Gooseman: Half-Life 3 In Development

It has been seven years since the release of Half Life 2: Episode Two, and fans have been getting more and more frustrated at the lack of news about the next game in the franchise. Seriously, it's worse than George RR Martin's snail pace writing, and almost as bad as having to wait for the enormous disappointment that was Duke Nukem Forever.

Minh ‘Gooseman’ Le, co-creator of Counter Strike, was queried about the game in an interview with goRGNtv, and he said Half Life 3 was in development. He later added that he couldn't reveal any details, other than the fact that the public obviously knew the game was going to happen at some point. Whether it'll be in Gabe Newell's lifetime is still a bit unclear.

Of course anybody who's played to the end of Episode Two will be well aware that the sequel is planned. It just seems to be that Valve has an aversion to letting people play the game. Some say it's because GabeN has a fear of the number three, others think the game is cursed, a minority believe that there is no game and that Valve is the world's biggest troll.

Me? I'm just pissed off that I've been waiting seven years and the only information we've had ended up being a hoax. Maybe this is all a marketing technique, maybe Valve is being extra careful to ensure the game is perfect, or maybe Valve just hates gamers and wants to see us squirm.

Come on Valve. Quit messing around with pointless operating systems and just give us what we want. [Slashgear]

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    Last edited 27/05/14 11:21 am



        Last edited 27/05/14 3:04 pm



            I think we may have strained this joke far beyond its breaking point :-)

            I mentioned this further down. Valve has released at least one game every year, but every single game since the HL2 episodes has been something that was brought into the company from an external source. At the very least it's an idea that was developed externally, but they've also brought in entire teams with games in progress.

            Last edited 27/05/14 6:47 pm


    Come November it will be 10 years since Half-Life 2.

    and what a weird article. Detailing that something everybody has known to be in development is in development.

      when there is as little solid info about a title that is so highly anticipated it's not all that unusual. At least it wasn't padded out with 5 gifs, 3 youtubes and a story recap.

    This article is just a bunch of fluffing about.

      Yeah Ive moved on. HL world/concept/saga was great but I prefer my games co-op or persistant multiplayer now rather than just a singleplayer story that I will play once and never play again.

    Its ok, I only played HL2, Ep1 and Ep2 this year for the first time...

      Me too, and honestly I don't see what the fuss is about. An altogether average game in my opinion. Couldn't even bring myself to finish ep 1.

      Why do people rave about it so much?
      I think what ever Valve produce now will pale in comparison to people's rose coloured memories of the other games that no one will like it anyway.

        They rave about it because it was an amazing game, obviously, hence it having one of the highest critic and user metacritic scores of all time. But is it still an amazing game, or was it just special compared to what gaming was like at the time? Probably a bit of both.

        I remember when I first played it, and it was so above and beyond anything available at the time. the characters faces, the story, the varied gameplay and those gorgeous physics. I still think about the awesome moments at Ravenholm, about Ant Lions, and about the super gravity gun. and I remember being genuinely sad when it was over, thinking "I don't know when I'll play a game that good again".

        Episode 1 was good, but not quite at the same level, but then when Episode 2 culminated in that boss battle I felt all the same feelings of joy and marvel at this amazing series. I stayed hungry for Episode 3 for a long time, but now other games have come and surpassed my expectations of what games can be, and the excitement has faded a fair bit.

        Now it's more a feeling of wanting to see what they've been cooking all this time. I didn't think Portal or Left 4 Dead needed a sequel, but then I played what they created and realised my mistake. I trust in Valve. I trust in Steam. I trust in Gaben. Amen.

          I actually think HL2 holds up still. (it ran perfectly on my machine which helps haha).
          It was really enjoyable and atmospheric and I know that it would have been mindblowing 10 years ago.

          I'd also mention that the physics engine was light years ahead of anything else at the time. It changed everything.

            Oh absolutely. It's the first game that stood out for me as even using physics in any meaningful way, and after it came out every game had to have physics as well. A real game changer.

            This is the first video I saw of the engine from 2003:
            Listen to people's reactions when then demonstrate the physics (and shading) - people are in awe at how amazing it, they've never seen anything like that before. Nowadays it's everywhere, but back then it was mind blowing.

              I think that video demonstrates exactly why we don’t have HL3. HL2 was such a huge leap. It’s difficult to imagine as dramatically advanced compared to other games coming out today.

          L4D does need a sequel - the Australian version of L4D2 is so spectacularly awful that they can't just leave it at that!

    Maybe they were waiting for next gen? Really doesn't sound like something valve would do because they play by their own damn rules. That or they are punishing us for the leak of HL2

    I stopped caring 6 rumours ago.

      You mean a week ago? ;) lol

    So much time has gone by... do people really care this much? Seems like people enjoy the speculation more than they will enjoy any new game.

    And if/when it does come out there's a huge risk of a Diablo III/Starcraft II type situation, i.e., a competent but not that amazing game.

    I replayed HL2 recently. It's good, but FPS games have come a loooooooooooooong way since then.

