Will We See Half Life 3 In 2012? Two Men Stake Their Dignity On The Outcome

Will We See Half Life 3 In 2012? Two Men Stake Their Dignity On The Outcome

Half-Life Episode 3, or maybe just a plain old Half-Life 3 — gamers are frothing in anticipation of the possibility of just hearing the tiniest tid-bit of information regarding some sort of conclusion to the Half-Life story. Yep, it’s serious business — especially for David ‘RaygunBrown’ Rayfield and Patrick Stafford. Together they ask the question: will 2012 be the year we finally find out what’s happening with the Half-Life franchise?

These two beautiful men have put their pride as video game writers, nay their dignity, on the line here. RaygunBrown believes that 2012 will be the year when something is finally announced, whilst Patrick Stafford reckons we’ll still be waiting by the end of next year. Both have agreed: if either one is wrong about their predictions, they will totally dance in front of the Kotaku audiences, for my amusement.

Either way, I win.

Will We See Half Life 3 In 2012? Two Men Stake Their Dignity On The Outcome

David ‘RaygunBrown’ Rayfield, Kotaku reader and top notch scribe, thinks we’ll be see some sort of Half Life 3 announcement before the end of the year, and is prepared to bet his dignity on it…

The most blindingly obvious thing about Gabe Newell’s lack of discussion regarding the Half-Life franchise is that he knows exactly what he’s doing. Despite hundreds upon hundreds of interviewers asking about it over the years, the Managing Director of Valve Software is a master strategist when it comes to marketing the, I’ll just say it, most anticipated game in history. Sorry Modern Warfare 3, you know I’m right.

It’s even more amusing how Newell likes to tease his audience. If there’s even a vague hint of a hidden code or phrase in a Valve game, people immediately jump on it like ravenous wolves; eager to fill their gullet with any and all possible information about the further adventures of Gordon Freeman. And like wolves, we’re never satisfied for long. Newell still strings us along like children, never confirming nor denying the existence of the current development status of the game. But at the same time, giving us sparse, cryptic statements as to feed us scraps to keep us limping along, hungry for more. Even if an interviewer snapped one day, leapt across a table with their hands around Newell’s throat screaming “What the hell do we have to do, you son of a bitch? You’re killing us with suspense!”, I imagine Newell’s response would be to feign ignorance but then shoot off a knowing wink at the same time. Presumably resulting in the interviewer throwing themselves into oncoming traffic out of madness.

In the past few years, the scant amount of information about Half Life 3 (face it, that’s what it will be called, not Episode 3) has started to slowly increase. More and more nowadays there’s rumours, forum topics and anonymous tips that seem to point towards SOMETHING happening in the Half Life universe. Something sooner rather than later.

Some people have begun to lose hope that this game will ever be officially announced and that’s completely understandable. This is far from a typical method to market a product. But stick with me and your faith will return.

Let’s speculate for a moment, shall we? A last minute press conference is called at the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. It garners immediate attention as Valve’s name is attached. Journalists, game developers and even Z-grade celebrities drop what they’re doing and rush to the venue. Gabe Newell stands alone on stage, bathed in a single spotlight. He simply says “Here it is” and the screen behind him opens up to reveal a teaser trailer. Alyx Vance appears, as does Barney. Murmurs start to be heard throughout the crowd. On screen, The G-Man makes a brief appearance and says “Mr. Free…man”. Gordon Freeman appears on screen, crowbar in hand. A final screen shows the title of the game that everyone has been waiting for.

At this point, the crowd erupts. A frenzy washes over the audience like a wave, propelling people out of their chairs under the force of screams and hollers. A few even start throwing their wallets onto the stage. Thousands of people watching the live stream around the world start running into the streets and tearing their hair out in excitement. Strangers embrace each other and spontaneous parties combust and explode on every street corner. The internet is crippled, brought to its knees by millions of message boards and fan sites choking under the pressure. Game journalists make their fingers bleed on their keyboards as they write stories which are nothing more than a long collection of vowels.

