Half-Life 3 is the greathử nghiệm mystery in PC gaming. More intriguing than the actual magic that makes your GPU work, và more elusive than a good movie tie-in game, so what is the current state of Half-Life 3?

The Half-Life hiatus has finally ended, after a rumour that a VR Half-Life game is in the works, we have confirmation of Valve’s third full-length entry in the series, Half-Life: Alyx. Although it’s still unclear on what this means for Half-Life 3 (or if this is even Half-Life 3) and PC players, Half-life: Alyx launched in March, 20trăng tròn, and will hopefully open the doors for more Half-Life in the not too distant future.

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So, what is Half-Life 3, especially now Half-Life: Alyx has been released? Over the years there have sầu been two quite different answers – it’s either a collection of three short, episodic games – two of which have already been released – or it’s a full-length sequel khổng lồ both Half-Life 2 and its expansions. Here’s the story of Half-Life 3 so far, leading up lớn thereleaseof Half-Life: Alyx.

Half-Life 3: the story so far

Baông xã in 2006, as Half-Life 2: Episode One released, Valve trùm Gabe Newell referred khổng lồ Episodes 1-3 as being Half-Life 3. “Probably a better name for it would have been Half Life 3: Episode One,” he admitted during an interview with Eurogamer. He went on to explain that after the six year wait for Half-Life 2, Valve sầu didn’t want players to lớn go through another similar experience. Instead, the next game in the saga was to lớn span three smaller episodes that would be released with far higher frequency.

“This is what we’re trying instead of the large monolithic release. Let’s take what we would ordinarily vì chưng & break it up into lớn three pieces và see,” Newell said.

Let’s take what we would ordinarily do & break it up into lớn pieces

Gabe Newell

And the format worked, almost. Half-Life 2: Episode One suffered a delay, but released just two years after Half-Life 2’s 2004 debut. Episode Two promptly arrived the following year in 2007.

During that timethe general opinion on Episode Three has changed. If Valve has been working on a Half-Life 3 game all this time, it’s logical to presume that Episode Three is no more, & a full-form size Half-Life 3 game is now what khổng lồ expect. Valve couldn’t possibly release a four-hour episode to an audience that’s spent almost a decade in waiting, could it?


Half-Life 3 concept art

2012 saw the leak of a series of concept art images reportedly drawn for Half-Life 2: Episode Three. Aý muốn them were various drawings of Alyx Vance, men wearing cold weather gear, and a return to lớn Xen. The art was acquired by the người trang web ValveTime, who claimed the images were from a 2008 project. Concept art is generally part of the pre-production process however, so it’s not an indication that the third episode ever even reached a greybox build.


Half-Life 2: Episode Four – Return to Ravenholm

While the concept art leak helps keep the candle of hope burning, the story of Return lớn Ravenholm offers an opposite viewpoint. Between 2006 và 2008 Arkane, the studio behind Dishonored 2, was developing Half-Life 2: Episode Four. Entitled ‘Return to lớn Ravenholm’, it was lớn put the player in control of a new character và revisit the zombie-infested titular town during a period before Episode Two’s conclusion.

Valve sầu pulled the plug on it, though. A report from ValveTime explains that the company felt the episode couldn’t introduce anything new due to lớn the setting constraints, this could be why Valve eventually chose VR as the platkhung for Half-Life: Alyx a decade later. Valve sầu says that the process of creating a VR game, has urged the studio to lớn “explore new ways khổng lồ tell stories with these characters and this world, & we’ve sầu discovered a lot of new gameplay experiences that go beyond what we’ve sầu been able lớn bởi before.”


“There’s no such thing as Half-Life 3”

In the opening month of 2017, Game Informer recorded a podcast và published an article containing some revealing information from a single, anonymous source within Valve sầu. By this point in the story you won’t be too surprised khổng lồ read the words “There is no such thing as Half-Life 3,” but that’s exactly what was said by GI’s informant.

Every time a Half-Life project collapses, it becomes harder for the next one khổng lồ start up

Anonymous source

Valve has a ‘flat’ structure, meaning there’s no real management, just a few influencing personalities. Aý muốn them is company co-founder & president Gabe Newell. trò chơi Informer’s source seems to lớn suggest that Newell is not interested in making Half-Life 3.

“Every time a Half-Life project gets some gravity and then collapses, it becomes harder for the next one to start up,” said the informant.

Over the years there have been some Half-Life 3 prototypes, and the source says they have been more inventive sầu than you’d imagine. According khổng lồ the Game Informer podcast, one was an RTS, while another was a riff on adventure games, done with live-action actors.

But those projects appear to be a thing of the past now. Game Informer’s executive sầu editor Andrew Reiner said on the podcast “I reached out lớn ten lớn 15 people who worked for the company and they just didn’t want to talk about it all. Dead over after dead over after dead over.” He suggested that Valve is now fed up of being asked about it.

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In March 2017, trang web ValveTime released images from a leaked phối of files that were made for the Half-Life 2 episodes. Aước ao them were images of a snow-covered Ravenholm map that included puzzles, scripted sequences, và fights. ValveTime noted that this wintery level was not related to Arkane’s Episode Four, but was part of another cancelled episode that was being developed by Junction Point Studtiện ích ios in late 2005.

The maps implies that the player would have sầu crashed into lớn a warehouse in a gondola. When awaking from the incident, two new characters – Duncan & Scooter – would have aided them. Rebels và Combine soldiers would be fighting in the streets. The episode would have sầu included a new physics weapon – the Magnet Gun – and objects in the maps have sầu magnetic fields.