      FPS games have come a long way in many respects. Contrary to CS:GO fans, I prefer being able to aim down iron sights. I prefer having my grenade and melee attack as a separate button. But apart from that and a few other trimmings, I still feel that there hasn't been many good FPS games that have the same level of varied and interesting gameplay as Half Life 2 had.

      I think you're right about enjoying the speculation. At this stage I don't know if I care more about the experience of the playing the game so much as just to see what they've created after all this time. I hope they do an epic ARG when they finally announce it, it's possible I could have more fun with that than the actual game.

      Have they really come a long way?

      I don’t think so.
      If you don’t count games which have branched out into “open world” FPS like the Farcry games, or integrated RPG elements (which has been occurring back to System Shock), I don’t think there’s been too much evolution at all.

      As far as shooting mechanics, level settings, gameplay variety, enemy variety, puzzles and storytelling style I can’t think of too many games which have made any significant evolution to the Half-Life 2 model over the past 10 years. While the graphics are dated, if you re-released HL2 tomorrow with a new coat of paint it’d still be ahead of everything I can think of as far as gameplay goes.
      I’m playing through Wolfenstein at the moment and I can say that it does far less as a FPS than HL2 does, even something like Crysis 3 or Bulletstorm which had interesting ability gimmicks don’t have near the gameplay variety that HL2 has.

      There’s a few logical leaps that they can make (I’m certain we’ll be seeing some kind of portal inspired shooting in HL3 when it finally comes out), but I can’t say that other developers have already made those steps in a way that makes HL2 dated.

      And before anyone else says it, ‘iron sights’ aren’t a gameplay innovation. They’re a concession to allow console players to feel like they have some form of accuracy when playing a FPS. I don’t mind if they show up in HL3 but that’s only because I’ll likely be playing on a console, but they certainly won’t add anything good or meaningful to the gameplay.

        With respect, I think you're looking at it through rose tinted glasses.

        I'm not slagging it off - I bought it the day it came out and still have the box and CD somewhere (also the first time I infested my PC with Steam as I recall...).

        But even the most generic COD sequel has lots of stuff that surpasses it in terms of, for example, terrain, lighting, variety of environments, etc, but perhaps more significantly in terms of scripted events and how seamlessly they integrate into the game. Games like STALKER and Far Cry (which you can't just arbitrarily exclude!) are a million times better in terms of freedom of movement - the whole of HL2 is basically one long corridor. And obviously games like Crysis 1-3 are wayyyy better in terms of raw graphical quality. And if it's an amazingly well crafted story and atmosphere ye seek, I direct your attention to Deus Ex, Bioshock 1-3, and Dishonored amongst others.

        I honestly think if you put HL2 in a current engine it would be a fairly linear, forgettable shooter by current standards. But that's just my opinion, of course.

          You’re undoubtedly right about the graphics coming a long way.
          I actually think that as pretty as it was at the time, HL2 has actually dated worse than a lot of other games from its era.

          I’m not trying to arbitrarily exclude those games, just that they are so different from the Half-Life games that trying to compare them is quite difficult.
          It’s a bit like trying to assess the direction of the next Uncharted game and using GTA V as a measuring point, they both present their worlds in a completely different way even though they’re both 3rd person action games.

          I’m fully expecting HL3 to be a fairly linear story-driven FPS in the same vein as Crysis, CoD, Wolfenstein and the last 2 HL games. In comparison to those games I’d still say HL2 is the more interesting, dynamic kind of game despite the graphical inadequacies.

          For all its detailed scripted buildings falling over, there’s nothing in a 2013 CoD game that’s as dynamic or interesting as fighting a strider, or rolling a flaming barrel into one of those roof hanging things, or strategically placing planks so you can cross that beach with the crazy insects.

          It’s linear to an extent, but it’s supposed to be. It’s supposed to tell a story with memorable environments, characters, shooting and puzzles. IMO it does that better than any other FPS I’ve played to date.

          I'll be honest, after reading this I feel like playing HL2 more than any of those other games despite my love for them.
          HL2 had such attention to detail and careful, explicit design that could be seen and felt everywhere throughout the whole game. It was crafted, and that aspect of the game has never been left behind in the years since (only met, as some of your examples testify)
          HL2 being linear was what made it so strong, but in a way that it wasn't an even remotely shallow or spoonfed experience.

        If you're looking for a game that has evolved mechanics beyond Half Life 2 then look at Deus Ex Human Revolution: the cover mechanic and the takedowns demonstrate how to work these elements into a FPS

        I also think 'silent protagonist' doesn't cut it in games any more and this may be why Valve have not brought out a new half life game.

          I think you make a very good point about the silent protagonist, although it’s not like they haven’t been able to tell a good story to this point without Gordon speaking. They have a story that’s in limbo and needs to be finished without the major change of Gordon suddenly speaking.

          I had Deus Ex in mind when I listed System Shock as an evolutionary branch, although not necessarily the 3rd person cover system.

          I liked that system a lot but I don’t think they’d do that for Half Life. Most of the reason why Gordon doesn’t talk is because he’s supposed to be the embodiment of the player. Half-life was one of the first games to tell a whole story from the perspective of the player, with the game playing out around you as you observe and react to events.

