Think of your favorite game. Now picture the NPCs of that game in your head.
How often do you notice when these NPCs blink? Can you say for certain that they even do blink? Now that you’re aware of it, are you going to pay attention to it now?
If you’re one for such details, you’ll be interested in the small update Valve has issued for Half-Life 2. In one of the easier changelogs to read, there are only 4 items. There is a fix for a save “hitch”, a fix for SteamVR running when entering the settings menu, a fix for missing sounds on Combine soldiers, and a fix for NPCs not blinking.
Apparently, after Valve’s SteamPipe update, regular NPCs did not blink in-game. A github user noticed back in 2014 (bless them) and it’s taken 5 years for Valve to fix it. I guess City 17’s denizens were taking the phrase “blink and you’ll miss it” altogether too literally.
As for another note in the update, the missing Combine noises were just a few pain sounds.
So there’s no major content fixes or additions here. Valve has also updated old games before, so this isn't unusual. But, you do have a new excuse to replay Half-Life 2 (and it's one of the weirder ones you'll get, so take advantage of it).
I could go the path of irrational hype and read Half-Life 3 in this news, but I’m better than that. Still, if it takes five years to fix a blinking bug, at this rate we may be getting Half-Life 3 by 2027. And it does remain exciting to see anything new related to Half-Life coming from Valve. That a four-line update merits news and interest shows where we still are as far as Half-Life’s official future.
Were you one of the fans who noticed NPCs weren’t blinking? Want to dive back into Half-Life 2 regardless? Let us know in the comments below!