Valve Corporation’s stock doubles instantly. Pre-orders are opened on Steam following the conference and they are attacked in record numbers never before seen for any form of entertainment. Gabe Newell’s personal worth skyrockets overnight and is immediately earmarked for Time Magazine’s Person Of The Year as Valve overtake Apple as the most successful and influential company in history. Valve employees begin buying sports cars, yachts and flights into space.

Now, what I have speculated may contain one or two pieces of hyperbole. But at its core, the sheer excitement from all corners of the globe will be palatable for Half Life 3 when it is announced next year. Do you honestly think Valve would deny themselves such glory? They are guaranteed success with the release of this game. This isn’t Duke Nukem Forever we’re talking about. Millions of fans actually want this game more than any other game currently in development and Valve are ready to feed the wolves a full banquet.

Prepare to throw your wallets on the stage in less than twelve months.

Will We See Half Life 3 In 2012? Two Men Stake Their Dignity On The Outcome

Patrick Stafford blogs at Problem With Story and will dance like an idiot outside of the Kotaku audiences for our amusement if Half Life 3 is announced in 2012. That’s how sure he is that we won’t hear anything from Gabe Newell and company.

Valve has abandoned us.

There is no hope left. The climax of Half Life 2: Episode 2 is where the story ends for us – with Alyx draped over the bloody, brainless corpse of her father struggling to speak through sobs.

“Please don’t leave me.”

Sorry, Alyx. You’re alone in this cruel bitch of a world and Valve has left you to die.

It’s been four years since Valve released the second episode, or sequel, to Half Life 2. Remember when Gabe Newell promised the three episodes would come in six months of each other? Do you remember when he promised much shorter development cycles?

Such simple times.

Since that time, Valve has embarked on no less than the following:

– Two fully fledged Left 4 Dead games – An enormous amount of support for Team Fortress 2, including regular updates, overhauls – and hats! – A full sequel to Portal, including a co-op campaign with regular additions – A full sequel to Counter Strike – A new DOTA game, to be released next year.

That’s an incredibly impressive list. And the fact they were all completed to such a high standard surely makes Cliffy B cry into his Weet-Bix. But there’s just one problem – there’s no Half Life episode here.

That’s because it’s never coming.

Valve has simply given up on the series. Sure, we may have had a piece of concept art here and there, and Newell may have given some hints as to what valve might be doing in the future regarding co-op games and where he thinks the half life series mint be going.

But, please. Valve has moved on to bigger and better things. If it was really working on a Half Life episode, we would have seen more in the past four years than…well, nothing. We’ve seen nothing at all.

And that’s telling, isn’t it? It’s proof that Valve has evolved as a company, onto games that evolve over times and can be amended to provide “entertainment as a service”, as Newell calls it.

You’ve got Portal, which can be added to with more co-op maps. Left 4 Dead, which can never really die and Team Fortress 2, which is still among one of the most popular games of its kind four years on. DOTA is set to be the same, and counter strike has fans wetting themselves in anticipation.

What’s the link here? Absolutely none of these games, save Portal 2, have a gripping single player component. And even then, Valve has been playing up the co-op campaign much more than the single player campaign.

And that’s a good thing. It shows Valve is rolling with the times. Newell is a savvy business man and he knows what people want, and how to make money by giving it to them. The company still makes the best games in the business, and has done for a long time. That’s an impressive feat.

But the Half Life series just no longer fits into the games the company is making now, which are much more suited to regular updates of DLC than a fat single player campaign. They have cooperative features, can be updated quickly, and have a much deeper sense of humor than the Half Life series, which seems to suit Valve’s style.

And hey, it wouldn’t be the first time this has happened. Dues Ex was largely abandoned before a studio picked up Human Revolution, and a huge number of sequels have fallen away of the years as companies move on to bigger things.

