Benny's Adventures

Are Valve shooting themselves in the foot with Half-Life 3/Episode 3?

First of all, if someone can explain to me how I should grammatically word the title I’d appreciate it. I have full faith that the Internet will do what it does best – point out grammar mistakes.

Now, to begin.

[supposed screenshot of Half Life 3]
Alleged screenshot of Half-Life 3 found on Reddit

Half-Life 2 arrived to gamers in 2004. Episode 2 released in 2007. Since then nary a word has been said about the next entry in the series (well, aside from Episode 3 being announced in 2006 and other inconsequential news… which by the way, I tried to find an announcement altering the game from Ep. 3 to a full Half-Life 3 but could not find it, so if it exists let me know where I can find it). Many gamers want to know not just that the next installment in this beloved series is being released but when it is being released. There have been many supposed leaks of information or hints of a release date but nothing official.

It’s now been 5 years, approximately.

The only other game I can think of having a similar release hype and build up is Duke Nukem Forever… and we all know how that turned out.

I am afraid that Half Life’s next episode might be following a similar path.

What happens if the fans get tired?

New and fun games are being released time and time again without a new Half Life anywhere on the radar. Eventually the bond that Half-Life 2 garnered will deteriorate and there will be fans who are not as receptive.

There will of course still be a ton of fans, don’t get me wrong, but there’s something about the legend that no longer connects me to the Half-Life world. Perhaps I’m just not as fond of the series as others, but I also believe that some of it has to do with anticipation fatigue. I really, really wanted to know what happens next but over time my attention has focused on other things and there are other stories that I am following. I’m personally not as excited about Half Life anymore because Valve missed that sweet spot where I am excited about the next game and it’s been long enough from the original that another game is sensible.

What happens if development can’t keep up with an evolving environment?

If the game isn’t in development then this is not an issue but let’s say for all this time Half-Life: Ep. 3 has been in development. The begin with an engine and some ideas of features they’d like to evolve and features they’d like to revolutionize. However what happens when these features, while they are developing it for 5 years, become standard or even moot and any new features and expectations that gamers have suddenly requires a new change to the engine? It is my understanding that the Source engine has this in mind at its core but even the Source engine has its limits.

Furthermore, technical issues aside what if the group of gamers intensely fond of the series grew up and their lives changed that they are no longer that interested? Or able to continue gaming?

Trying to address this will add more development time which leads to more things to address and it could create a vicious cycle.

On the other hand…

Valve is a great developer and has many successes under its belt. If anybody can pull it off, they can. The only other company I’d have that much confidence in is Blizzard.

And hey, let’s be honest… I love Half-Life. Even if it’s 20 years from now I will remember my fondness for the series and check it out anyway.


It’s tough to say. I can’t be sure if I should be worried or if I should be excited or somewhere in between. But while I am waiting for Half-Life: Ep3 or Half Life 3, I’m going to be reliving the adventures of Gordon Freeman again and again ‘cause damn it the Half-Life games are so much fun!

4 February 2012 - Posted by | Gaming | , , ,

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