half life 2 : Episode Three was to be the third episode in the Half-Life 2 story arc, and the final examination introduction in the Half-Life 2 series to follow supporter Gordon Freeman as he leads a human resistance against the Combine forces. Although Episode Three was to be the end Valve-developed episodic half life 2 title, senior members of Valve Corporation have confirmed that Episode Three would not have been the end of the Half-Life franchise. Valve primitively announced Episode Three in May 2006, soon before the let go of of Half-Life 2 : episode One. It was known at the time that episodic contentedness for Half-Life 2 was in development, with Gabe Newell stating that he viewed the episodes as being comparable to a third base introduction in the Half-Life series, however it was not previously known how many entries were planned. Upon announcement, Episode Three was given a doubtful unblock window of Christmas 2007, however complications and frustrations with the episodic format led Episode Two to release former than planned, and largely uproot plans for Episode Three. little is known about what the game would have been, save the slowly premise that it would follow the events of Half-Life 2 : episode 2, ampere well as details gathered from concept art, such as implications that a contend against a Combine Advisor may have been planned at some point. As well, concept art and adumbrative from Episode Two suggested that the game would have been set far aside from City 17, possibly in a heavily icy climate such as the Arctic ( hailing back to the original plan concept for Half-Life 2 ), and that the Borealis would have played some character in the story. There was besides speculation that Aperture Science, and the Portal franchise as a whole, would have played a major function in the game, due to statements by Gabe Newell that Chell would be authoritative to the Half-Life universe, a well as the appearance of the Borealis in Portal 2. In an interview with Edge, Newell noted that Episode Three would probably see a transfer to survival horror over the franchise ‘s pure action roots. Newell said the series had to broaden its “ aroused palette. ” “ I feel like we ‘ve gotten away from authentically scaring the player more than I ‘d like, and it ‘s something we need to think about, in addition to broadening the emotional pallette we can draw on. ” The game will explore the fans ‘ fears. When asked what he thinks his aging fan-base fears the most, Newell said, “ The death of their children. The attenuation of their own abilities. ” Newell has confirmed that Freeman would have been unaltered in the following plot with regards to his superficial behavior — he will not talk, and he will remain “ an arm and a crowbar. ” “ Right now, ” said Newell, “ making your companions more interesting and compelling seems a more fruitful avenue to explore. ”
According to Gabe Newell, there were besides plans in consideration for Episode Three to introduce a deaf character who will interact with Dog and Alyx via gestural linguistic process ( with Alyx knowing sign of the zodiac speech from her experience trail Dog ). Some speculated that this may have come aboard better support for players with hear impairments, though nothing about such improvements was stated by Valve .
Development History and Rumors
Valve ‘s muteness throughout the development of Episode Three led the style to largely be termed “ vaporware. ” Although some information, normally in the form of one line responses, was put out by aged ranking members of Valve, their comments were typically little more than confirming that the crippled calm existed in some form. Episode Three was effectively cancelled in 2011, due to Valve moving on from the episodic format, however, details implying the development of a third half life entry, whether Episode Three or Half-Life 3, would continue to leak out every once in a while throughout the 2010s .
July 2010 – Alien Swarm Leaks
Files labeled “Half-Life 2”, “Episode 3”, and “Aperture” were found in the Alien Swarm software developer kit. Following the release of Valve ‘s free-to-play plot Alien Swarm, users found what appeared to be several files related to Episode Three present in the Alien Swarm SDK ( software developer kit out ). Among the files were labels such as “ Ep3 Fire Cover Position, ” “ Ep3 Brain Cover Position, ” “ Ep3 Brain Regenerate Position, ” “ Ep3 Spawn Generator Position, ” and “ aperture : Nest ” ( potentially referencing Aperture Science, the cardinal corporation from the Portal franchise, however besides potentially misprint, as in “ a hole ” ). As users continued to look through the SDK, more details were found which seemed to line up with Episode Three, including code for a “ blob_brain ” entity, with code for it to become freeze, fitting for the supposed Arctic arrange of Episode Three. There are besides references to Antlions, Zombies, the Gravity Gun, the Combine, and a file labeled “ HL2_EPISODIC. ” besides present are two types of weapons from the half life series : the Tau Cannon, and Flachettes, the type of rocket fired by the Hunters. Valve has a hanker history of using obscure methods to hint at current projects or secrets about upcoming games, leading some to interpret these files ‘ presence as an official hint, rather than an accidental leak .