It’s not impossible that a finale to Half Life 2 will eventually show up, but it definitely won’t be in the next few years.

And that’s okay. Valve has continued to show it hires the best writers, the best developers, and it has continued to push forward narrative theory and structure in gaming. Portal 2 is clear evidence of that and sets a high standard for other developers to follow. It has enriched and bettered the industry.

I hope I’m wrong. I adore Half Life and would love to see how Valve could integrate what it’s learned in the past few years with a new entry in to the series. But I’m not holding my breath.

I’m looking forward to some dancing outside the Kotaku offices. It just won’t be done by me.

What do you guys think? Is 2012 the year? Let us know in the comments below.


  • Yeah, i’m with Raygun on this one.

    All of this distraction is only to garner more interest/surprise.

    Great stuff though, guys! 😀

    • I lean more toward Stafford’s view, except I disagree with his opinion that “Valve has moved on to bigger and better things.” The Half Life series of games were immersive, rich environments that told (or built a nice scaffolding for sci-fi buffs to imagine) a compelling story. The plot, scripting, voice acting, sound effects, incidental music and sounds were wonderful together. This takes money, and time to develop.

      What takes less money and time to develop? Mindlessly repetitive team-play shoot em up grindfests like Left 4 Dead & L4D2. Counterstrike and Team Fortress 2 “impressive”? Ooh, bland scenery in which to camp and twitch-kill anything that moves. But there’s new hats! Thanks, Stafford!

      Now, I’ll allow that I’m not keen on the whole co-op/competitive multi-player paradigm shift in gaming. I can accept that people find them entertaining. On a good server/with friends, it can be fun to play. But anyone can make such a game. Can you really point to any of those types of games as Valve’s “best work”? Or would you point to the Half Life franchise, or even the lightweight Portal spinoff as superior works?

      I would say that the Half Life games can, and should, be viewed as works of art. The shift toward L4D/TF2/CS is great for Valve’s bottom line, but bad for the future of sophisticated gaming.

  • Great read guys. I look forward to seeing either of you two dance. I don’t care which one, I just want some awkward dancing, dammit!
    Anyway, I think I have to agree with Raygun on this one. I liked his ‘speculation’ 😛

  • You know how I’d like to be announced? Just an ordinary day.

    You open up steam. There’s a giant orange lambda on a black background.

    You click it. G-Man is there. He says “Welcome back, Mr Freeman”.

    It then redirects to a pre order page. Boom.

    A week or two later, Pax, E3, Gamescom, something rolls around and they show the debut trailer.

  • I love Half Life – I remember playing the first one on my old Pentium 233MMX with my 12MB Voodoo II. But seriously, I want this to come out just so everyone will shut up about it. Good things come to those who wait, and I’ll take Half Life 3 whenever they decide to give it to me. Give it a rest.

  • I’m not excited about this at all anymore. The story has been dragging on for way too long, they are going to have to do something really special with the whole game or it is going to be pretty much like DNF. Which I didn’t even finish it was so bad.

    • DNF though was a frankenstein’s monster of games. It’s been built, had engines changed, weapons added, removed, story rewritten a dozen times at least and been shown off in a number of completely different forms by a team that had, according to a large number of rumours, addicted to Everquest and hadn’t released a game in decades.

      Valve on the other hand, are a competent company.

  • Someone should do a graphicjam of how many people things have happened and people died between episode 2 and now.

    And then post it to Valve see if guilt chips at their conscious.

  • All I hear from the second guy is moan, moan, moan. He doesn’t even provide any reasons, just “Valve has moved on”. That’s not a reason, that’s an assumption. Why would Valve not release something that millions of paying fans want so badly? They’re not stupid.

    • I think I provided a few reasons, mainly that they’re focused now on different types of content.

      In the end, it’s all in good fun!

