Will Half-Life 3 Outlive Public Interest Because of Development Time?

Yahtzee Croshaw

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Will Half-Life 3 Outlive Public Interest Because of Development Time?

We assume Half-Life 3 is in development, but how long is too long to wait? Granted we could get a Team Fortress 2 and forgive delays, or we could get Duke Nukem Forever.

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Zontar

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Half Life 3 would be nice (though I feel as though the theory that it won't be developed until the Source Engine 2 is complete is true, as it would make sense to do so), but can we get Episode 3 already? It was announced already and even got a release date set for 2007. 8 years later still no episode 3. I don't care if it isn't some grand innovation, leave that for the main titles, but can't we just have some sense of closure with the last third of a game we've been waiting almost a decade for?
 

Evonisia

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The idea that Half-Life 3 could genuienly end up like Duke Nukem Forever is a bit disheartening, but those last few paragraphs certainly make it seem like a possibility. Mechanically HL is still fine, but it's not exactly a super special thing to be a well-balanced shooter in the singleplayer department. Then there's the weak story.

I mean, do you want Half-Life 2's story style? Play BioShock, it's got the stronger story.
 

PMAvers

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I'd just be happy with resolving the massive cliff-hanger Episode 2 left on.
 

flying_whimsy

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I would still like an episode 3 to be made, and I get the impression that whatever they had for it got thrown into the trash. That said, I've been wondering the same thing: when HL3 comes out, will it be a case of too little, too late? I've been under the impression that Valve was waiting to use it as a showcase, too; and just like Yahtzee says I'm not sure there's anything left. Cynically, I'm worried that HL3 will just be used as a way to push sales of the steam boxes and controllers.

Kingdom Hearts III already lost me because it took nearly a decade longer to release than it should have, I'm really hoping half-life doesn't go down the same road.
 

Thanatos2k

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Half Life 2 Episode 2 was just a bad idea from the start. It's clear they really had no plan with development and were flying by the seat of their pants.

I want to know who at Valve decided to cancel episode 3's development and what was so important at the time.

flying_whimsy said:
Kingdom Hearts III already lost me because it took nearly a decade longer to release than it should have, I'm really hoping half-life doesn't go down the same road.
At least they've been making all sorts of other games in the mean time, as opposed to NOTHING.
 

Scars Unseen

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But if that's the case, why do I always feel like I have to push myself to start the next session? Why do I feel relieved when daylight hits my eyes at the tunnel exit? Surely it can't be because I don't enjoy Ravenholm as a gameplay experience. What nonsense. I love getting lost in cramped, unintuitively laid out buildings and scrabbling around floor textures looking for a carelessly-flung sawblade. OH GOD FINE I admit it. I don't like Ravenholm much.
I've noticed a lot of games I play have "that level." Relevant at the moment is the Gutter in Dark Souls 2. Between the darkness, the constant threat of falling to your death, and the poison spitting statues, that level can fuck right off.

Anyway, if I was to put out my guess, I'd say that if they're ever going to make HL3, it's going to be after they've gotten used to making games for their upcoming Vive VR HMD.
 

Neurotic Void Melody

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I have a conspiracy theory that a/the creative director for the continuation of Half Life possibly experienced a form of mental breakdown, due to the stresses and criticisms of their work. Whereupon they burnt/destroyed/stole all the remaining script and designs for the series, prompting Valve to headhunt, torture for information of the documents, kill then dispose of said director's body. They use their virtual muscle to erase any evidence of this person, however they still fail to find or salvage any plans of Half Life's intended narrative direction. In fear of messing up the franchise, they lock it down until they can obtain the technology to sift through the dead guy's brain which they keep in an underground cryogenic lab.

Just a theory for now. Or that source 2 idea probably seems more likely
 

loa

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Well valve is big on the virtual reality thing now.
There's your new ground to break.
The design philosophies of "ego shooter" don't quite apply if you can turn your head and have depth perception.
You will notice the gun stapled to your cheek, your lack of body, the floating HUD and how does one even "aim" that way?
 

Johnny Novgorod

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This made me wonder, did episodes 2.1 and 2.2 (which I haven't played) break any ground in the sense HL1 & HL2 did? Or where they just re-runs of HL2?
 

Dying_Jester

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Honestly, my guess is that if nothing is announced when Source 2 and Vive are both just about ready to go or recently on market, it's never gonna happen. As you said, half-life is meant to showcase innovation, and nothing is going to turn heads in the direction of Source 2 and Vive more then the announcement that Half-Life 3(or Episode 3, though it definitely feels like that train has definitely left the station).
 

Fox12

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So Half Life is a tech demo? No wonder I didn't like it. Of course, it was already aged by the time I played it.
 

