Half-Life 3 Unconfirmed: release date, news and rumors for Valve's elusive beast

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On 10th October 2007, Valve launched Half Life 2: Episode 2, the continuation of Gordon Freeman’s story as he and his buddies fought to free the human race from the oppression of the alien Combine. The ending offered little or no in the way in which of closure, establishing a lot of plot factors for a sequel that has by no means arrived. 

With the exception of 2011’s Portal 2, the Half Life universe has remained fully dormant for nearly ten years, which is a disgrace when Half-Life and Half-Life 2 are usually thought of to be two of the very best video games each made.  

Valve has been quiet in regards to the franchise’s future, resulting in the favored ‘Half-Life three confirmed’ meme, the place any small trace of the sequel’s existence is shortly spun out of proportion. 

That stated, the corporate hasn’t been fully silent. Here’s all the things we at the moment know in regards to the recreation generally called Half Life three.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The long-awaited, and long-absent, continuation of the Half-Life saga
  • When can I play it? With nothing formally introduced it will not be anytime quickly

Half-Life three or Episode three?

Back when Valve introduced Half Life 2 could be getting episodic sequels, it revealed that there have been plans to launch three of them over the course of the next few years. They would collectively kind what was primarily a 3rd Half Life recreation. The thought was that growth on an episode wouldn’t take so long as a full sequel, so followers might proceed Gordon Freeman’s journey sooner – albeit in smaller portions.

Half Life 2: Episode three was by no means launched, and over time folks ultimately simply began referring to it as Half-Life three – assuming that Valve was engaged on a fully-fledged sequel quite than a model new episode. This is tenuously corroborated by leaks and an announcement from Gabe Newell declaring that the developer was

But as one nameless supply, there isn’t a such factor as Half Life three. Not in line with Valve anyway. The firm introduced three further episodes, two of which have been launched, and nothing extra. The supply referred to the fixed discuss of ‘Half Life 3’ as each a fantasy and wishful considering. 

Whether it’s known as Episode three or Half Life three, persons are speaking about the identical factor – a sequel to Episode 2 that can proceed the story and remedy the cliffhanger ending we have been left with.

What Valve has advised us

While Valve has been very quiet the previous a number of years, within the years earlier than (and simply after) the discharge of Episode 2, it was extra forthcoming with data. How a lot of it’s nonetheless related is unclear, however Gabe Newell did affirm that . He later said that Gordon , so he would “largely remain an arm and a crowbar”. Newell additionally confirmed that he won’t ever communicate, since his companions are a “more fruitful avenue to explore”.

Doug Lombardi, Valve’s VP of selling, that the story wouldn’t return to City 17, and that the builders had put a variety of work into “creating a natural progress of topography and climate”.

Newell additionally confirmed that Episode three, because it was then identified, would end the story arc that started in Half Life 2. While he spoke of the opportunity of a fourth episodic instalment, he confirmed that it might be stand-alone and developed outdoors of Valve. It was later revealed to have been in growth at Dishonored builders Arkane Studios and . Unfortunately it was cancelled.

Former franchise author Marc Laidlaw additionally that Episode three wouldn’t have had a particular conclusion, very similar to Half Life and Half Life 2. The plot summary that he later launched appeared to verify this. 

Instead the sport would maintain issues open so new staff might ultimately develop sequels. Laidlaw additionally claimed to have “no idea” if the sport would ever get launched or not.

A doable plot abstract

In August 2017, longtime Half-Life author Marc Laidlaw posted a brief story titled ‘Epistle 3‘ on his private weblog. 

Although the author referred to the submit as a ‘fanfic’ it is fairly clear that the submit is a thinly veiled plot abstract of what would have been Half-Life 2: Episode three, albeit with many of the title’s modified and everybody’s gender’s reversed. 

If you’d prefer to learn the submit with the title’s and gender’s corrected then you are able to do so on GitHub, the place somebody has transcribed the entire quick story. 

Although it is price studying the submit in its entirety, it seems the plot of the sport would have adopted Gordon and Alyx as they journeyed to the Borealis, which might have been discovered to be phasing out and in of existence. After a protracted combat they might have ultimately have rigged the ship to journey to the center of the Combine empire and explode, thus liberating the human race from their enslavement. 

Like earlier Half-Life video games, Gordon would have been left in limbo, saved from the explosion by the Vortigaunts. 

Leaked Concept Art

Despite the truth that Valve has seldom spoken about Half Life three, not to mention launched gameplay materials, we now have had a good bit of idea artwork hit the web over the previous decade. While it’s not fairly the identical as in-game renders of a trailer, it’s nonetheless one thing. Normally it’d give us some hints at what to anticipate, however given the period of time because the artwork first floor, the character of the sport might have drastically modified.

The first items arrived on-line in 2007 and 2008, showcasing among the doable settings:

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Some extra idea artwork arrived in 2012, and if legit reveals off all kinds of environments the gamers can discover.Valve has but to touch upon its validity, and because it’s often fairly fast to dismiss fakes this has led some to invest that that is the actual deal.