      • But they’re also assumptions. Yes, their recent games haven’t been necessarily single player focused (although that’s often been the case, they did stuff like TF2, CSS, and Day of Defeat while in the midst of HL2 and its episodes), but it’s a quite a stretch to say that means that they’ve completely forgotten about HL3. You could spin it the other way, saying that the lack of single player games recently (which isn’t even true — Portal 2) means that they’re building up to something big.

  • Whether we’ll see a release in 2012 is anyone’s guess, but I agree with Raygun that we will get an announcement next year, and it will be at CES.

  • Rayfield’s descirption of how HL3 could potentially be announced actually gave me tingles. I hadn’t realised how excited I still am for this game.

    • And to think, if the dev team for Black Mesa had released their amazingly anticipated mod, Valve would have probably hired them by now and we’d be this much closer to getting HL3… I blame Black Mesa! 😉

  • I’m expecting an announcement ON the 2nd March (2012) – because that’s the day after the 25% off any Valve Title coupon expires.

    • I’m hoping against hope that its earlier – since according to the coupon, it “…Excludes titles released after January 2nd, 2012”

  • Can I still be considered a true fan even if I only just finished Half Life 2 and all its episodes last Friday? It’s like I only just started playing these games yet I feel like I’ve been waiting for all this time too…

  • I personally think that Valve is still working on the Half Life series, but something happened during the development of episode 3 that broke beyond the limits of source and required substantially more work, which valve decided to do.
    Consider, between Half Life 1 and Half Life 2 valve developed opposing force, an official counter strike, blue shift and steam.
    Since then Valve has grown immensely but still focuses on putting time into releases to produce a quality product.
    I’m putting my faith in Valve’s “done when it’s done” design which forestalled Half Life 2 until it was released 6 years after the original.

    • I completely agree with your first sentence. I keep getting the feeling that it began with all intentions being Episode 3, until that title just didn’t make sense due to it’s size (both in play-length and in story depth). There’s an article from 2009 about how Valve has been working sign language into (at the time) Episode 3. To me that’s pretty telling. If they are willing to invest the time and resources into adding that, then they must be trying lots of new ideas into game-play. And Valve has always been the wizards with the brightest wands when it comes to this. I just have a feeling that they’ve probably gone through quite a few trial-and-errors which, unfortunately takes up a lot of time.

      It’s my personal speculation that HL3 will be announced around the 6 year mark from Ep2 – so around 2013, and then released the following year. And it’ll once again reinvent the power of great narrative in a one-of-a-kind first person shooter.

      Then, we start this all over again. =)

      Oh, and as a side note, Valve actually didn’t develop Opposing Force or Blue Shift – that was handed over to a young game company called Gearbox. The same that released that terrifyingly bad game that no one really even wanted anymore, but felt nostalgic and gave it a shot anyways only to find out that nothing is worth 14 years wait (unless it’s from Valve)… what was it called again?… =P Sorry, I’m not trying to flame. I just can’t help it when people try to compare HL3 to DNF simply because they both have a long wait (even that doesn’t add up to me) Gearbox, to me, is a mediocre game developer, whereas Valve is almost an anomaly of gold standard affair. To this day, I feel the best work Gearbox has done was with the Half-life expansions. Ok, phew, I’m done bashing now. Sorry, I get caught up sometimes…

      What were e all talking about again?

      • Don’t pull ‘Gearbox is horrible’ out of looking at DNF, you clearly have no idea of the development of the game. Gearbox themselves just helped polish it up in terms of graphics (hah, well, what was possible) at the end. The entire game was developed by Triptych, a developer made up of ex-3DR employees.
        Valve aren’t stupid, they’re going to do something amazing with HL3, we all just have to wait and see.. I somehow doubt they’ll make a new engine though, I think they’ve mentioned not wanting to go making another one (feel free to correct me)..

