Has the number THREE taken on a greater significance in your life? Are you asking for THREE sugars in your tea? Have you been married THREE times?Are you checking your calendar for significant dates, searching for portents, signs, footprints in the sand and secret marks on nearby trees and buildings?
If you can answer YES to all these questions, then you my friend are one of the many, afflicted and enchanted by the false dawns and rumours surrounding a return of Gordon Freeman in Half Life 3.
When did it all start?
**Guiness World Records awarded Half-Life with the world record for “Best-Selling First-Person Shooter of All Time (PC)” in the Guinness World Records: Gamer’s Edition 2008.
Some games need little introduction, so when in 1998 Valve launched possibly the most seminal game ever, gamers were stunned, not only by the absorbing and totally atmospheric graphics and sound in HλLF-LIFE but also the entirely believable conspiracy based storyline. I remember when I first came across the game whilst working at a trade fair a few months later and chatting with some mates who were also fellow gamers. “You need to play this game” was all they said and when I got home via the local computer store, that is exactly what I did and gaming for me, changed forever.
You see, Half Life managed to weave into its storyline and gameplay some key ingredients, the prominent ones being the Area 51 type secrecy/conspiracy and our protagonist, the seemingly mute anti-hero Gordon Freeman. If you are reading this as a die-hard fan of the game, you’ll need no further commentary, but if the Half Life universe has never appeared on your radar, take a peek at this intro video and then tell me that that your interest hasn’t been piqued.
You are a patient man Mr Freeman
They say patience is a virtue, but frankly I find that particular virtue to be a bitter pill and rather tiring to say the least. However, patience is what we needed since there were some fallow years in the HL universe from 1998 and naturally we were all clamoring for more. A year later we were given the expansion pack Half Life: Opposing Force and in 2001, Half Life: Blue Shift. But the rumour mill had started and the hunt for Half Life 2 was well under way by the turn of the millennium and boy! did we have a long wait until its final release in November 2004. But could a sequel ever be as good as the original? Remember The Godfather 2?
Well, it was and more, much more, setting the tone for the future direction of the Half Life series and for those of us who have entirely forgotten the Steam debacle on that bright and shiny November day, we were back in the game.
Here’s a chronology of the Half Life series so far:
- 1998 Half Life
- 1999 Half Life: Opposing Force
- 2001 Half life: Blue Shift
- 2004 Half Life 2
- 2006 Half Life 2: Episode One
- 2007 Half Life 2: Episode Two
Most of us would take Half Life out for a candlelit dinner for two, spurn our girlfriends and turn down a night with Denise Milani for a chance to play Half Life 3, the game that officially doesn’t exist as some of these gamers’ comments would attest:
“If I had to choose between this game, and my girlfriend, I’d pick this game.”
“If I could, I would take this game out, buy it dinner, have sex with it and call it the next day.”
“If this game was a potato….it would be a good potato.”……you get the idea.
But wait, back in the mists of time, around 2005 AD to be precise, a group of fans, disappointed with Valve’s Half Life: Source conversion, confirmed that they had started working on a total remake (not a mod) of Half Life using the Source engine as used in HL2. Then the rumour mill began to grind away, until quite out of the blue in 2008, a video of Black Mesa Source was released and blew us all away, especially as the devs had confirmed a release date of sometime in 2009. As the years progressed many of us felt that BMS had probably died a death as vaporware similar to Duke Nukem Forever (which we now wish had died a slow and agonising death). But no, in mid 2012 bushes started to rustle, media was released to social networks and eventually this countdown appeared…
This total remake of Half Life turned out to be more, much more than anyone ever expected and was the panacea we all needed in the long wait for Half Life 3.
True, Episode One and Two were released in relatively good time, we played them all to death and many of us are still absorbing ourselves in Black Mesa simply because we can’t get enough and if one stares at a mirage for long enough, it becomes real right?
Half Life 3 confirmed?
Just Google Half Life 3 Confirmed and you’ll quickly realise that hope springs eternal. Signs and portents are everywhere and none more so as we hang on to every word that is about to be or has ever been uttered by the great man himself, Gabe Newell, CEO of Valve.
Examine this picture carefully if you will.
What do you see?
Any rational, sane individual would clearly deduce that Gabe is telling us Half Life 3 is under development, irrefutably illustrated by the third knife resting on the desk. Further, if you glance at the monitor behind Gabe, the game’s up. Half Life 3 confirmed!
Sightings of Half Life 3 have cropped up in numerous locations, none more strange than Loch Ness in Scotland, which for most of us is not an encouraging sign.
That seriously upstanding newspaper for intellects The Daily Mirror, even carried a report of sightings back in October 2013 and subsequent reports from numerous individuals tenuously linked to either Gabe Newell or Valve have intimated that HL3 is indeed being worked on, is in development or is being thought about.
View from the edge
I don’t think it’s any surprise that the great man himself has neither confirmed or denied HL3 directly at least, after all, why ruin the illusion? How is Gabe going to either alienate the whole community by denying its existence OR burst the bubble of expectation by confirming a release date in what must be a marketing man’s dream scenario?
My feeling and it’s tenuous mark you, is that HL3 will simply appear over the horizon one clear blue morning because some entities need no introduction whatsoever. Think back to 2012 when Black Mesa was released and which I referred to earlier. I actually remember exactly what I was doing when the news of its imminent release was broken, so I dropped everything and installed a stopwatch on my desktop and stared at it for days on end, until finally, unshaven and starving, I watched the clock strike zero and the internet ground to a halt, literally. Ah, happy days!
If you are one of the many, what are your thoughts on HL3?