It has been 16 years since we last stepped foot in White Forest, but Evac Dev. Team is bringing the spirit of Half-Life 2: Episode 2 back with its mod, Evacuation.
"Evacuation is an unofficial story-driven add-on for Half-Life 2, telling the story of [a] rebel who crashes a helicopter in the woods," the description reads. "Having miraculously survived, the hero picks up a walkie-talkie and decides to escape from the forest, which was attacked by the Combine."
It looks one part Firewatch – who's devs helped develop Alyx – and one part Half-Life. However, exploring this forest is a little more dangerous, as it's full of antlions, guards, zombies, and more. And to really bring the forest to life, Evacuation even comes with its own original soundtrack, giving it a unique feel separate to Half-Life's.
This isn't an expansion of Gordon Freeman, Barney Calhoun, or Alyx Vance's story, instead depicting a rebel on the run. This is more akin to the kinds of expansions we saw back in the '90s and early 2000s, with Opposing Force putting us in the shoes of a HECU soldier and Blue Shift letting us see the Black Mesa Incident through the eyes of a security guard.
It's completely free granted you own a copy of Half-Life 2, and it's out right now, so you can pick it up on Steam directly and get stuck in. Given how long it has been since the last major Half-Life release, with the last being a VR exclusive, mods like this are always worth giving a shot – who knows, maybe it'll scratch that itch that's been left lingering for nearly two decades?
If it doesn't, or you're just lefting wanting more, modders are also working to remake one of Half-Life's original expansions, Decay, a PS2 exclusive co-op game that put you and a friend in the shoes of Gina Cross and Colette Green. These are the two that sent the specimen up to Gordon that started the whole Black Mesa Incident, inviting an alien invasion, and it's these two that wear the missing HEV suits next to Gordon's. It's a while off release yet, but it's opening up to playtests soon.
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