September 2010 – Gabe Newell PC Gamer Interview
In an interview with PC Gamer cartridge holder, Gabe Newell promised that Valve would have “ three big surprises ” to reveal over the twelve-month period to September 2011 .
“ I can guarantee you people are going to be surprised at stuff we do, ” Newell said. “ That is n’t going to stop anytime soon. I ‘m just laughing because…people will be shocked again. ”
Newell belated confirmed to PC Gamer that Episode Three is in active development and has been for a hanker time. Newell besides revealed that Valve is doing studies on biometrics in firm in order to better understand the musician foundation .
June 15, 2011 – Steam Forums Rumor
A Steam Forums weave entitled “ half life 3 is official confirm ! ” was posted, in reference point to Valve employee Mike Dussault ‘s resume apparently confirming that Dussault had done world programming for Half-Life 3. The post, which was promptly removed by forum moderators, follows :
“ Mike Dussault, a long clock time programmer at Valve, recently left the company. I did n’t know him until last week. Let me introduce myself. I ‘m a mercenary artist. I do shrink work for a studio in Seattle, through the internet. They have a customer access system on their site. I came across Dussault ‘s curriculum vitae, while browsing the files part. now, I know you ‘re all curious about Valve ‘s in-house development, but I ‘m only going to talk about the Half-Life series. According to his resume, Episode Three was put on hold when Valve decided to move away from the episodic exemplar in recently 2007, right after Episode Two ‘s release. He was a technial adviser on a cancel Half-Life claim, made outside of the company. Dussault ‘s work on Half-Life 3 ‘s world program, and the script system ( between 2008 and 2010 ) is besides mentioned in the curriculum vitae. ”
Original Post Image courtesy Lambda Generation They besides discovered that Mike Dussault was in fact a real employee at Valve and left the company over a class prior to the post. It was besides rumored that Dussault had been “ technical adviser on a cancel Half-Life title made outside of the company, ” in think reference to Arkane ‘s cancel Episode Four, originally announced in 2006. Combined with Valve ‘s previous statements that they had encountered trouble with the episodic format, the forum post apparently gave credenza to the idea that Episode Three ‘s development had become half life 3 .
April 13, 2012 – Gabe Newell Podcast Appearance
During the first base sequence of the 7 Day Cooldown Podcast, Gabe Newell was interviewed, and addressed the state of development for the adjacent half life game. however, Newell referred to the game as “ Ricochet 2 ”, in character to Valve ‘s 2000 multiplayer mod, Ricochet. In the interview, Newell said the follow :
“ In terms of Ricochet 2, we always have this trouble that when we talk about things besides far in advance, we end up changing our minds as we ‘re going through and developing stuff, so as we ‘re thinking through the giant floor bow which is Ricochet 2, you might get to a point where you ‘re saying something is surprise us in a convinced way and something is storm us in a negative means, and, you know, we ‘d like to be super-transparent about the future of Ricochet 2. The problem is, we think that the twists and turns that we ‘re going through would credibly drive people more crazy than just being silent about it, until we can be very crisp about what ‘s happening adjacent. ”
June 19, 2013 – JIRA Server Issues
An error with JIRA, a proprietorship issue-tracking product used by Valve for project management, led to external parties briefly gaining access to Valve ‘s inner tickets. The tickets listed a kind of development groups inside of Valve, among which were groups for Left 4 Dead 3, Source 2, and Half-Life 3. At the time of the error, the group for Half-Life 3 had 42 members ( out of a sum of around 300 people employed by Valve at the clock time ). Among the employee listings for half life 3 were noteworthy names from previous Half-Life and Valve titles, including writer Erik Wolpaw, and tied graphic designer Dario Casali .
