As a human being on the internet reading a video game website, I probably don’t have to explain to you the long wait for Half-Life 3, the shooter sequel Valve continues to not make, and all the memes it’s spawned. But it seems that, even if it won’t make the long-awaited threequel, Valve doesn’t want you all to forget about Half-Life and Gordon Freeman. That might explain why two handguns in the new Counter-Strike 2 contain a small, hard-to-spot reference to the silent hero of the Half-Life series.
Planned to release later this summer, Counter-Strike 2 isn’t a brand new game, but instead a massive free update to the already-existing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive that will radically change the way the game plays and looks using new tech and features. Before its release, Valve has granted limited early access to CS2 to some players for testing purposes. And that’s how someone was able to find a tiny Half-Life Easter egg on the new version of CS2’s dual Berettas.
YouTuber and Half-Life fan Richter Overtime shared on Twitter a screenshot of the Easter egg, which is simply the name “Gordon F.” engraved on an in-game Beretta handgun. It’s not hard to make the leap that this is Valve referencing Gordon Freeman.
However, there’s a bit more to this Easter egg, and it all has to do with the gun the name appears on and Borderlands’ creators, Gearbox Software.
How does this Easter egg connect to Half-Life’s expansions?
Back in 2001, Gearbox was working on expansions for Half-Life. As part of this, the team remade many of the assets from the original Valve game, like guns and character models, to make them look “nicer.” I use quotes there because while the HD Pack assets are higher res and have more polygons, there’s always been a lot of debate among fans as to if the HD content actually looks better or not. Some prefer the original, chunkier weapon and NPC designs seen in Valve’s classic Half-Life. Others prefer the shinier, fancier stuff Gearbox created.
What does this have to do with this Easter egg in CS2? Well, in the original Half-Life the pistol Gordon and other characters use is based on a Glock. But in the HD Pack, Gearbox changed this and made the in-game pistol a Beretta, the same kind of gun “Gordon F.” appears on in the newly-spotted Easter egg. This has divided the community, with some cheering that the HD Pack is canon now and others humorously declaring this a horrible mistake. As someone who prefers the original models and weapons of Half-Life, I believe this Easter egg is a travesty and I hate it.
But also, Valve, you should make Half-Life 3. Even if Gordon uses a Beretta, I’ll play it.