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2009/02/06

Games I want: Half-Life 3

Okay, so the last in the series, Half-Life 2: Episode 2 was released way back in October 2007 along with the Orange Box.

Now we’re still waiting for Episode 3 to come out. After Episode 3 comes out, Valve says that it will be up to us fans to decide whether we want Episode 4
, 5, and 6, OR Half-Life 3.

Okay, now I get to state what’s on my mind here. The source engine is going on five years old now, and in the industry, that’s quite a while. That’s old, to put it bluntly. Don’t get me wrong; I liked Half-Life 2 a lot, as well as the episodes, although Episode 2 had some frustrating bugs which gave me endless hassles. The graphics in Half-Life 2 weren’t even considered that good for its time, so now they look decidedly dated as far as new games go. Although this is true, everyone raved about the use of the technology over other games like Doom 3 that allegedly didn’t reach its full potential.

I’m not all about graphics though. Half-Life 2 has a great story and gameplay, and this is continued in the episodes. Valve was adamant, back in 2005 and 6, that episodic content was the way forward in games; that we would only have to wait a few months for the next installment to come out, and that it would be cheaper than a full game. Now it seems they’re uncertain, and so are we.

We waited nearly two years after Half-Life 2 until Episode 1 came along, and then we waited over another year until Episode 2 came out. It’s now been nearly a year and a half since then, and there’s no Episode 3. Where did the plan of the 3-6 month waiting period go? In the total time that has elapsed since the release of Half-Life 2, we could have had a proper sequel, Half-Life 3, by now. And as far as my memory serves me, it wasn’t much cheaper either, and The Orange Box, while some claiming was a good deal, was a hell of scheme to get us to fork out for all their other games that use the source engine, like Team Fortress 2 and Portal, as well as HL 2 and E1

By the time it takes to get to a possible Episode 6, where will we be, 2015?

It’s not like there’s a lack of material for a sequel to be made. What happened to Black Mesa? What happened during the time that elapsed between the end of Half-Life 1 and the beginning of Half-Life 2? Where the hell is City 17? Are there other cities like it? What happened to Adrian Shepard and the HECU unit from Opposing Force? What happened before Black Mesa? There are plenty of unanswered questions that Valve could use to fuel their next chapter in the series.

I think, as enjoyable as the episodes are to play, how much longer can it go? 

I know it may be a bit much to ask, I can fully accept that a game the caliber of Half-Life 2 needs full attention from the team, but can’t Valve just concentrate on Half-Life 3, and outsource the episodes to someone else like they did with Gearbox and Opposing Force and Blue Shift? Oh, that’s right- Gearbox is working on Aliens: Colonial Marines. Well, since Valve has a history of employing people who churn out worthy mods, why don’t they get the boys who are making Black Mesa Source to do it once they’re finished?

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