As if Valve Software wasn’t already suffering enough from the leaked Half-Life 2 source code and today’s announcement of an expected April 2004 release date, Neowin broke the news that a fully-playable beta release was leaked today. It was apparently spread via IRC channels, and will likely soon hit Usenet and the rest of the Net. There are several screenshots of in-game play available.
October 8, 2003: The leaked release is functional, but barely. You have to load maps manually from the console (e.g. ‘map e3_bugbait’), and most maps don’t load at all. The E3 tech demo maps appear entirely scripted, with enemies moving into predefined positions and otherwise ignoring you completely. This indicates that either the AI code is incomplete or overridden for purposes of the E3 demo. A 15-minute movie of in-game play shows that several other maps can be played, but it’s not immediately obvious how they were able to load them. I expect that a guide to tweaking the alpha release will be published soon.
October 9, 2003: Here’s a very brief guide to getting the game to run. (Basically, just double-click each map in the /hl2/maps directory.)