Let’s just take a moment of silence right now to mourn what might have been Half-Life 3. At this point, I don’t know if it’s ever going to be made. It makes me really sad to hear since Half-Life is such a legendary game. Marc Laidlaw, the lead writer for Half-Life and Half-Life 2, just released this post:
What does this mean?! Someone pointed out that the NDA (non-disclosure agreement) is finished, so this post really might be it. The end of HL3. No more endless hoping for a game that is never going to come out.
This final paragraph is particularly emotional:
And here we are. I spoke of my return to this shore. It has been a circuitous path to lands I once knew and surprising to see how much the terrain has changed. Enough time has passed that few remember me, or what I was saying when last I spoke, or what precisely we hoped to accomplish. At this point, the resistance will have failed or succeeded, no thanks to me. Old friends have been silenced, or fallen by the wayside. I no longer know or recognize most members of the research team, though I believe the spirit of rebellion still persists. I expect you know better than I the appropriate course of action, and I leave you to it. Except no further correspondence from me regarding these matters; this is my final epistle.
It seems like a pretty thinly-veiled reference to Valve and the actual writers–how Mr. Laidlaw no longer recognizes the new faces at Valve but that he notices that same spirit of the rebellion he once had. Guys, I kind of want to cry!
Technically, the whole thing makes sense. The game was released so long ago that it’s almost impossible to expect the finish the game, especially when its original writers and designers are no longer even working at Valve. It’d be like creating this amazing world and universe and then handing it to someone else to finish up–it just wouldn’t be the same.
There are a bunch of hypotheses as to why the game isn’t being developed. HL1 and HL2 redefined the shooter genre, and the games were so innovative and amazing. But it’s 2017 now, and gaming is a little bit different. Maybe they were afraid that HL3 just wouldn’t live up to the expectations, so they decide to can it instead of releasing it.
Half Life won over fifty awards and is widely considered to be one of the greatest games of all time. It has insanely high reviews–for example, it earned 96 out or 100 on Metacritic. It has received critical acclaim from so many different people and websites and is often praised for its immersive experience and how revolutionary it was. It’s the best-selling FPS game of all time on PC so it makes total sense that people would want the story to continue.
HL2 was released in 2004 after five years of development. Considering that extended period of time it definitely makes sense that we would still hold out for a continuation, even after over ten years. The sequel won a bunch of Game of the Year awards – 39 in all. And HL2 received another 96/100 on Metacritic, which is amazing considering that a lot of sequels in media kind of fizzle out and fail.
At the same point, after all this time, it is pretty nice to finally have closure. Or, some semblance of it. It would be nice to have a fan-made version that we could play through and experience, but that sounds like a long shot. I’m glad that Laidlaw delivered something to all the loyal fans who have been waiting patiently for years and years to hear about the development of HL3. I wonder if this means that there won’t be any Half-Life 3 memes anymore. This is like…saying goodbye to a relationship that’s been on the rocks for a few years. We wanted it to end well or to even have a happy ending, but maybe it’s just best for everyone to part ways and remembers the good times. Gosh, what am I doing, romanticizing about a game?
If you haven’t played HL1 and HL2, I definitely recommend it. There’s a reason those are two of the most famous games ever released–they are amazing and just such a joy to play through. Tell me your thoughts–do you think this is the definitive end of HL3? Or are you still holding out some hope?