This past year has been quite interesting for video games. E3 2012 was kind of underwhelming, but we still saw a myriad of top-notch titles like Dishonored, Borderlands 2, The Walking Dead and Far Cry 3. However, for most Valve fans, this marks another year where the much awaited sequel in the Half Life series, Half Life 3, is missing. Despite clarifications by Valve’s own Chet Faliszek however at the end of 2011 and rumours surrounding Valve’s next IP, that didn’t stop the world from seeing Half Life 3 wherever it went. It started in January with possible Half Life 3 references being found in Counterstrike: Global Offensive. A Reddit user by the name of Lurkertron 9000 apparently dug into the files of the game and found several references to the number “3”, what appeared to Gordon Freeman’s face and other characters mentioned like Eli, Breen and Gordon Freeman himself.
Then in February, in what appeared to be gamers saying they’ve had enough of Gabe Newell’s shit, about 12000 gamers got together to ask for more information on Half Life 3. However, in an interview with Penny Arcade, head honcho Newell stated that “we’re trying to be careful not to get people too excited and then have to go and disappoint them,” referencing the amount of time it took to get the first two games ready for release. “So we’re sort of reacting in the other direction and saying, ‘okay, well let’s have things a little more baked before we start getting people all excited about it.’”
E3 fever began to heat up in April, and now even numerology had come into play for determing the imminent announcement of Half Life 3 (or even Half Life 2’s Episode 3) at the expo. Here’s the calculation, created via the ever wonderful folks at Kotaku.
Gabe Newell’s Rank on Forbes’ Richest Men List: 864
Years between HL and HL2: 7 Years
Years between HL2 and L4D2: 5 Years
Years between L4D2 and Portal 2: 3 Years
864 – 753 = 111
1 + 1 + 1 = 3
3 = HL3 or Episode 3 (or E3)
After that, for the next couple of months, things were quiet. In August, GamesCom seemed like the next best place, with a leaked product list having Half Life 3 listed on it. Despite eventually turning out to be an “expected” (not confirmed) announcements list, a German Twitter post carried a supposed screenshot of Half Life 3 running at the same convention. Again, however, no announcement of the game.
In September, rumours began to swell again. These were a bit different, as they didn’t talk about release of Half Life 3 so much as the kind of gameplay we could expect. French site journaldugamer reported that, “A trusted source who wishes to remain anonymous told us yet confidential details the development of Half-Life 3.
According to her, Valve has decided to make his legendary shooter game … open-world! According to her, Half-Life 3 FPS will always be a very action-oriented, but with many RPG elements: open-world, quests and NPCs will be waiting for you! One of the inspirations the developers would also be the series of Elder Scrolls (Skyrim, Oblivion).” Again, no way to confirm or deny these allegations. And now with more news and developments emerging about Valve’s foray into gaming hardware, Half Life 3 has been put on the back-burner.
Will 2013 carry more concrete news at to when and in what form we can expect Half Life 3? No one can know for sure, but if nothing else, it will make for an interesting year of rumours to look back on.