Sorry, Steam Award Nominations Don’t Involve Half-Life 3

Sorry, Steam Award Nominations Don’t Involve Half-Life 3

Last month, Valve revealed its first-ever Steam Awards. They came with a twist: a final category to be plucked from user submissions, many of which ended up being tongue-in-cheek.

Now Valve’s revealed their selections, and sorry, but no: none of them acknowledge fans’ many write-ins of “the game most in need of a sequel.”

Despite saying they’d only pick one user-submitted category, Valve ultimately went with four. Those are “The ‘Boom Boom’ Award,” “The ‘Love/Hate Relationship’ Award,” “The ‘Sit Back and Relax’ Award,” and “The ‘Better With Friends’ Award.

Quite a few users wrote-in variations on “Game Most In Need Of A Sequel,” “Biggest Disappointment,” and other less lighthearted categories.

Unsurprisingly, Valve didn’t pick those, but some people are still disappointed that they didn’t. Or, perhaps more reasonably, they’re sad Valve didn’t even acknowledge the gravity-gun-like force that sucked in vote after vote.

“Surprise, the GAME THAT DESERVES A SEQUEL award for Half-Life 2: Episode 2, that was probably the most-chosen write-in award by far, is not even mentioned,” wrote Steam subreddit user big-blue.

Many others echoed that sentiment, some jokingly, some with faces grim and resolved as Dog — or Gordon Freeman, I guess — himself. Others were more concerned with a hypothetical “Biggest Disappointment” category, largely because they wanted to vote for No Man’s Sky.

Given, however, that Valve has done their damnedest to pretend Half-Life never existed for years now, their non-reaction really isn’t surprising. Still, I can understand why people are feeling down. Valve, a notoriously non-communicative company, finally gave them an open channel to communicate their thoughts and feelings.

They had a chance to say something and maybe be heard. Was it realistic to believe Valve would acknowledge a giant, braying trojan horse for Half-Life? Of course not. But you can see why people got their hopes up, and nothing stings more than having hopes dashed.  

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  • I’m actually glad they ditched that one. Soon as I saw it floating around, it was obvious what people were doing. People are far too obsessed with HL3. HL2, while pretty when it came out, wasn’t really all that impressive to me. The only thing that was really “different” about it, was the anti grav gun. Aside from that, it was just another shooter. The way people carry on about it, you’d think it was more like the first of its kind.
    I know I’m probably going to get downvoted to shit for this, but I would like to know what in particular it is that people find so great about it. Was it specific elements of gameplay? Just the fact the story was a bit better than in other games at the time? Genuinely interested, so please comment! 🙂

    • Perhaps looking at it now, sure. But at the time, it was pretty groundbreaking. The immersive world, story and engine were all rather ahead of their time. “Just another shooter” is not how I would have described it at all when it first came out, but to each their own.

      That sentiment didn’t really proliferate in the gaming community until post-modern warfare, where shooters have been found in abundance since and following the same formula. I’ll remind you that HL2 came out in 2004, prior to 2007’s modern warfare – and modern warfare was a breakthrough for the CoD series, unlike the repeats that have since followed.

      I think what did it for me was the story and setting. The writing was always quite good, and delivered well through the characters. Most of us just want to see where those characters are headed now – as we were promised a new episode every 6-8 months, and instead got a major cliffhanger with no conclusion for almost a decade now.

      • This applies to @fruitlewp too I guess. I’m certainly not denying the engine was ok for its time. I mean the graphics were pretty compared to a lot of other games, but it wasn’t really that big of a groundbreaking leap at that stage (compared to Doom 3 when they introduced normal mapping etc.)
        It was definitely capable of better quality, but it was really just a kind of upscaling of what was available elsewhere. Animation wise it offered better capabilities with facial anims and stuff, but even engines like Unreal 2 had been doing that since 2000.
        The only feature that really differed from other games was maybe the physics. Almost everything else about it had been present in other engines in some capacity years before Source was even released. Considering the likes of Doom3 engine were released around the same time as Source, (to devs at least) I didn’t find it all that groundbreaking at all.

