After 13 years of development, Half-Life 2 RTS mod Lambda Wars finally leaves beta

Technology

Half-Life 2 real-time-strategy game mod Lambda Wars has finally left beta and launched proper on Steam – 13 years after development began.

Lambda Wars is a free standalone multiplayer mod for Valve’s 2010 multiplayer top-down shooter Alien Swarm (which is itself a remake of a mod for Unreal Tournament 2004) set in the Half-Life 2 universe that brings Valve’s first-person shooter masterpiece into the RTS genre.

You play as either a commander of the Resistance or as an overlord of the Combine, with both factions including units, abilities, buildings, research and defences.

Valve gave the modders, collectively known as Vortal Storm, permission to use its famous franchise and its materials to build the game, so all the characters, logos and terminology from Half-Life are present and correct.

The project started way back in 2007 and, over the years, has seen the development of single-player, co-op and multiplayer modes.

We covered Lambda Wars back in December 2014 after it passed Valve’s Greenlight process (remember that?) and launched as a free download on Steam.

“It has been one hell of a journey and hopefully it will bring some joy to Half-Life and RTS players,” one of the modders, Pandango-r, said in a post on reddit.

Pandango-r added that while the modders have received a “small” number of donations during development, Lambda Wars has been a free time project for the majority of the team. “We’ve had discussions about finding forms of funding,” Pandango-r said, “but ultimately we decided to keep it as a passion project.”

“Many developers have come and gone, but the lead programmer started and finished the project. It never ceases to amaze me how much work he’s put into the game!”