        • Ashura252: No, you are right. I can’t judge them based just off DNF, although I would like to (I just really hated that game). I thought Borderlands was a graphically gorgeous game with a lot of potential, but I simply lost interest in the gameplay after about 3 days of playing. Most of my friends were the same way. And I think it’s probably their best original game. I have not play any of the Brothers in Arms games, so I don’t have an even field for judging them as a developer.

          Now that I’ve discredited myself as thoroughly as possible, I still feel like my original point was correct. That people shouldn’t be comparing (in any way) DNF to HL3.

          I also don’t care much for Randy Pitchford. lol But, hey, we’ll see how Aliens turns out in 2012… maybe it’ll change my mind on Gearbox.

  • Or, much though it looked like Gabe was chwewing razor blades at the Sony presser, Valve have signed to have Half Life 3 as a PS4 launch title.

    • This has been my thought all along. It’s been delayed to upgrade the engine for launch on the next-gen consoles, specifically PS4. The only thing that deters me from thinking that is both Half-Life games prior were PC-first.

  • It can go either way. Let’s look at it this way. Portal 2, TF2 and L4D2 have been worked on in the past two and a half years.

    Their biggest milestone so far is Portal 2 where they could have begun hard development with Half Life 3 quickly after. In that time they have also been hard at work with CS and DOTA, whilst still working on TF2 vigorously.

    They’ll have a core assets done with Half Life 3, enough for a teaser next year but definitely speaking, Half Life 3 will not launch, no way. My prediction, E3 2012 announcement and a mid-late 2013 release.

    P.S. No way has Valve let go of their most beloved franchise that defined their company. You’d be stupid to do that and Valve are a bunch of geniuses.

  • I think 4 years is a bit early to be pulling out “Valve has abandoned Half-Life” signs… It takes a lot of time to make a really great game with the detail and design that Valve is no doubt aiming for with the next installment. Look at Team Fortress 2… how long was *that* game in development?

    ‘Valve-time’ is a thing and it is real and it is referred to often and for good reason. Sometimes they take their sweet time on things. (Though L4D2 was certainly the exception to that rule.)

    Half-Life is one of my favorite games/series, but I’d wait another 4 years if it meant getting a truly great and worthy sequel. Till then, there’s always *everything else in the world* to distract us 😛

  • i think we’ll see HL3 before we see a Portal 3, simply due the references Portal 2 made to HL universe, it only seem fitting if we see a cross over in stories before we continue on with portal 3. Still it could be released on the 21st of December 2012, and well…..everything ends 😛

  • They are still planning an HL3 release, I firmly believe that. However, I do not expect a release of the game in 2012, and it’s unlikely there will be any annoucement in next year or two.

    Why you say? Think about it. The expectations for HL3 are as big or bigger than any game in history. You KNOW they will go multi-platform with the game, that is not even a question and for obvious reasons that I don’t need to get into. The source engine is 7 years old and the current console lifecycle is coming to a close. Do you really think Valve would release HL3 as a multiplatform game to run on PC, 360, and PS3 in 2012? When the consoles are at the end of their lifecycle?

    Nope, no way. As I said, the expectations are far to high. Remember what HL2 was like when you first poped it into your PC? It was easily the best looking game ever made from both an artistic and technical perspective. The technology has to be appropriate for the times, and HL3 will need to run on Source 2 and have an amazing visual presentation to live up to the expectations JUST OF THE ANNOUCEMENT ITSELF!!

    Is it possible that Source 2 is being worked on now? Yes, it is, but I believe Valve wants to ship multi-platform simultaneously and have an idea about what the next generation of console hardware will handle. Therefore, I expect that Valve will release HL3 near the beginning of the next console lifecycle, which puts it around 2014 or 2015.

    The argument that Valve would NOT release HL3 is asinine, especially if you back up that argument by saying they are “on to bigger and better things”. NOTHING they have realeased to date will be “bigger” than HL3 from a sales perspective, and that is reason enough to believe they will not leave it at “please don’t leave me dad” @ Alyx HL2 EP2. Valve is a business, and fan/media/cliffhanger clamoring aside, it is in their best business interest to make a HL3 a reality, given that it will generate profits far bigger than even the great multiplayer games they’ve recently released.

