Half-Life 2 is a game set in a decayed Earth after the Seven Hours War, when the alien forces of the Combine invade Earth. I'm trying to find out what year Half-Life 2 starts, with Gordon Freeman being brought out of stasis by the G-Man.

However, I've looked on the Half-Life Wiki, and I can't find a specific year for this event.

Is there a confirmed year?


7 Answers 7


According to the wiki, it's set "Around 20 years after Half-Life 1"

According to the Half-Life 1 wiki, the setting of this game is set sometime in the 2000's.


It's listed on the wikia, actually. There are no specific years, but a range between the years of 2015 and 2029 is given near the bottom, as the first entry below that header is Gordon being awakened from stasis, which is the beginning of the game.


To piggyback on what @Vemonus said above:

According to the Half-Life Universe Timeline -

"Between 2015 and 2029

Day 1 of Gordon's journey:

◾Under two decades after the Black Mesa Incident, Gordon Freeman is awakened by the G-Man after a long period of stasis, he is placed on a train entering the City 17 Train station.

◾Barney prevents Gordon from entering a prisoner train and reintroduces both himself and Dr. Kleiner to Gordon."

All the way to the end of Day 1 with:

"◾Combine forces led by Breen raid Black Mesa East while Alyx, Dog, and Gordon are in the nearby scrapyard. Gordon escapes the raid and enters the nearby town of Ravenholm. Eli is captured and taken to Nova Prospekt. Dog and Alyx also escape the raid.

◾Gordon meets Grigori, Ravenholm's priest. Gordon uses Grigori's traps to explore the town."

There was a bit of a "switcheroo" from Valve because initially they made the story to assume Gordan Freeman started work on May 15th somewhere between 2000-2009. But in the Half-Life Episodes they allude to the time that Gordan once spent in Black Mesa...

"◾This day was originally Gordon Freeman's first day of work at Black Mesa, but it was RetConn'ed in Half-Life 2 and its episodes, where it is implied that Gordon was already working for some time at Black Mesa before the incident: Barney tells Gordon he owes him a beer and reminds him who he is when first meeting in the City 17 Train station, and Alyx tells in the City 17 Underground that Gordon and Barney would compete in air ducts to get into Kleiner's office whenever he got himself locked out, among others."

I hope this helps out!


Well, we have discovered that hl1 was set in 2003, so assuming its set exactly 20 years after hl1, hl2 would be set in 2023, portal is et about 7 years after hl1 (2010) and portal 2, well, they made it so you decide when it's set, but the devs always imagine 50,000 years after portal 1, however, we have yet to know if day of defeat and counterstrike are set in the half life universe, maybe as the modern conflicts of the half life 1 era instead of the war on terror, who knows.

  • 3
    Where did you find that HL1 took place in 2003?
    – Vemonus
    Feb 13, 2017 at 20:54

Half Life (and all it's DLC) takes place 1998, the year it was released. But after Gordon defeated Nihilanth (I believe is Annihilate mixed up), the G-Man (Government-Man) puts Gordon in stasis. While he is in Stasis, the Combine pass through Zen to Earth, and thus starts the Seven Hour War. After those events, the G-Man takes Gordon out of Stasis 20 years later. The developers confirmed this in a conference I believe.


The official documentation included with the games says "200-" noting that the Black Mesa Incident takes place during an unspecified year in the 2000s. However, since speculation is fun, I'll entertain some ideas. First off, much of the technology that we see personnel using in the facility looks like it could've been used at some point between 2000-2003, given the large beige CRT monitors which had fallen out of general use in the mid 2000s. I say this because I find it likely that a powerful, high-tech research corporation like Black Mesa, capable of building power armour and inter-dimensional portals would at least update their tech every once and a wile, when even corporate offices stopped using those bulky monitors. The computer mainframes, also giving the appearance of something used in the late 20th century, is also a dead giveaway to the approximate time frame. It sounds like kind of a stretch, but 2000-2003 is where my personal estimate would lie.


Half life wiki speculates that most likely setting of Half life 1 is in May 2003. Portal 1 sets around 2010. Maybe year or two after 7 hour war. Half life 2 and episodes happens around 20 years after first one. That's around 2023. I like to think these as official setting years.

  • 1
    Wikis are often not very reliable sources. So you might want to mention how the authors of the wiki came to these conclusions.
    – Philipp
    Jul 27, 2018 at 13:43

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