Half Life
Half-Life series protagonist, Gordon Freeman.

Half-Life is an FPS that takes place in a fictional laboratory complex in the desert called Black Mesa, an organization that researches numerous fields, from teleportation to genetics engineering to missile systems. In an experiment in which protagonist Gordon Freeman is working on as a new research associate, having recently earned his PHD, a "resonance cascade" occurs, tearing open a sort of rift through which aliens a place known as "Xen" begin to come through, appearing all throughout the complex, attacking everything in sight, often including each other.

The player takes on the role of Gordon Freeman, as he attempts to survive and make his way from the underground depths of the particular wing of the complex he is in, to the surface, and escape, a process that leaves him fighting for several days without rest. In the process, the player must fight off aliens while wearing his protective "HEV"(Hazardous EnVironment) suit with whatever is available, from a simple crowbar to handguns and shotguns and sub-machine guns, to rocket launchers and advanced fictional weaponry, such as the "tau cannon". The player must also navigate the damaged facility and figure out ways to progress past obstacles and traps. The player must use the terrain and their own abilities and weapons, as well as refilling their supply of ammo and health in order to survive as they progress through the game.

As the game progress, the story is told by encounters with which can be spoken with or overheard, as well as by friendly or unfriendly interactions with them. The Black Mesa personnel are trying to make their way to the surface, where they hope to be rescued by the military. Also seen all throughout the course of the game is a mysterious individual in a business suit with a briefcase, who can be spotted in various places watching the player before walking off. Eventually, the military arrives and begins to take control of the facility, and can be heard making radio announcements. However, as the player nears the surface and encounters the Marines holding the facility, they discover that the military has been given orders to exterminate everything in the facility, thus the player is trapped in a three-way battle between themselves, the Marines, and the aliens.

In contacts with the surviving Black Mesa scientists, the player is tasked with launching a missile that was made to launch an orbital satellite system, which can be used in some manner to close the rift between Earth and the alien "borderworld" Xen. From the surface, the player attempts to make their way to the Lambda wing of the Black Mesa, where some scientists have managed to hold out. Although the Marines were highly successful against the aliens initially, the sheer numbers that continued to pour through the rift began to wear down the Marines' numbers over the course of the several days the game spans, until the Marines begin to pull out, instead conducting numerous air strikes.

Upon reaching the Lambda complex, the player learns that an alien overlord is preventing the satellite from closing the rift, and in order to stop it, the player must go through the rift themselves, attacking Xen, and killing the alien overlord, known as the "Nihilanth". Once in Xen, the player fights their way to the Nihilanth, and after a killing it, find themselves teleported into the presence of the mysterious man, usually referred to as the "G-Man", seen throughout the game. The man congratulates the player, telling them that through the players actions, that Xen is in "our" control for the time being. The G-Man then offers the player the opportunity to accept employment with his own employers, or death. Canonically, Gordon Freeman is considered to accept employment, and the player is told that Gordon is "awaiting assignment", leading to Half-Life 2.

1) Image from: http://media.photobucket.com/image/gordon%20freeman/TokromarRean/Gordon_Freeman.jpg

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