    • I totally agree. I think they have been holding off because the current generation of platforms has not been up to par for what they would like to end such an epic story such as half life. I think half life as a launch title would certainly be a great way too kick off a new generation. Doesn’t anyone remember having to drop a 2 or 3 grand just to have a computer than ran HL2 the way it was intended to be run?

      • Exactly. That’s the power of built up expectations over time. They probably had a 2 year window to put out EP3 after EP2 shipped in order to keep the fanchise relevant with the source engine, but they chose to focus on New IP’s for a few years instead.

        One could try to argue “Yea BUT Valve is still realeasing games to this day that look great on source”, but the fact is that those francises (L4D, Portal) had the luxery of being without expectations (other than typical Valve quality), and the type of game doesn’t require amazing graphics. I loved Portal 2 and didn’t at all think about the source engine because it’s not an open world game. Neither is L4D. The atmosphere is very confined, albeit brilliantly executed.

        The point is after the decision was made to produce L4D then by default they were deciding to wait on EP3 and make a full blown HL3, because you can’t release the climactic content of the greatest video game series of all time by reusing the source engine and throwing it on the PS3 and 360 in this decade.

        Some may say the expectations are TOO big now and that is the argument that they won’t make HL3. This is actually the best argument the naysayers have, because although HL3 would bring the $$$$ home big time for Valve, they do have risks in creating HL3.

        If they do not live up to expectations (say the game was just a 85/100 metacritic…great game by all means but not HL material), then fans and media alike would be extremely dissapointed if not outraged, and that is reputation damage that cast doubt on the company’s future.

        They also know they have to come up with new gameplay tricks to keep the “wow” factor there for HL3. Remeber how original the story of HL was in ’98, or picking up and using the gravity gun for the first time in HL2 as you ravaged zombies in Ravenholm? There were revolutionary concepts and gameplay mechanics in both HL and HL2 that made a big splash. To me, Valve has the most difficult expecatations to live up to in the history of gaming, but knowing Valve, that is right up their alley to take head on 🙂

        HL3 will come.

  • The Half-Life sequel has not been in development for that long; it’s only been four years (and one month, if you want to be that accurate). This is normal for a big new single-player game from Valve.

    It’s not even unique to just Valve. From Oblivion’s release in March 2006 to the announcement of Skyrim in December 2010? Almost five years!

    Everyone calm down. It’s way too successful for Valve to not make a full-blown sequel to. Half-Life 2 sold twelve million copies. That’s more than any of the Halo games, more than almost all the GTA games, more than half of the Call of Duty games, and significantly more than any of the other conventional “blockbuster” games, like Gears of War and Mass Effect, which are considered very successful at not even half of HL2’s numbers.

    It’s a freaking cash cow for Valve. They’re simply sitting on it and keeping quiet to build that much more suspense and anticipation for it. I mean, seriously, the internet is bursting at the seams and is about to erupt the instant it’s confirmed. How’s that for free publicity and advertising?

    I get the point about Valve facing a large new market in their multiplayer gaming and free-to-play sales, and that’s great for them, but it’s going to *supplement* their single-player endeavors, not *replace* them.

    It’s going to be announced, sooner rather than later, and it’s going to be awesome.

