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

On 10th October 2007, Valve launched Half-Life 2: Episode 2, the continuation of Gordon Freeman’s story as he and his pals fought to free the human race from the oppression of the alien Mix. The ending supplied little or no in the best way of closure, organising plenty of plot factors for Half-Life 3 – a sequel that has by no means arrived. 

Apart from 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 typically thought-about 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 mentioned, the corporate hasn’t been fully silent. So we have gathered all the pieces we presently find out about Half_Life Three into this useful information.

Minimize to the chase

  • What’s 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 3?

Again when Valve introduced Half Life 2 can be getting episodic sequels, it revealed that there have been plans to launch three of them over the course of the following couple of years. They’d collectively type what was primarily a 3rd Half Life sport. The concept was that growth on an episode wouldn’t take so long as a full sequel, so followers may proceed Gordon Freeman’s journey sooner – albeit in smaller portions.

Half Life 2: Episode Three was by no means launched, and over time individuals finally simply began referring to it as Half-Life 3 – assuming that Valve was engaged on a fully-fledged sequel slightly than a model new episode. That is tenuously corroborated by leaks and a press release from Gabe Newell declaring that the developer was

However as one nameless supply, there is no such thing as a such factor as Half Life 3. Not in response to Valve anyway. The corporate introduced three extra episodes, two of which have been launched, and nothing extra. The supply referred to the fixed speak of ‘Half Life 3’ as each a fantasy and wishful considering. 

Whether or not it’s known as Episode Three or Half Life 3, persons are speaking about the identical factor – a sequel to Episode 2 that may proceed the story and clear up the cliffhanger ending we have been left with.

What Valve has advised us

Whereas 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 stay an arm and a crowbar”. Newell additionally confirmed that he won’t ever converse, since his companions are a “extra fruitful avenue to discover”.

Doug Lombardi, Valve’s VP of promoting, that the story wouldn’t return to Metropolis 17, and that the builders had put quite a lot of work into “making a pure progress of topography and local weather”.

Newell additionally confirmed that Episode 3, because it was then identified, would end the story arc that started in Half Life 2. Whereas he spoke of the potential of a fourth episodic instalment, he confirmed that it could be stand-alone and developed exterior of Valve. It was later revealed to have been in growth at Dishonored builders Arkane Studios and . Sadly 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 substantiate this. 

As an alternative the sport would hold issues open so {that a} new group may finally develop sequels. Laidlaw additionally claimed to have “no thought” if the sport would ever get launched or not.

A potential plot abstract

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

Though 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 3, albeit with many of the identify’s modified and everybody’s gender’s reversed. 

If you would like to learn the submit with the identify’s and gender’s corrected then you are able to do so on GitHub, the place somebody has transcribed the entire brief story. 

Though it is value 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 battle they might have finally have rigged the ship to journey to the center of the Mix empire and explode, thus releasing 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 Idea Artwork

Even supposing Valve has seldom spoken about Half Life 3, not to mention launched gameplay materials, we have now had a good bit of idea artwork hit the web over the previous decade. Whereas it’s not fairly the identical as in-game renders of a trailer, it’s nonetheless one thing. Usually it’d give us some hints at what to anticipate, however given the period of time for the reason that artwork first floor, the character of the sport may have drastically modified.

The primary items arrived on-line in 2007 and 2008, showcasing a number of the potential 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 true deal.

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

“I do not suppose I can discuss that, to be sincere,” he mentioned. “I believe it is type of public data that individuals know that it’s being labored on. And so if I have been to say that, yeah, I’ve seen some photos, like some idea artwork of it, that would not be huge information to be sincere. I suppose I may say that I did see one thing that regarded kinda like within the Half-Life universe.

And I imply it would not shock anybody if I mentioned they’re doing it, they’re engaged on it, yeah. So to exit on a limb I might say I did some idea artwork for Half-Life 3.”

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

Followers have been pestering Gabe Newell and Valve over time, getting increasingly more inventive as time goes on. One attention-grabbing technique from the is notable as a result of it truly obtained a response from Newell. All they needed to do was ask a couple of sequel to Ricochet – a sport usually thought-about Valve’s worst.

“When it comes to Ricochet 2, we at all times have this downside that once we discuss issues too far upfront, we find yourself altering our minds as we’re going by way of and growing stuff, in order we’re considering by way of the large story arc which is Ricochet 2, you may get to a degree the place you are saying one thing is stunning us in a constructive approach and one thing is stunning us in a adverse approach, and, you realize, we might wish to be super-transparent about the way forward for Ricochet 2. The issue is, we predict that the twists and turns that we’re going by way of would in all probability drive individuals extra loopy than simply being silent about it, till we might be very crisp about what’s occurring subsequent.”

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

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

Whereas Newell may sincerely be speaking a couple of sequel to Ricochet, everybody has assumed he performed together with the joke and was truly speaking about Half Life 3.

Reddit AMA

In January of this 12 months to participate in an AMA (Ask Me Something), which followers naturally used to ask some questions on the way forward for the Half Life/Portal universe. He did reply just a few of them, although he didn’t reveal a complete lot.

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

Different Rumours and Hypothesis

One huge potential plot level that has popped up over the previous decade is that Valve have been wanting into incorporating a deaf character into the collection. It was designed as a function to higher help 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 Canine with signal language so she may apply. This character ended up elsewhere, and he advised Alyx and Canine would proceed to signal to speak in secret.

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

It was later advised that Half life Three may incorporate parts 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 referred to as , which embrace social elements that Newell believes enhance the worth of leisure.

, who supposedly labored for Valve sooner or later doesn’t consider there shall be one other Half Life sport. They declare that each time a Half Life initiatives 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. 

In line with them, there are individuals inside Valve who need to use the Half Life IP for varied various things, however they have been contemplations and by no means critically thought-about by Valve as a complete. Not a part of a grand plan, at any price, since that isn’t how Valve operates.

{Game} Informer stresses that the knowledge is from one unverified supply, so take that data with a wholesome dose of scepticism. However 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 saved 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 {hardware} advances, however the actuality is that Valve doesn’t really want to make a brand new Half Life sport to achieve success. Steam is the preferred digital storefront in PC gaming, and Counter-Strike: World Offensive and DOTA 2 appeal to tens of millions of gamers who in flip buy in-game objects with actual money. 

Whereas many sport studios have to hold making video games to remain afloat, the Steam market signifies that finally 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 people is ever knowledgeable of the information till a number of years have handed. The very best case state of affairs is that the sport stays in lively growth, however with Valve prioritising its sources elsewhere. The worst, and seemingly more than likely state of affairs at this level, is that it’s useless and can by no means see the sunshine of day.

However stranger issues have occurred. Possibly we’ll see Half Life Three in the future, or possibly 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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