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Counter Strike co-creator Minh Lee has additionally admitted to seeing some idea artwork himself. 

“I don’t think I can talk about that, to be honest,” he stated. “I believe it is sort of public information that individuals know that it’s being labored on. And so if I have been to say that, yeah, I’ve seen some pictures, like some idea artwork of it, that would not be large information to be trustworthy. I suppose I might say that I did see one thing that appeared kinda like within the Half-Life universe.

And I imply it would not shock anybody if I stated they’re doing it, they’re engaged on it, yeah. So to exit on a limb I would say I did some idea artwork for Half-Life three.”

March 2008 additionally noticed the discharge of what seems to be Alyx Vance idea artwork on the Picasa web page belonging to Valve illustrator Andrea Wicklund. The pictures have been shortly eliminated, however not earlier than being saved and redistributed elsewhere.

Richochet 2

Fans have been pestering Gabe Newell and Valve through the years, getting increasingly inventive as time goes on. One attention-grabbing technique from the is notable as a result of it truly acquired a response from Newell. All they needed to do was ask a few sequel to Ricochet – a recreation usually thought of Valve’s worst.

“In terms of Ricochet 2, we always have this problem that when we talk about things too far in advance, we end up changing our minds as we’re going through and developing stuff, so as we’re thinking through the giant story arc which is Ricochet 2, you might get to a point where you’re saying something is surprising us in a positive way and something is surprising us in a negative way, and, you know, we’d like to be super-transparent about the future of Ricochet 2. The problem is, we think that the twists and turns that we’re going through would probably drive people more crazy than just being silent about it, until we can be very crisp about what’s happening next.”

And after he was requested if the venture had slowed down:

“No, everybody who has worked on Ricochet 2 continues to work on Ricochet 2 [laughs].”

While Newell might sincerely be speaking a few sequel to Ricochet, everybody has assumed he performed together with the joke and was truly speaking about Half Life three.

Reddit AMA

In January of this yr to participate in an AMA (Ask Me Anything), which followers naturally used to ask some questions on the way forward for the Half Life/Portal universe. He did reply a couple of of them, although he didn’t reveal an entire lot.

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He expanded upon the earlier reply when somebody tried to additional clarify it.

Other Rumours and Speculation

One large doable plot level that has popped up over the previous decade is that Valve have been wanting into incorporating a deaf character into the sequence. It was designed as a function to raised assist listening to impaired gamers, with Newell suggesting that Alyx Vance could have had a crush on a deaf resistance member earlier than Half Life 2 and programmed Dog with signal language so she might apply. This character ended up elsewhere, and he recommended Alyx and Dog would proceed to signal to speak in secret.

Newell additionally hinted that the following Half life recreation would return the franchise to its psychological horror roots, exploiting followers’ darkest fears within the course of.

It was later recommended that Half life three might incorporate components of multiplayer gaming, after Geoff Keighley revealed Portal 2 would be the . Newell later clarified this, saying that it didn’t essentially imply the top of single-player Valve video games. He intends future video games to contain one thing known as , which embody social elements that Newell believes improve the worth of leisure.

, who supposedly labored for Valve sooner or later doesn’t consider there shall be one other Half Life recreation. They declare that each time a Half Life tasks begins gaining any momentum it finally ends up dying off – a course of that makes it more durable for one thing new to take its place. They likened the sport to Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, with expectations so excessive that the inevitable response shall be disappointment. 

According to them, there are folks inside Valve who need to use the Half Life IP for varied various things, however they have been contemplations and by no means severely thought of by Valve as an entire. Not a part of a grand plan, at any fee, since that isn’t how Valve operates.

Game Informer stresses that the data is from one unverified supply, so take that data with a wholesome dose of scepticism. But what they revealed does make some sense, even when it’s a pessimistic view of the franchise’s’ future.

Half-Life three stays unconfirmed

The extra time has handed, the extra Valve has stored quiet about the way forward for the Half Life franchise. It’s simple to invest that Valve is perfecting the sport, and fine-tuning issues as gaming advances, however the actuality is that Valve doesn’t really want to make a brand new Half Life recreation to achieve success. Steam is the most well-liked digital storefront in PC gaming, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and DOTA 2 appeal to tens of millions of gamers who in flip buy in-game gadgets with actual money. 

While many recreation studios must maintain making video games to remain afloat, the Steam market implies that in the end Valve doesn’t. What this implies for Half Life isn’t very clear. Video video games get cancelled on a regular basis, and it’s uncommon that most of the people is ever knowledgeable of the information till a number of years have handed. The greatest case situation is that the sport stays in lively growth, however with Valve prioritising its sources elsewhere. The worst, and seemingly most definitely situation at this level, is that it’s useless and can by no means see the sunshine of day.

But stranger issues have occurred. Maybe we are going to see Half Life three in the future, or perhaps we gained’t. Like Schrodinger’s cat we exist in a state the place both is feasible. We simply want Valve to open up the field and put our minds at relaxation.


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