both characters are caught up in a "harmonic reflux", a distortion caused by the rift. Despite this, Cross and Green are able to return safely and Keller congratulates them on their success.

The unlockable Vortigaunt mission provides background information explaining how the Xen Crystals used by the rift-sealing machine in ''Half Life Decay'' are acquired and used by the Nihilanth during the final boss battle in ''Half Life''. The two player-controlled vortigaunts battle through marines and Black Ops in the underground Black Mesa complex to find the orange crystals in the back of a military van. At this point the screen fades and the mission is declared a success.

==Gameplay==
FilePs2 menu decay.jpg|thumb|right|200px|The game's main menu.

Unlike the other narrative-based ''Half-Life'' games, which are single player only, ''Decay'' is designed for co-operative play. While it can be played by one person, swapping between the roles of Dr. Cross and Dr. Green, the game is intended to be played by two players in split-screen. Various puzzles and combat situations throughout the game require the co-operation of the two characters.

The game is also unique in the context of the ''Half-Life'' series by being the only game divided into separate missions, instead of a single unbroken narrative. ''Decay'' has a ranking system for all of its nine missions, ranging from ''F'' (worst) to ''A'' (best), based on accuracy, number of enemies killed, and damage taken. If all missions are achieved with an ''A'' level, a bonus mission, Xen Attacks, can be played as a pair of Vortigaunts, X-8973 and R-4913. The game was originally to feature twelve campaign missions. However, it shipped with only nine, leaving three to have been Cut missions from Half-Life Decay|cut from the final product.

==Characters==
{{Columns|2|
*Gina Cross
*Colette Green
*Richard Keller
*Rosenberg
*Gordon Freeman {{Mo}}
*The G-Man {{C|Cameo}}
*Wallace Breen {{Mo}}
*Isaac Kleiner {{Mo}}
*Black Mesa Science Team
*Black Mesa Security Force
*X-8973 and R-4913 (Bonus mission only)
*Nihilanth (Bonus mission only) (Heard only)
}}

==Enemies==
In addition to the enemies featured in ''Half-Life'', the players encounter a "boss" version of the Alien Craft at the Gamma Labs.

==Weapons==
The players are able to obtain most of the Half-Life found in ''Half-Life'' excluding the Tau Cannon, the Gluon Gun, and the Crossbow (Half-Life)|Crossbow. Also, in ''Half-Life Decay storyline chapter Xen Attacks|Xen Attacks'' the players get the opportunity to play as a pair of Vortigaunt Slaves, thereby giving them the ability to fire energy bolts and hit other NPCs with their claws.

==Development==
{{See also|Cut missions from Half-Life Decay}}
A cooperative ''Half-Life'' game was first alluded to by publisher Sierra Entertainment in November 2000 with the announcement of a PlayStation 2 version of ''Half-Life''. At the time, however, it was unclear how a cooperative version of ''Half-Life'' would be implemented; the developers, Gearbox Software, were still experimenting with finding the most balanced amount of players to build a cooperative game around. ''Decay'' was originally called "Hazard Team" (map file names still bear the "ht" prefix), and "Operation Decay" was also used at one point, though by E3 2001, the game had acquired its current title, named after the scientific concept of exponential decay for consistency with the scientific names used by previous ''Half-Life'' titles. While the E3 convention only provided a demonstration of the main ''Half-Life'' PlayStation 2 game, further details were released relating to ''Decay''`s premise and story, as well as confirming that the cooperative mode was to be designed for two players.{{IA|20020413153935/http//ps2.ign.com/articles/087/087979p1.html|Sierra Delivers ''Half-Life'' to PlayStation 2|IGN (November 17, 2000)}} The game's use of new model sets were also showcased. These new models were updated versions of Gearbox's ''Half-Life High Definition Pack|High Definition Pack'' pack for ''Half-Life Blue Shift|Blue Shift'', featuring higher numbers of polygons and animation features such as facial expressions.{{IA|20030415174318/http//ps2.ign.com/articles/135/135631p1.html|''Half-Life'' Preview|IGN (September 19, 2001)}} The enhanced models were around twice as detailed as those in the ''High Definition Pack'', which itself was of a much higher quality than the original models in ''Half-Life''.{{IA|20011202100154/http//gamespot.com/gamespot/stories/previews/0,10869,2811529,00.html|''Half-Life'' Updated Preview|GameSpot (September 9, 2001)}} Media updates through the months following E3 showed various screenshots and the trailer to the game.{{IA|20080130042326/http//insider.ign.com/teasers/302/302245.html|''Half-Life'' Hi-Res Trailer (PS2)|IGN (August 11, 2001)}} On August 18, 2001, Sierra announced that ''Decay'' was nearly complete, and would be submitted to PlayStation 2 manufacturer Sony for verification within days.http//gamespot.com/articles/half-life-decay-nears-completion/1100-2805397 ''Half-Life Decay'' nears completion on GameSpot (August 17, 2001) The entire ''Half-Life'' for PlayStation 2 package achieved old status on October 30, 2001,{{IA|20070519110253/http//gamespot.com/ps2/action/halflife/news.html?sid{{=}}2820992|''Half-Life'' PS2 goes gold|GameSpot (October 29, 2001)}} and the game was released on November 14, 2001.{{IA|20070518060635/http//gamespot.com/ps2/action/halflife/news.html?sid{{=}}2822828|''Half-Life'' PS2 ships next week|GameSpot (November 6, 2001)}}

