Half-Life 3 might never come out, but here’s what it could be like

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Half-Life 3 might never be made, but here are some idea

Half-Life 3, for as long as I can remember, has been the singular enigma that even I expected to have been released, never mind announced, by now. It’s been well over a decade since Valve released Half-Life 2: Episode 2, and the time since then has transformed the would-be sequel into something maybe even Valve is frightened by. And according to three prominent developers, they have every right to be.

But that doesn’t mean Valve shouldn’t make it, and the same three have some interesting ideas on how they should approach it.

PC Gamer caught up with BossKey Productions Founder Cliff Bleszinski, Bluepoint Games Creative Director Kynan Pearson and Tripwire Interactive President John Gibson about some of the ideas they’d have if put in charge of Half-Life 3 – and how Valve would possibly go about creating the most anticipated game of this generation. Unsurprisingly many of them struggled to image a near future where this would actually be a reality, but all three seemed to agree on some fundamentals.

Half-Life 1 and 2 both pushed boundaries, especially in terms of what was expected from a first-person shooter at the time. Half-Life 2 specifically presented narratively heavy experience with some gorgeous visuals, and John Gibson believes Half-Life 3 would need to set some sort of similar benchmarks to have the same impact today.

“A great story is what separated the first two Half-Life games from their competitors, and the same should be true for Half-Life 3. Finally I would set a priority for having enjoyable moment-to-moment gameplay, because if the main gameplay loop isn’t fun then nothing else you do in the game will matter.”

Half Life 3 might never get made 1

Gibson also believes that with all the financial security Valve has, the Steam House should really just risk it all like no other studio could dream of doing. That could involve doing the unimaginable, and making Half-Life 3 a sort of HTC Vive exclusive. An idea that Valve themselves have denied in the past, but one that Cliff Bleszinski doesn’t see as too crazy.

“With the amazing HTC Vive, it wouldn’t surprise me to see something in the Half-Life universe on that platform as a way of making it happen for the eager crowd. Remember when Steam launched (poorly) with Half Life 2 and you HAD to have Steam? I could easily see Gabe and co doing something similar. Heck, the most spectacular first demo on the Vive (if you haven’t seen it, spoilers) is a scene that is slowly revealed that you’re in Aperture Science labs (when Glados showed up I was equally thrilled as I was terrified, she’s HUGE in person/VR!). So my ‘money’ is on something to make the killer app for the Vive, similar themes of science, new setting.”

Kynan Pearson, of Bluepoint and Epic Games fame, recognises that Half-Life 3 will also be heavily scrutinised and compared to franchises that don’t even directly compete with it, making the need for innovation paramount. For this reason Half-Life 3 needs to be equal parts risky and revolutionary, with Pearson agreeing with the sentiments expressed by John Gibson.

“For Half-Life 3 to be successful it needs to be a great game, but competing directly with or trying to outdo those games one their own playing field would be extremely difficult and costly. Half-Life 3 needs to be risky, revolutionary and memorable.”

Pearson laid out a couple of extended ideas on what he would do if in charge of the title, along with some smaller ideas from Bleszinski and Gibson which you really should read through in the lengthy interview on PC Gamer. It’s probable that most of them will never be used, and it’s still completely possible that Half-Life 3 will ever be made.

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But if it is, and Valve does take the risk, these many sentiments here that ring true. Half-Life 3 will need to set the standards that it did over ten years ago to make an impact after all this time, and that’s probably what is getting many people up at night at Valve.

Last Updated: February 26, 2016

Alessandro Barbosa

You can all call me Sandy until I figure out how to edit this thing, which is probably never. Sandy not good enough? Call me xXx_J0k3R_360degreeN0Sc0pe_xXx. Also, Geoff’s a bastard.

  • Ryanza

    Half Life 3 will never be released.

    Half Life 2 was used to impliment Steam DRM and root Steam as the DRM system for the PC market.
    Half Life 3 will never live up to what Half Life 2 was and would crack the Steam foundation, leaading to the fall of Steam DRM.