August 25, 2017 – Marc Laidlaw’s Epistle Three
In January of 2016, Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw departed from Valve, citing his long time and a desire to return to writing original stories. late, on August 25, 2017, Laidlaw published a web log post entitled “ Epistle Three “ on his personal web log. The web log post is written from the position of “ Gertrude Fremont, Ph.D “, writing to “ Playa ”. It was cursorily realized that Epistle Three was one of Laidlaw ‘s outlines for Episode Three, albeit with the names and genders of characters changed around. The post confirms a number of rumored details about the game ‘s plot were one planned, including the Arctic specify, and the plot revolving around the Borealis. The letter picks up after the death of Elly Vaunt, with Fremont and her company Alex Vaunt resolving to head to the Antarctic, in research of the Hyperborea ( the original planned name for the Borealis ). En route, the duet ‘s plane crashes, forcing them to walk to the last know coordinates of the Hyperborea. soon after finding the embark, which actively phased in and out of reality, the two were confronted by a group working under Dr. Wanda Bree, who had been saved by The Disparate some time following their last find, her awareness placed into an foreigner punch. Following a fight with Bree ‘s underlings, Bree begged for death, being disgusted with the sluggard form she immediately inhabited. soon after, the two found Jerry Maas, who attempted to explain his past behaviors, equally good as offering Fremont plangency keys, the only way to stabilize the Hyperborea, should Fremont help Maas out of his cell. The three proceeded to the Hyperborea, stabilizing just long enough for them to get onboard before it resumed blinking across reality. now stuck on the reality-warping Hyperborea, scenes from the rest of the worldly concern blinked in and out of see as the group struggled to gain control condition of the embark. Following an argument among the three as to what should be done, it was decided that Elly ‘s dying wish, that the Hyperborea be destroyed, should be followed. Jerry attempted to betray the decision and force the ship to land, only for Jerry to be shot by Alex, and the ship rerouted to the Disparate command focus on, set to self-destruct. As the Hyperborea began to detonate, Mrs. X appeared, however she would only take Alex with her, leaving Fremont by herself on the exploding ships. As the embark continued it ‘s self-destruct, the Ghastlyhaunts intervened, depositing Fremont safely elsewhere. The letter begins and ends with a facetiously reference to the development of the Episode Three, referencing Laidlaw ‘s departure from Valve, a previous letter from “ Fremont ” entitled “ epistle Two ”, and close with the implication that Epistle Three was Laidlaw ‘s final examination affair with the Half-Life series, although Laidlaw would late consult on the write for Half-Life : Alyx .
November 18, 2019 – Half-Life: Alyx
In a surprise Twitter post on November 18, 2019, Valve announced a new, VR-exclusive half life title : half life : Alyx. While not Episode Three or Half-Life 3, Alyx was the beginning official half life crippled in roughly 13 years, having launched in March 2020. As such, the announcement and subsequent spill renewed Half-Life fans ‘ matter to and demand for a third entrance in the series. As well, certain negotiation lines from the crippled have been interpreted as meta-textual recognition of the troubled development of a third half life game, with some events in the game heavily implying that exploitation on Half-Life 3 could some sidereal day resume.
Around the game ‘s launch, Valve would give a number of details in interviews regarding what happened to Episode Three, and the later-rumored Half-Life 3, explaining that inner troubles, oscilloscope creep, and issues with the episodic development bicycle led to the plan never seeing the light of day .
July 9, 2020 – The Final Hours
On July 9, Geoff Keighley, in collaboration with Valve, released The Final Hours of Half-Life : Alyx, a textual documentary following the growth of Half-Life : Alyx, a well as a phone number of projects Valve had worked on in the years between Portal 2 and the handout of Alyx. While not the lone focus of the documentary, The Final Hours does discuss Episode Three and the subsequent attack at Half-Life 3, with a project known as Half-Life 3 starting development in early on 2013, before being cancelled in 2014. According to the documentary, the plans for Half-Life 3 involved a mix of handmade report segments interspersed by procedurally-generated environments and missions. The Final Hours besides discusses a number of other planned Half-Life projects, including a quarrel VR crippled set aboard the Borealis as it warped through time, a well as a gallery-shooter prototype set in the Half-Life universe, primitively intended for The Lab before being scrapped due to time constraints, which late inspired aspects of Half-Life : Alyx .