Half-Life 2: Deathmatch for Linux Review

key review info
  • Game: Half-Life 2: Deathmatch
  • Platform: Linux
  • Gamepad support: N/a
  • Reviewed on:
  • Written by:
  • Show system requirements
Half-Life 2: Deathmatch menu

Half-Life 2: Deathmatch is an offshoot of the single-player Half-Life 2 game and it proved to be so fun that Valve chose to release it as a standalone product.

We reviewed Half-Life 2 for Linux just a few days ago and we found out that it’s still an amazing game. We only mentioned the multiplayer section because it’s not actually part of the main game.

Half-Life 2: Deathmatch is as old as the single-player campaign of Half-Life 2. The games have been launched at the same time, in 2004. The multiplayer part continues the tradition of multiplayer from the first game, the original Half-Life.

Surprisingly enough, the Valve developers released Half-Life 2: Deathmatch on Linux before the single-player, offering the players a small taste of the Source engine on the open source platform.


The installation of Half-Life 2: Deathmatch is done from the Steam client. You will need to own the game on one of the other platforms in order to play it.

The game is no longer in Beta, but it hasn’t been officially launched on the Linux platform. This shouldn’t stop anyone from purchasing it. The official release date can’t be that far off.

The installation of the Steam client has been covered extensively in our Half-Life 2 review, so you should check it out if you have any problems with it.


Half-Life 2: Deathmatch is a stripped down version of the Deathmatch mode that can be found in most multiplayer games. There are no other modes that can be accessed by the players and only a handful of default maps are available by default.

Players only have a couple of options available, to join a server already made or to create a server of their own. The number of tweaks for the created game is rather small, but it shouldn’t present significant problems.

Valve also released the official Source SDK and a lot of users took it upon themselves to create their own levels.

A major plus of Half-Life 2: Deathmatch is its ability to download levels on the fly, without having the player restart the game. Depending on your bandwidth, a new level (which often includes new sounds and effects) can be downloaded in a matter of seconds.

The player usually has access to a small array of weapons right from the start, like the crowbar, the glowstick, a machinegun, and so on.

The first thing you are going to notice is the fact that everyone uses the gravity gun all the time. This iconic item that has been made famous by the single-player portion of Half-Life 2, has a vast array of uses.

It can be used to grab weapons and munitions from a distance, but its first functionality is to pick up objects that are later flung at the other players.

If you are quick enough, you can actually use the gravity gun to catch whatever object is flying in your general direction and throw it back.

The Good

For a game that was originally released back in 2004, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch still looks and feels amazing. The network infrastructure has improved over the years and most of the available servers have a very low ping.

A lot of titles boast with a Deathmatch mode, but very few can even come close to Half-Life 2. It’s simple and effective, fulfilling the need of the players who have just finished the single player.

The Bad

The lack of options can be disconcerting, at first. Users expect more options from a multiplayer mode, but we’ll give it the benefit of being a very old game.

The Good

  • All the weapons for Half-Life 2 and more
  • User maps
  • Low system requirements

The Bad

  • Very few option for server creation


Even if it’s a simple game, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch has a reputation that’s right on par with the single-player portion.

It may not feature a large variety of maps or other modes, but it does deliver when it comes to Deathmatch.

Half-Life 2: Deathmatch is still a standard for how multiplayer games should approach this type of gameplay and we can only imagine how the multiplayer of Half-Life 3 will look like.

story 0
gameplay 10
concept 9
graphics 8
audio 10
multiplayer 9
final rating 9.2
Editor's review

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