    Vavle wouldn’t want to fuck with their DRM business. So no Half Life 3 for us.

    Don’t Support DRM. Cyberpunk 2077 is coming.

    • Krabby Paddy

      Cyberpunk 2077 is too long in coming. Support DRM if you want to actually play games.

      • Ryanza

        Cyberpunk 2077 out end of 2016. Half Life 3 out, never.

        • Hammersteyn

          1000s of games out now.

          • Captain JJ the “saviour”

            And if you’re a console gamer
            Hundreds of old games out….AGAIN (in remastered versions) 😛

          • Hammersteyn
          • Captain JJ the “saviour”

            Oh awesome 🙂
            I just accessed the PS store for the first time in my life now 😀
            Thanks Hammer.
            It’s quite neat…. *returns to browse a bit*

          • Hammersteyn

            It’s not, it lags when you filter searches.

          • Captain JJ the “saviour”

            No it doesssnnnn’tttttttt 😛

          • Darren Peach

            100 percent agree. Re-Masters , although optional , are the bane of life at the mo.

          • Ryanza

            out of those 1000 games, Witcher 3 and cyberpunk 2077 on the top.

          • Hammersteyn

            I played one, must I abstain from gaming till the other is out?

          • Ryanza

            The Witcher 3 has three ending, I think. Play the game 3 times and Cyberpunk 2077 will be out.

          • Hammersteyn

            Got the happy ending thanks, plus I traded it for Fallout 4

          • Captain JJ the “saviour”

            I don’t like where this thread is going 🙁

          • Ryanza

            I wasn’t going to take it anywhere. I like that fact that he could trade in The Witcher 3 for another game. #don’tsupportdrm

          • Captain JJ the “saviour”

            I had the sad ending though…that’s why :/
            Need to replay it sometime.

          • Ryanza

            I got the sad ending too lol. Busy with second playthrough. By the time I’m done, Cyberpunk 2077 will be out.

          • Ryanza

            Don’t forget to buy a cheap PC version of Witcher 3 just to keep and own forever.

        • Krabby Paddy

          Cyberpunk 2077 out end of 2016? HIGHLY unlikely but I won’t mind being wrong 🙂 Good games take time.

        • Darren Peach

          It better be good. They should pay you royalties for the amount of hype you are creating.

        • CD Projekt has stated that they’re only going to START TALKING about Cyberpunk sometime in 2017. You will probably only play Cyberpunk in 2018. See here: http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/05/27/cd-projekt-red-wont-talk-about-cyberpunk-2077-until-2017
          and here: http://www.reuters.com/article/games-cd-projekt-witcher-idUSL5N0YG1AW20150526?irpc=932

          • Ryanza

            They always say they will talk Cyberpunk 2077 after they done with Witcher 3. The last expansion is out next month, I think. So it’s cyberpunk 2077 alll the way after next month.

            2016 will be the 4th year of development for Cyberpunk 2077. If you look at 3 years and some Witcher 3 needed, and look at what we got.
            2016 is very likely for a Cyberpunk 2077 release or early 2017.

            2018 means 6 years in development. so not likely. But those damn polish delays.

          • Captain JJ the “saviour”

            The Polish are going to be the power in Europe in a few decades.
            I’m already seeing it in my business. More and more of the Europeans we deal with are Polish.
            I mean, just look at retail. We’re even importing milk from Poland these days.

          • Krabby Paddy

            Damn those Polish and their well polished products!

          • Captain JJ the “saviour”

            This is pure coincidence, but I’m chowing on a piece of chocolate, and on the back of the packaging it says product of Poland XD

          • Ryanza

            Tempo is the best chocolate and they make that here.

          • AfricanTime

            Tempo made in Poland? i thought it is only made in SA?

          • Pariah

            “Here” as in “In SA”

            lol

          • AfricanTime

            it is friday.

            leave me off
            ;p

          • Ryanza

            isn’t it like Thursday when it comes to African Time.