The kicker of this story is that Junction Pointwas headed up by legendary designer Warren Spector, the man behind Deus Ex. The now-closed studio was started by ex-Ion Storm employees, including Spector và Art Min. Alas, we can only guess at the kind of Half-Life game such minds would have made.

Half-Life 2: Episode 3’s cliffhanger

Valve’s long-term writer Marc Laidlaw left the company in January 2017. Several months after his departure he gave an interview khổng lồ Arcade Attaông xã. Discussing Half-Life 3, Laidlaw explained that the game would likely have sầu ended on a mystery in much the same way as Episode 2. “I will say that I expected every instalment would over without resolution, forever and ever…” he said.

Discussing specifically Episode 3 (it would appear that internally Valve sầu was still considering the next game as part of the Half-Life 2 saga và not a fresh game), Laidlaw said: “My intention was that Ep3 would simply tie up the plot threads that were particular to lớn HL2. But it would still over like HL1 & HL2, with Gordon in an indeterminate space, on hold, waiting for the next game khổng lồ begin. So one cliffhanger after another.”

Half-Life 2: Episode 3 story revealed

A few months after taking part in the Arcade Attaông xã interview, Marc Laidlaw published a short story on his blog in the guise of fanfiction. Told from the point of view of “Gertie Fremont” and featuring gender-switched versions of the Half-Life 2 cast, it’s a tongue-in-cheek method of revealing Laidlaw’s story for Episode 3.

So what would have sầu happened after Episode 2? Alyx và Gordon bury Eli Vance, và along with Dr. Mossman head khổng lồ Antarctica via seaplane in tìm kiếm of the Borealis. After being shot down and spending time traversing the icy wastes, the team finally discovers the time-and-dimension shifting ship. They manage khổng lồ board it, và fight their way through the decks as the entire ship phases through several realities. These include the Seven Hour War, the far future of the Half-Life universe, and even a glimpse of the Combine homeworld.

With the ship captured, a fight breaks out between Alyx và Mossman. Alyx intends to use the Borealis as a makeshift time-missile battering ram, while Mossman believes it will be useful for the Resistance. The argument results in Alyx killing Mossman, and so Gordon goes along with the battering ram idea. The plan is a suicide mission, and as the Borealis is about khổng lồ collide with what is clearly an indestructible Dyson Sphere that it will have zero effect on, the G-Man shows up, saves Alyx, và leaves Gordon to lớn his doom. Thankfully the Vortigaunts have sầu other plans, and lift Gordon out of time and space, only to lớn dump hlặng baông chồng in the Half-Life timeline many years inlớn the future.

It sounds incredibly Half-Life, with sequences like the Borealis fight appearing akin to lớn Titanfall 2’s Effect & Cause mission, albeit devised years before. It’s easy khổng lồ see why, bachồng in 2008, this could have been considered a technical challenge too far. Its publication also feels like an admission that Episode 3 will never happen. It’s nice khổng lồ know what we missed out on, though.

Perhaps not entirely surprisingly, fans didn’t take the news well, with Valve sầu getting the brunt of their ire. Some people took khổng lồ Dota 2’s user nhận xét lớn express their displeasure that Valve sầu ‘killed’ Half-Life 3 in exchange for their highly successful MOBA. Comments from negative sầu reviewers on the Dota 2 Steam page added in the days after Laidlaw’s blog post include: “This game is very good. But Half-Life is better,” “Negative sầu nhận xét in memory of half life 3,” “Not only is this game a miserable bore, it killed Valve’s creativity và eliminated any need to lớn finish the Half-Life series. Thanks Gabe!”

Is Half-Life 3 even possible?

Is Half-Life 3 even possible anymore? Especially after the announcement of Half-Life: Alyx. With the return of the Half-Life series, fans are asking what this means for the future of Half-Life, and the possibility of Half-Life 3.

Clearly, the answer is yes. Half-Life: Alyx is a full-length game, and is roughly 15 hours long. With gorgeous new 2019-friendly assets, a full cast of voices, & practically everything else that you need to make a triple-A game now, there’s no denying that if Valve sầu can still make a game like Alyx, then they can still make a proper sequel to Half-Life 2.

The Valve sầu we know today is a very different company to lớn the one that released Half-Life 2. In an interview with Develop in 2011, Newell said: “With episodes, I think we accelerated the model và shortened development cycles with it. If you look at Team Fortress 2, that’s what we now think is the best model for what we’ve sầu been doing. Our updates & release Mã Sản Phẩm keeps on getting shorter và shorter.”

Half-Life 3 release date

Until the words ‘Half-Life 3 confirmed’ stop being a meme, a release date for the game is nothing but a pipe dream,although Valve’s VR exclusive Half-Life: Alyxis out now. In a recent interview with Geoff Keighley, Valve sầu respond to the question about why the VR game, Half-Life: Alyx isn’t Half-Life 3, dev Robin Walker says, “In all honesty, back in năm 2016 when we started this, Half-Life was just terrifying. Half-Life 3 a terrifyingly daunting prospect, & I think to lớn some extent, VR was a way we could fool ourselves inlớn believing we had a way lớn do this.”

Half-Life 3 VR

Each Half-Life has seen something revolutionary introduced into gaming. The first title offered previously unseen levels of narrative sầu immersion, while the sequel pioneered realistic physical object behaviour, empowering the player to use physics as a puzzle-solving device and a weapon. Following that pattern, it seemed plausible that Half-Life 3 could be developed for VR và although the newlyreleased Half-Life: Alyx is a VR only prequel to lớn the events of Half-Life 2, it hasn’t been branded as the third episode or third entry inlớn the series.

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So yes, Half-Life: Alyx is VR, but we’ve no idea if Half-Life 3 (whatever that is) will be exclusive sầu to lớn VR, too.