  • Patrick, you’d better start stretching out your tights and grease up your leg-warmers because you cannot be correct.
    Here’s the list of apparent facts that I think pointalistically indicate Half Life 2 Episode 3/Half Life 3 announced this year (delivered in 2013 assuming a solar flare doesn’t blast the ionosphere from the planet resulting in the end of life on earth on the winter solstice-wouldn’t that suck.)
    1) Would you pay 60 dollars for a new half-life game? Did I ask if you’d pay sixty dollars if the game got good reviews, if it ran on source2, if it took advantage of the kinect controller, if it featured a fully nude Alyx Vance? No, I asked, would you pay sixty dollars for it and I think you’ve got enough faith in Valve’s standards and creativity to say ‘Yes, I have sixty dollars, right now.” Now, this very emotional lurch we’d all feel at hearing the bass chord and seeing Helena Bohnam Carter with spigot handles protruding from her nipples has been the harbinger of crap with other games but that’s beside the point. The point is, you have 60 dollars and Valve knows you’ll give it to them when they haand you a box with a Lambda symbol and a 3 on it.
    Valve despite being sadistic about withholding information, hasn’t equivocated in the past when they didn’t plan to announce HL2E3/HL3. Recall the quick clarification last year: ‘Half Life 2 Episode 3 isn’t the surprise.’ ‘HL2E3 won’t be announced at E3 2010.’ If Valve was intent on dropping HL3 and steering the public to their new IP’s, they’d say so. You’re not going to sell tons of copies of DOTA2 to people obsessed with the next installment of your game.
    3)If Valve wanted to move on, they would have released EP3 three years ago and been done with it. Look the lesson from David Cronenberg’s version of the fly is, if you leave a story with unfinished business, someone will finish it. Witneseth Alien^3, Tron Legacy Blues Brothers 2000 and Escape from L.A.! You watched them: you can’t unwatch them! The modern way to put something to rest is to cave into pressure from your fans and put something out there glib and hammed up and full of plot holes, like Terminator 2, 3 and 4. If there’s a board of directors, there’s a way.
    4) “You will ever see [more Half-Life], yes. We are not done with Gordon Freeman’s adventures. I have nothing other than that to tell you today, but hang in there with us,” This is what doug Lombardi said. If that’s not a promise, these aren’t gamers.
    Now Freespace3, that’s dead.

      • At the risk of wandering off-topic, yes, I dare disdain terminator 2 for one very important inconsistency that has never been explained or resolved. The time-travel portal only transported living things. The first terminator was able to come though because it had cloned tissue over a cybernetic endo skeleton. OK. putting aside why a race of robotic beings intent on world domination builds a time-machine that’s useless to them-how does Robert Patrick travel back in time? He’s liquid metal. Granted, he can mimic a human appearance but the Einstein-Rosen bridge isn’t subject to the editors at Vogue, so his polymer-amalgam matrix would get a big buzzer when he stepped into the thing. Now the effects kicked ass, the explosions kicked ass and Ahhnald-well, of course, but I think the plot suffered for the cliff-hanger nature of its predecessor-granted not as much as The Fly or Alien^3.

  • Well Gabe Newell did say in a commentary node in Half-Life 2 Episode 2 (the first commentary node on the first level) that episode three would be next in development. I think that Valve decided that that had too many concepts to fit in a 2 hour episode play time so they decided to extend production thus Half-Life 3 is born.


    I believe that Half-Life 3 will be announced next year. Valve usually takes about 5-6 years on their good games, 2-3 years on their shiny multiplayer titles (L4D, and L4d2)

    Half-Life 3 is going to be announced. I think in the back of my mind that it will be announced on December 25. If not that day then logically next year.

    • I’m on board with your prediction.

      You better not be wrong, or you’ll be getting a lot of frowny faces in your inbox!

  • The thing is, Half-Life 2 was in equal secrecy for years until its March 2003 announcement. The wait for Episode 3 seems longer due to a combination of all the new stuff Valve has released, the large number of people attracted to the HL series since 2007 (myself included), and the intense speculation and accelerated perception of time that the widespread use of the Internet has made possible.