          • AfricanTime

            too true my bru , and Monday is Sunday.

          • Pariah

            6 day weekend here in the Southern Tip of Africa

          • Ryanza

            No. My comment was racist, shit like that should be pointed out. we can’t have replies like, too true, to racist comments, because no it’s not true. Fucking taxi, train, traffic delays will not be associated with African time.

            Everybody is late sometimes not just Africans.

          • Darren Peach

            At least it’s not the unwanted offcuts.

          • Krabby Paddy

            Was it all nice and shiny?

          • Captain JJ the “saviour”

            The packaging is. 😀
            It’s damn nice actually.

          • Darren Peach

            Wish we would import chicken …..

          • Pariah

            Or just produce chicken that isn’t 98% fat content and 100% gross.

          • Darren Peach

            I don’t eat it at all. But been reading about this chicken import fiasco with America.

          • Captain JJ the “saviour”

            That’s why you Rince it. (see what I did there?)

          • Krabby Paddy

            Rince and repeat

          • Pariah

            Thinking about this might make me repeatedly rince my bowels out through my mouth and into the toilet bowl…

          • Krabby Paddy

            How is that different from the norm? You all talk enough crap on this site 😉

          • Captain JJ the “saviour”

            You know it!

          • Pariah

            True, but I’ve never taken a mouthful of LG comments and nearly hurled for a few hours before. So there’s that.

          • Captain JJ the “saviour”

            Haha.
            Did my comment post twice?
            How?

          • Krabby Paddy

            Magic

          • Captain JJ the “saviour”

            That’s why you Rince it. (see what I did there?)

          • Pariah

            That really wouldn’t help much tbh. Might even make it worse.

            XD *RUNS

          • Krabby Paddy

            Wish we could just do things properly ourselves 😛

          • Pariah

            See? This man gets it.

          • Captain JJ the “saviour”

            It’s sad what’s been happening. I work with customers from all over and the sad part is that they’re all very aware of how SA now needs to be treated differently because we can’t look after ourselves so well anymore.

          • Krabby Paddy

            RSA – Require Special Attention?
            Unfortunately it is what it is and it ain’t going to change in any real hurry … but one can still hope that something will come right.

          • Darren Peach

            All because I mentioned chicken ? Sorry man. If it makes you feel any better, I have a dead rodent somewhere in my kitchen, have to remove cupboards to find it, as my punishment.

          • Captain JJ the “saviour”

            Haha. Sorry.
            It’s Friday!

        • Billy Beefcaked

          It won’t be out in 2016 I can promise you that. My bet is Christmas 2017.

    • Captain JJ the “saviour”

      Don’t support Uplay
      Agreed.
      Don’t support Origin.
      Agreed.
      Don’t support Steam…….
      …….
      …….
      Nope. Sorry. Love my Steam.

      • Ryanza

        Uplay, Origin, Steam, Microsoft store, all the same thing.

        • Captain JJ the “saviour”

          Well, honestly.
          GOG Galaxy is a mess compared to Steam and Origin.
          I bought Witcher 3 twice just to rather have it on Steam since the physical copy doesn’t activate on Steam.
          Also. I just sat for a week without internet (that’s how long it took Telkom to fix it) and you know how many problems I had playing my Steam games?
          None.

          • Ryanza

            You need more than a week for Steam to demand you connect online. Two weeks maybe.

            Let’s not act like you can have Steam in offline mode forever because that’s not true.

          • Captain JJ the “saviour”

            I didn’t say it was true. Did I?
            There will always be two sides to it.
            Just like vegans and normal people. 😉

          • Hammersteyn

            I still prefer GOG. Feels less cluttered than Steam

          • Captain JJ the “saviour”

            I like the clutter! 🙂
            The updates, the news, the community, the links, the tutorials, the workshop content, the store links, the DLC links, the discussions…..okay, so maybe there is a LOT on there. But I quite like it.
            I’ve been better informed at buying games than I ever was at deciding what to do with my life.

