Half-Life 2's Graphics Dragged Kicking & Screaming Into 2009

Half-Life 2? Only one of the best games ever. Sadly, it's getting on in years. It's not ugly, by any stretch of the imagination, but in 2009, it can look better.

Which is where the latest build of the FakeFactory mod for the game comes in. For a few years now, FakeFactory have been updating the game bit by bit, an updated model here, a new sound effect there, etc etc. But this latest version - taking it to v9.5 - really gives the game's visuals a kick in the pants.

For starters, it brings true, full HDR lighting to every map in the game. Then it gets rid of the sight limits on some maps, meaning if your system's powerful enough you can see from one end to the other. Then it adds full 3D foliage to the game, and to finish things off, a new, hi-res version of Dog.

While FakeFactory goes a step too far in adding new character models - that look downright awful - those technical tweaks ("before" & "after" comparison clip below) are still enough to get me digging around looking for my copy of Half-Life 2.

FakeFactory v9.5 [FilePlanet]