Yes, that’s what it says, bright, wide-eyed readers. The third instalment in the Episodes for Half-Life 2, known also as Half-Life 2: Episode 3, has been cancelled. It was confirmed by Gabe Newell, head of Valve Corporation, himself recently.
Reasons as to why this has happened aren’t very clear, but Gabe Newell says that it’s not the end of Half-Life at all. The series will continue, but probably as the true sequel in the series: Half-Life 3.
“A lot has gone on in the last few years, since Episode 2 came out in 2007, and much of it we’ve kept under wraps. And it’s all for a good reason.
We here at Valve have been working on Half-Life 3 for longer than anybody else thinks, even while the episodes were in development. The episodes will end with Episode 2, but the series is far from over.”
Half-Life 2 was released in 2004, with Episode 1 following in 2006, and E2 in 2007. It’s been about two and a half years since then, and no sign of Episode 3, after many expected to see it at E3 last year. And it looks like now we’ll not see it at all.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, as the effort that has been put in to Episode 3 is not lost. It will just be incorporated into Half-Life 3… probably. Details of Episode 3 have been scarce over the years, with a news piece last year revealing details about a deaf character appearing in the game, which will be Alyx Vance’s long lost friend, and eventual lover. Apart from that and a few pieces of concept art: not much else.
Although there was talk from Gabe recently who said he wanted Half-Life to return to the days of scaring people. Mission accomplished, after you read the headline of this post I suppose.
One thing that can be said about the whole situation, is that episodic content, a great idea years ago, seems to have failed after all, especially when applied to major titles, such as Half-Life 2.
I don’t know what Valve will do about HL 3 and the Source engine. It’s aging now, and I don’t really expect they can use it for much longer, especially not with HL 3. It might be time to say goodbye, and think of switching to a new engine. Unreal Engine 3, anyone?
Source: “Gabe Confirms Episode 3 Cancelled” [Rock, Paper, Shotgun]