          • Ryanza

            Plug this man into the matrix right now.

          • Captain JJ the “saviour”

            I honestly wish I had all this info available when I was deciding what work I wanted to go into.
            Then I obviously would’ve been Neo 😀

          • Ryanza

            You do know they created a super computer with a super AI. Now they just need to train the fucking AI. What do you think all those new like buttons are about on Facebook.

          • Captain JJ the “saviour”

            Don’t support super computers
            Skynet is coming?

          • Ryanza

            let’s also not forget about the rise of machinces.

            So if you add the super always online computer with the fucking robots.

            Yes Skynet is coming. And we are doomed.

          • Pariah

            This man gets it ^

    • Billy Beefcaked

      I disagree with you because I was there at the beginning with Steam and Half-Life 2. STEAM came along because large chunks of Half-Life 2 had been uploaded to the internet prior to it’s release, and they invented Steam to prevent anyone from stealing their game and illegally copying it.
      THAT is how Steam came into existence.
      It was so effective that Valve licensed it out to other games to help protect other properties…..which then made Valve realize how much money they could make from that. It was within the next couple of years that they then began to host games and distribute them by the late 2000’s.
      Valve began to make so much money off of steam that THAT became their priority. Left for Dead 1/2, Portal 1/2, were made, years went by, and there was no more need for Half Life to be their main cash cow.
      My prediction is Gabe “Fatass” Newell is going to have a grand-maul heart attack in the near future, and then at that point the Valve guys will put out Half-Life 3.
      So essentially we are just waiting for that fatass to die.

  • Captain JJ the “saviour”

    For Half Life 3 to be successful it needs to be true to itself without copying the older games and also not use the typical game mechanics seen in most of the games of the same genre these days.
    It doesn’t need to do something revolutionary, it just needs to be a real Half Life game without trying too hard to convince its customers what it is.
    That said.
    I don’t think I would necessarily want one. The expectations would be too high.

    • Darren Peach

      Open World !

      • Captain JJ the “saviour”

        But, guided open world.
        I think that was the nice thing about Half Life. It felt open world, but it wasn’t.
        It needs to be bigger! 😀

        • Darren Peach

          Yep. They must release this game……

        • Krabby Paddy

          hmm, no it doesn’t. Open world isn’t always better. Although if done right … well guess any Half Life 3 game would have to be done right or the internet would explode.

          • Captain JJ the “saviour”

            I agree. Open World definitely isn’t always better. Takes a very specific type of gameplay and game.

          • Darren Peach

            Value for money, Especially if a game is good.

  • Hammersteyn

    Worst trilogy ever

    • Captain JJ the “saviour”

      XD

    • Krabby Paddy

      Half life 2 with ep 1 & 2. Trilogy complete right there 😉

      • Hammersteyn

        hehe, not what any of us really wanted

  • Jan Prins

    Scuttlefish!

  • Hammersteyn

    Half Life 3 to be sold exclusively with Rift. I think I called it a while back, calling it again

    • Krabby Paddy

      Hey it is a sure way to get gamers that currently don’t care much for VR to care a lot about having VR. Great marketing strategy.

  • Darren Peach

    Half-life 3 : Straight outta Oblivion ?

    • Captain JJ the “saviour”

      All that statement does is make me sad about the fact that Bethesda released that TESO kak and not a proper Elder Scrolls game.

      • Darren Peach

        Either Gabe is a genius and is sitting on a truly epic game or he just don’t give a hoot. I like Hammersteyns point about the Rift. Either way, to have that kind potential weighing on his mind should be a motivating factor. But, Then again, Lucas !

  • ElimiNathan
    • Krabby Paddy

      Great song. This video got me into Breaking Benjamin.

      • ElimiNathan

        Same 🙂

  • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

    “Half-Life 3 is an ass.” – Gabe Narwhal

  • electricmuffins

    Get your shit straight, Alessandro Barbosa. Episode two has NOT been released “well over a decade” ago. If you’re going to make articles, do your research.

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