          Suddenly darting into 3rd person who be a very strange departure from that tone, and I’m certain that you can still do a FPS in 2014 without integrating a ‘locked’ cover system. It’s also a lot more of an action-based series than Deus Ex, aside from the use of cover for shooting that 3rd person system was crucial to the use of stealth in a game that was equal parts espionage and action (apart from the terrible boss battles).

            True, but as much as Gordon Freeman us supposed to be the embodiment of the player - he is also a character in his own right adorning the box art of his games.

            Yeah if the cover system isn't right they need to at least look at how Far Cry 3 handled stealth which was quite awesome also

    Shit article about week old news that's being reported out of context.
    lame kotaku, typical lame.

    As far as I'm aware, Valve have never ever confirmed the existence of HL3 or even plans for HL3, so I really don't understand how anybody can be "pissed off" or "frustrated" at them. If they had announced something and it was just continually being delayed, like DNF was, or like The Last Guardian, then yeah, maybe there would be cause for frustration. But they've never announced it. At all. There's no reason to believe it's even being developed.

      They did however announce they were going to do a monthly episodic release, like HL2 EP.1-2 and what was supposed to be EP.3

      Episode 3 was originally slated for December 2007 release, IIRC.
      This was the only release date it has had, and I think they announced that around or shortly before the release of Episode 1.

      I don't understand how you don't understand why anyone would be pissed off or frustrated at them. It's been 7 years now, and the latest entry ended with Eli's death, Mossman under attack in some snowbound land, and a whole bunch of unanswered questions. We haven't had closure yet, and they won't even tell us IF we'll ever get it.

    They're caught in a bind. They can't release another game "like" Half Life 2. If they did, people would just write it off as "old hat" and they wouldn't care. Half Life 3 has to be as big a leap as Half Life 2 was over Half Life 1. That's a tall order. Valve are also ridiculous perfectionists. Remember how long they took to make TF2? How many iterations of TF2 they went through? They built, rebuilt and re-rebuilt TF2 from the ground up several times. I've got to think that's what's happened with Half Life 3 - they've probably developed 3 full half life games at this point, only to realize that the game they've built has been outdated by the time they are about to release it, and so they've just gone back to the drawing board all over again.

    The team building Half Life 3 must either be super-obsessive about their game, or incredibly depressed about having to rebuild levels, rewrite scrips, re-design art assets, re-tool the engine over and over and over and over and over and over again.

      They have almost exactly the same problem as 3D Realms had with DNF: incredible fan pressure and a strong, ongoing source of income.

      Unlimited resources are, in my opinion, the ultimate destroyer of productivity and creativity.

      If Valve have shown anything over the last few years it's that their company structure is not conducive to actually getting products out the door. The only games they've released since the HL2 episodes have been developed by external teams that have been brought in. Steam's incredible success means that this really isn't a problem for them, though.

      Last edited 28/05/14 1:37 pm

        Unlimited resources are, in my opinion, the ultimate destroyer of productivity and creativity.

        You got that right - see also 'Rare' once bought by Microsoft

    I can't believe nobody has made a 'wild goose-chase' pun yet

    honestly? I just don't care anymore.

    I do feel that younger gamers probably aren't going to care anyway when this finally does come out, it's only going to be we the 30+ crowd that are going to care. It might end up being a bit of a flop. What a tragedy, I think they waited too long already. I just need to be a decent FPS with excellent writing and production, they can do that.

      Even if that is the case, I am quite sure there are enough of us 30+'s that will salivate over the release date that it would be instant number one sale on Steam for at least a few weeks, if not longer. I know of my 12 odd 30+ close gaming mates, they would all buy it on day one.

      (maybe they could call it HalfLife3 - Modern Gord-fare to try and get some younger ones? lol ;))

    HL3 will be on Oculus Rift complete with a real Biohazard suit that you have to wear lest you get real radiation burns from some crazy new VR tech created just for HL.
    Your controller will be shaped like a crowbar.

    Irrespective of people's views of Half-Life and/or how it has aged, I for one just want bloody closure. The story is wonderful and varied and I want to know what happens. I want to know who/what the G-Man is and who/what he works for.

    Just give me closure!

      The G-Man is Gordon from the future, sent back in time to make sure events play out as they are meant to

        That's my thought to - it's like V'Ger from the first Star Trek film

        Last edited 28/05/14 1:37 pm

    They are taking advantage of cheap/free marketing caused by speculation. Today's snippet will tide them over for a few months. Could be out in March next year.

    My guess is they're making a new engine, a successor to the Source engine, which is getting on a bit now. Considering the reputation of the Source engine, following it up is gonna be one tough act. They'll want to show off the new engine with a few games, maybe even in an Orange Box style bundle. So they're probably not just trying to finish a new engine AND HL3, but probably a couple other games to go with it.
    Unless i'm wrong, of course. But until Valve confirm otherwise, let the rumours and speculation reign supreme!

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