    • I think there were a few things at play.

      The story was definitely one of them; at the time, there weren’t that many great story-driven FPS games around (Probably the other biggest FPS of 2004 was Doom 3, which had the plot equivalent of a garbage fire).

      It was the follow-up to Half Life, which also had a strong plot and was really innovative, so it had all that goodwill right from the get-go.

      The physics systems were phenomenal for the time, particularly around the Gravity Gun (which I maintain is one of, if not the, best weapons in any FPS ever).

      The set pieces were also fantastically good. I can barely remember individual scenes out of shooter games (the CODs are mostly a blur), but I can remember heaps of moments from HL2 – Being chased by the attack helicopter through the canals on an airboat, Seeing a horde of sprinting zombies leaping over the rooftops while you wait for Father Grigori to send the cart up in Ravenholm, Attacking Nova Prospekt behind an Ant-Lion army, running battles with Striders on the streets of City 17, Tearing through the Citadel with the supercharged gravity gun… I remember it all.

      In any of these elements, HL2 wasn’t that much better than its peers… but while others might have gotten one or two things right, HL2 nailed everything. I am an unabashed HL fanboy, but even if I wasn’t I would have a hard time thinking of any FPS that has topped it before or since.

      • haha so true about Doom’s story. Gawd that was horrid! 😀
        I totally agree with COD too. That was a snore fest for me, but not likely helped by the fact I rarely enjoy shooters based around realism. I prefer sci-fi shooters with whacky weapons.
        I was quite impressed by a few shooters back on the old days, particularly ones like SiN, but I just never latched on to Half Life. There were cool things about it for sure, but it just never really stood out to me as a breakthrough game for some reason. I did enjoy the grav gun in the second one though. Was fun playing around with throwing objects about and such 🙂
        Most people I know thought SiN was kind of rubbish, and I suppose in ways it was, but that game impressed me due to the way they pushed what the engine could do. It was the first game I saw that had actual accurate hit detection, and possibly destructable body’s (not just gibs, but actually blowing limbs off.) Pretty sure it came before Solider of fortune? But man… the hit detection in that game was second to none! You could shoot someone ANYWHERE on their body, and it would accurately depict exactly where you hit! So good! Especially for such an old engine!

    • “I would like to know what in particular it is that people find so great about it. Was it specific elements of gameplay? Just the fact the story was a bit better than in other games at the time? Genuinely interested, so please comment! :)”

      Well I’ll be more than happy too.

      The Half-Life series is one of the most influential titles in FPS history. It was praised because of its use of storytelling without cut scenes and innovative elements.

      The storytelling in Half-Life is unique. Basically it tells the story from the perspective of Gordon Freeman’s day in his life. The game doesn’t break off into cut scenes or cram every bit of story in your face. It just lets the world around you unfold. It creates a new dynamic when it comes to the Science Fiction drama. Along with great level design and fun game mechanics.

      The innovative elements are mostly little things but these little things is what make the game great. Stuff includes, Reloading, Lip syncing, Physics, facial animations and etc. They make the world more alive and real.

      The Level Design in Half-Life is also considered great because it introduced Fun puzzles and smart gameplay. For example in the first game there’s a level called “Blast Pit” where you go through a rocket silo to kill a tentacle monster. But there’s a twist. The Monster can only see with sound. So you can use grenades to distract the monster as you go through the level. In the second game. The level called Ravenholm. You can through through the entire level without firing a bullet since you can use the physics around you. Imo that is genius and it brings new dynamics to the gameplay.

      The Source Engine may be dated. By its still by far a great engine and its still being used to this day. The source engine for Half-Life 2 creates one of the funniest gameplay to date with ragdolls. Also the visuals and lighting can create the most beautiful environment. (More beautiful than most current games imo)

      In conclusion. Half-Life is not just another shooter. It revolutionized the entire gaming fps industry and it gave birth to so many games and innovations for the next decade. Games like Bioshock, Counter Strike, Dishonered Portal and etc.

      Also this steam awards was an experiment to see if Valve responds. Besides people want HL3 because the story left off at a cliffhanger

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