We’re quickly coming up on ten years since the Half-Life 2 episodes kicked themselves off, and we’re still apparently a lifetime away from seeing Valve bringing them to a proper close. Indeed, we’re no nearer to Half-Life 3 now than we were back when Gabe Newell last had a cleanly shaven face.
Let this video act as a reminder. There was once a time when Valve was eagerly championing the episodic gaming route, enthusiastic about turning out mini-chapters with its old technology while it prepped fans for the next big one with quantum leap into a new age. We all know the route this endeavor went, and throughout this video, we see the obvious questions and obvious answers become more exhausted and more routine.
I’m of the belief now that any further Half-Life games can’t possibly live up to expectations. Not only because it has been denied to us for nearly a decade and can’t make up for lost time, but also because the first-person shooter scene isn’t nearly the same beast it was in 2006. Both fast, frantic shooters and those which go about at a slower pace have flooded the market leaving Half-Life’s niche totally spoken for.
The only way for it to leave an impact is to completely write the rules all over again, and as we’ve seen so many times in recent years, attempting such a gamble doesn’t always pay off. Valve is also smart enough to see this, and the company understands that it needs to be light years ahead of the curve. No, just another Half-Life game isn’t going to cut it. Not for a series that has always been a standard bearer of “cutting-edge.”
It’s good to dream, but we’ll be seeing Mega Man Legends 3 before we ever see Gordon Freeman again.