  • I think that “masterpiecing” of HL3 can take even more than 6 years which Valve spent on HL2 after HL respectively. 4 reasons:

    1. Suspense (not so important because now there is enough of it)
    2. Quality (clear)
    3. Engine (the further goes techonoly the more time we need to create something better. I mean earlier the progress in graphics was impressive, now it’s not THAT impressive and therefore developers need more time to create new wow engine)
    4. Brand new things (wow effect)


    5. Agree with previous guys about the nextgen consoles.

  • I don’t think that Valve will present the Half-Life 3 or Episode Three in the next 2-3 years. Maybe 5 to 10. Why? It is because, like the enterviewee said ‘They know EXACTLY what they are doing’. It is only a matter of time, that players will forget about Half-Life, and go on, minding their own businesses. Maybe, 10 years later, they will remember about it, when they see a poster ‘Half-Life 3: Gordon is coming back’, out there, on some shop in the street, and go buy it, to see, what it is, but they will be dissappointed, because they will be a lot more grown up, compared to those days in Black Mesa and City 17, and their feelings will be blind already to those details of the Half-Life world, they had experienced 10 years ago. But the feeling of happiness, will remind them, that back to those days they were playing it, they were really happy.

  • it’ll come this year.

    i know because i heard it.

    the power went out in my neighborhood tonight. it was windy outside. a tree probably fell on a power line. i built a fire… and waited.

    dark voices murmured outside in the distance. ‘dang,’ i thought, ‘that sounds like combine.’ i stared into the flickering fire. my mind drifted to a time when my eyes knew the flickering of a computer screen better than those of flame. it had been years since i’d played any half-life game. let alone any other computer game.

    ‘i wonder when half life 3 is coming out,’ i thought. ‘i’d replace my 4-year-old laptop for that.’ sure enough, iphone tells me the rumors have sprung up only just within the past couple weeks.

    it’s synchronicity.

    if there’s anyone to listen to around here, it’s not the choir. if a mystical ex-gamer such as yours truly has been this out of touch with gaming for this long, only to come back now with news of powerful disturbances in the vibrations of virtuality… then, well… you’ve gotta know something’s up.

    of course newell wouldn’t peep a word about it. he has us exactly where he wants us. i guess i did play a few rounds of those teleport and zombie games, at friends’ houses, but, really, c’mon. trifling distractions.

    valve built themselves on the power of storytelling. how much more definitive can one be with the essential qualities of human nature than the importance of storytelling? half life was a game of ineffable MYSTERY. like myst with guns and aliens. they built an entirely believable and unknowable world – the opening sequence alone is unrivalled – and that’s the key for anyone in the business of virtual reality. it’s not the superficiality of graphical splendor or the morphine drip of multiplayer action. in fact, half life’s action worked so well because it had long stretches of… nothing. they kept you going, egging you on, driving you to find the truth. valve were masters of tension and release. just when you think nothing’s going on except a face crab here and a puzzley thing there – BAM! ospreys! marines! F-16s! g-man in space!

    they lost their way a bit with the jokey characters and blatant fan-service of over-eager girl in half life 2, but that game had memorable moments too. mostly when it was most like half life 1 – by yourself, in a mysterious new place… it’s quiet, the light is kinda weird, you’re low on ammo, there are weird noises… but mostly… it’s quiet… something must be coming…

  • This is what I think. Valve doesn’t want to release any information right now, but as this year goes on and the rumors keep growing, they’ll be practically forced to. So they’ll say just a little bit about it. And I mean tiny. Like, I think they’ll say “Well, we’re working on it.” and thats it. BUT before all of this, Valve realized that their next game wasn’t going to be an Episode, it had to be a sequel, and the current consoles just can’t handle it right now. So they wait until the next generation of consoles come out, which I think will be 2012 (unlikely) to 2014 (more likely) but they still work on the game right now. (Let’s just use 2012) The new consoles are released 2013, then a year later (2014) they’ll show HL3 at E3, and then finally (2015) they release HL3. But with my guesses and the above speculation, the consoles are released 2014, Valve shows off at 2015 E3, then releases in 2016. So in conclusion, I think we’ll be waiting 4 more years. But that’s just my ideas.

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