This pack aims to remove post-Orange Box cosmetic and gameplay changes in Half-Life 2. Works as a sourcemod for Half-Life 2.

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Hi.

Half-Life 2 is and forever will be a brilliant and beloved game. For the dedicated fans it just became part of our lives, our makeup. We love it, we want it to be forever.

And for me it sometimes means wanting to roll things back in a way, to look at the game how it really was back in its prime years. Back in release years.

2004

This is why I set out to make this pack. I aimed to revert the game’s visuals to pre-Orange Box, pre-HDR branch style.

Half-Life 2 2004 Pack Version 1.0


Unfortunately, it’s not enough to just turn off HDR in the settings. One immediate obstacle is lack of pre-HDR (or, LDR; low dynamic range) lighting in several levels - 14 of them to be precise. Loading them with HDR off will make your game stuck in fullbright mode; these levels had to be compiled again.

These vanilla maps go fullbright with HDR off. This also happens by default to some players. This problem has existed since 2010.

fullbright composite

Then, over the course of working on those areas, I noticed more discrepancies like changed fog values, removed env_sun entities, subtle volumetric light models replaced with more pronounced Ep2 models, and so on. Plus, I had to rename the maps, which meant also editing maps connected to them, and so the chain grew.

Summary of changes:

  • every level is recompiled with LDR lighting only
  • coastal levels restored to original fog & light_environment values
  • water in the coastal levels is reverted to its old shader
  • fixed missing grass in Ravenholm and a few other maps
  • flame graphics use original sprites instead of Ep2 particles
  • blood FX reverted to 2004 look
  • old vortigaunt model and shotgunner skin
  • original specular values restored across the board
  • Ep2 phong and detail textures are removed
  • all achievement triggers are removed
  • a few low-res item textures are restored to their original, 2004 resolution
  • player movement from 2004
  • small fixes: floating props, aggressive object fade, missing underwater geometry in coastal levels
  • Ravenholm background map fix for widescreen resolutions
  • crossbow viewmodel is fixed (no cut-out on the right)

2010 update brought overblown bloom, lost all the grass, and made the LDR version fullbright.

bme compare

This pack restores original fog values and removes bloom, clearing up visibility to how it was intended.

coast compare

Yep. The updates lost all the grass on non-displacement ground. This required using a custom compiler to fix.

grass compare

It’s not the only map with this issue, but the most obvious.

grass compare 2

Many surfaces were meant to be reflective, but it often clashes with use of HDR. There were many instances of material settings not being configured properly either.

specular compare

This bizarre issue turned out to be a mapping hack that broke in the updates and had to be re-implemented.

underwater compare

Original fire blends with its intended lighting and shows better scaling mechanics.

fire compare

Not the only example of a changed appearance, but arguably the most known & controversial.

vort compare

All in all, this pack includes all the pro-2004 changes showcased above and many other, smaller edits.

I plan to continue working on it, as there are still a few notable code differences and I hope to get them to work too. Unfortunately, certain modern bugs, such as the never-fading decals, can’t be fixed at all. Because Valve is updating HL2 more frequently now, there’s always a solid chance this project will just stop being compatible. But, until then.

If you spot something you think is missing, or I forgot to add something back, - be free to suggest it.

RSS Files
Half-Life 2 2004 Pack Version 1.0

Half-Life 2 2004 Pack Version 1.0

Full Version 15 comments

First release. Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Comments  (0 - 10 of 31)
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WadmodderPudu
WadmodderPudu

Now if only someone can port over the OG Xbox version's maps to PC via Hammer++

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aCommodore64
aCommodore64

also do you mind linking the custom compiler you used to fix the grass, im a mapper myself and id like to have grass without having to bother with displacements

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aCommodore64
aCommodore64

Can you possibly make a version that just fixes the steam update bugs, I'd like to have the fixed missing grass and such, but i prefer the deliberate post orange box changes like the vortigaunt model, fire particles, and HDR

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erick_hayden_ceo
erick_hayden_ceo

Hey there. Around 2004 I'd been obsessed with HL2, but ended up not playing it until 2007's Orange Box on the 360. By that time I'd already learned just about everything about the game, and I immediately noticed changes like the blood, bloom/hdr making a lot of maps look pretty different, gman's eyes being way too green, etc. Every now and then over the past few years I'd googled around looking for this sort of a mod, but last I checked it didn't exist. Just downloaded, very cool. Like Gman's old eyes, like the blood being old school, and I think the SMG fire rate is fixed, too. If you get a chance, I'd like the reticle to go old school as well. More significantly, I notice the lighting on gman in the opening isn't 100% OG at a couple key moments:

I.imgur.com
I.imgur.com

Shots taken from a super old gamespot video. I don't have shots from your mod just now, but I'm pretty sure the effect isn't quite like it was in OG.

In short, very grateful for the mod, and if you or someone is interested, would love to see a few more things updated.

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GamingLevel9001
GamingLevel9001

Anyone else having an issue in Anticitizen One where the Squad Following HUD is missing and you can't command your squad with "C" or "impulse 50"? Is that a bug, or was that just not a thing in 2004?

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InnoClarke
InnoClarke

I would also like to know if the ragdolls have been reverted to their retail physics. Also, has the SMG had its rate of fire reverted?

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Guest
Guest

Впринципе по виду очень похоже на 2004 я обычно и сижу на старых версиях но у меня вопрос будет ли это работать на 1 и 2 эпизоде тоесть можно ли в эпизодах отключить hdr без камбиляции карт на lov hdr на совсем? (Вот бы half life 2 2004 перенести полностью на движок беты 2003)

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pissboy
pissboy

Would be cool if it had an alt version what just restores the grass and reflections without doing things like changing the fog and changing the vorts and the shotgunners. Hl2:U Did a similar thing but its not the same as the orange box

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p00tp0t
p00tp0t

has the ragdoll been fixed? also, if this contains ai fixes and bumpmap fixes such as containers that would be perfect (also for some reason i can only set shadows to medium, they reset if i try to apply)

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