Although Gearbox completed a PC port of the game, ''Decay'' was never released "due to powers beyond Gearbox's control,"{{IA|20050405075838/http//collective.valve-erc.com/index.php?news{{=}}1101989454-38284800|Patrick Deupree's comments|VERC (December 3, 2004)}} in October 2005, work was begun by a group of developers to port ''Decay'' over to Windows, as a modification for ''Half-Life''. The port relied on the discovery of a method that allowed ''Decay''`s PS2 game files to be deciphered, thereby allowing the files to be ported to Windows.http//decay.half-lifecreations.com/?content=news&sub=archive News page on ''Half-Life Decay'' PC port website The port went into the beta development stage in December 2007 and was released publicly on September 23, 2008. The port was received well by the journalists in the industry; British journalist Alec Meer stated that it was "fantastic to have this short but sweet lost ''Half-Life'' episode on PC at last, and it even has something the PS2 version didn't—online play".http//rockpapershotgun.com/2008/09/28/half-life-the-lost-chapter ''Half-Life'' The Lost Chapter on Rock, Paper, Shotgun (September 28, 2008)

==Critical reception==
''Decay'' received a weak but overall positive reception from the video games industry's critics. Writing for GameSpot, Doug Radcliffe argued that ''Decay'' was "impressive", praising the design of puzzles required players to work together, as well as the way in which the ranking system discouraged players from competing against each other.{{IA|20070328233020/http//uk.gamespot.com/ps2/action/halflife/review.html|''Half-Life'' for PlayStation 2 Review|GameSpot (October 15, 2001)}} GameSpy reviewer David Hodgson was more reserved in his views of the game; although describing it as "great fun", he noted that it could become "tedious, with one member waiting for minutes at a time, while the other scratches their head, then completes an objective". In addition, Hodgson felt that the more puzzle-orientated nature of ''Decay'' left the action elements "a little muted compared to Gordon's single player quest".{{IA|20011119000242/http//gamespy.com/reviews/november01/halflifeps2/index.shtm|Reviews ''Half-Life'' (PS2)|GameSpy (November 16, 2001)}} The site Allgame described ''Decay'' as an "added bonus" for the PlayStation 2 version of ''Half-Life'', but noted that as the game was designed for two players, it significantly suffered when a single player attempts to play it by switching between two characters,{{IA|20141115152930/http//allgame.com/game.php?id{{=}}33217&tab{{=}}review|''Half-Life'' PlayStation 2 review |AllGame}} a point that both GameSpy and GameSpot agreed on. In his review for IGN, critic Doug Perry felt that ''Decay'' was "neat in its own limited way", but that it was more of a distraction from the main game, "a complementary cup of vegetable soup than a piping hot main dish of New York steak".http//ign.com/articles/2001/11/17/half-life ''Half-Life'' review on IGN (November 16, 2001) While ''WikipediaEP Daily|The Electric Playground'' reviewer Steve Smith stated that the control scheme for the PlayStation 2 version of ''Half-Life'' "is about the best we have seen on the PS2 or any console", he concluded that although ''Decay'' was a "nice add-on", it was "no reason to buy this port".{{IA|20090818200259/http//elecplay.com/reviews/view/?article{{=}}7478&full{{=}}1|''Half-Life'' Review|The Electric Playground}}

==Trivia==
*In the original ''Half-Life'', Gordon Freeman sees two other empty HEV Suit containers when he puts on his hazard suit. These containers are intended to belong to Gina and Colette's HEV suits, who have already taken them by the time Gordon arrives.{{IA|20141108111613/http//forums.gearboxsoftware.com/showthread.php?p{{=}}2051|''Half-Life'' PS2 and ''Decay''|the Gearbox Software forums (July 6, 2003)}}
*There is an undocumented cheat code discovered by the project leader of ''Half-Life Decay''{{'}}s PC port. This code allows the player to unlock all missions, including the bonus mission ''Xen Attacks''. The code is a reference to WikipediaKonami Code|Konami Code.
*''Decay'' is the first ''Half-Life'' title to feature a chapter selection menu.
*''Nuclear Mission Jam'' from ''Half-Life''{{'}}s Half-Life soundtrack|soundtrack plays at the credits screen.

==Gallery==

FileDecay menu logo.png|The menu logo.
FileDecay hud logo.png|The in-game logo.
FileGreen and cross.jpg|Promotional screenshot featuring Colette and Gina.
FileLadies trailer.png|Colette and Gina wearing orange suits in an early trailer.
FileHt01 entrance.jpg|The beginning.
FileHt01 argument.jpg|Rosenberg and Richard Keller in an argument.
FileHt01 cart02.jpg|The crystal sample being delivered by Gina.
FileHt01 test02.jpg|The room under the test chamber.
FileHt01 zombies.jpg|Zombies begin to terrorize the facility.
FileHt03 radio02.jpg|Rosenberg sending an emergency signal to the military.
FileHt05 tram.jpg|Keller hatches a plan to create a resonance reversal using the prototype displacement beacon in the Gamma Labs.
FileDy focus0009.jpg|Cross and Green successfully raise the beacon.
FileDy lasers0037.jpg|Gina and Colette turn on a beam matrix to power the Displacement Beacon on the surface.
FileDy fubar0035.jpg|Cross and Green are forced to defend the displacement beacon against a variety of attacking Xen creatures, including an Alien Craft.


==References==
{{Imagecat|Half-Life Decay images}}
{{Reflist}}

== External links ==
*http//decay.half-lifecreations.com ''Half-Life Decay'' unofficial PC port website 

esHalf-Life Decay

{{Games}}
{{Multiplayer}}
CategoryGames
CategoryMultiplayer games
CategoryHalf-Life
CategoryHalf-Life Decay
CategoryHalf-Life Expansions