GrumbleGrump

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Frankly, I don't really give a shit at this point. Half-life can get a rhythm game for a sequel for all I care. They've taken so long to release it that I don't even care that Eli died. Not anymore, anyway.

Yeah, they will probably release it as the first game for their Vive thing, because that's the only innovation they have at this point. In gaming I mean, if they don't do that then the game better come with a free cure for muscular dystrophy.
 

CrazyGirl17

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I doubt they ever will release Half Life 2 episode 3 or even a Half Life 3 because it doesn't seem like it's gong to ever happen and people should just stop getting their hopes up...
 

Sofox

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I do think there's new ground to break in shooters. For instance, consequences. In a HL2 demo video, you could knock something over during a "cutscene"-esque part and Kleiner would stop what he was doing and say "careful with that Gordon". Half Life has a rich cast of characters, and in the first game you could control some of their movements, hear a bit from them, and guard them. In HL2, I thought that would be expanded, with a better set of ways of communicating with the other characters, making decisions that affected them, that sort of thing. Instead, when one character does predictable betrayal, you can't even stop them from escaping even though their in perfect gun range.

If games want to be more real, one gulf they have yet to even start crossing is more realistic interaction with the people in the games, ways to talk, influence, learn from and cooperate with. If Valve want us to to feel HL3 is more "real", they could start by making it so it actually feels we're part of a team with a common purpose, not just a guy standing around a stage while everyone recites their lines.
 

ForumSafari

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I think realistically HL3 has already outlived public interest. I think aside from the odd '1+2=3, half life 3 confirmed' joke no one really gives a shit about it any more. I know I was eager to play it after ep2, I was for about 3 years, but after that I just lost interest in it. even if they do release it now I doubt it'll be a full price purchase, I just don't care enough any more.
 

The_Darkness

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Johnny Novgorod said:
This made me wonder, did episodes 2.1 and 2.2 (which I haven't played) break any ground in the sense HL1 & HL2 did? Or where they just re-runs of HL2?
2.1 felt like a re-run of HL2 in some ways (though I suppose they were breaking ground by trying out the episodic format). There was some minor new stuff co-oping with Alex's AI (one of you has a gun, the other has a torch. Can't remember which way around it was).

2.2 broke some open-world ground with the car, but even that only really came into its own at the end section. Also, I remember the Dev Commentary explained that they tried out a new way of coding the Striders, but it didn't seem to change much on the player end (especially since it was only for one cutscene-esque encounter). Alex felt like a constant co-op presence in 2.2, which worked somewhat well.

Honestly, I think they're missing a trick here. Release Half-life 3... and have Gordon acquire the portal gun in the first half-an-hour. Boom, FPS with portals. The Combine won't know what hit them... (I have to assume they've tried this, and that it didn't play well for some reason. Pity...)
 

Olas

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Honestly everyone talks about HL3 not being able to live up to the hype, but I don't think there truly is much hype anymore, just exasperation. At least for me, all it needs to do is maintain the level of quality of Half-Life 2 and finish the story. Anything else on top of that is gravy.

Also, Ravenholm is one of my favorite levels.

Dannyjw said:
These days i find HL1 holds up better than HL2.
Really? Even with those platforming bits, and the Xen levels, and the 500 scientists who all look and talk alike? I liked the original Half-Life, even though I first played it more than a decade past it's launch, but to me it'll always be a weird quirky game full of mechanics that would never get by today.
 

G00N3R7883

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Half Life 2 is my favourite FPS of all time and it would probably be in my top 10 games of all time. But even I'm losing interest in Half Life 3. I wanted to see the end of the story, but its been so long that I can barely remember it. There was a time when the FPS genre as a whole was a massive disappointment to me, when every FPS was trying to copy Call of Duty. I had a massive desire for Valve to restore the fun and save the genre. But the last 2-3 years has seen lots of fantastic FPSes so that's not a factor either.

Honestly I don't think Valve care about making games anymore. They care about selling other developers' games, and they care about selling digital hats (which is hard to do in a singleplayer game).

Of course, if Half Life 3 came out tomorrow, I'd definately play it. But what I'm saying is I no longer care if it never happens.

Btw Yahtzee, that whole innovation thing you were talking about? AI. Enemy AI. NPC AI. Characters that react to the player's actions in believable ways. It can influence FPS tactics. It can influence RTS and TBS tactics. It can influence open world games and narrative driven games. But it also requires developers to drop their obsession with graphics so ... not holding my breath.
 

Darth_Payn

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Actually, I remember GoldenEye as the first FPS game where the guns just sit on a flat surface instead of floating in mid-air. Then again, all the enemies' dead bodies disappeared and there was no jump button, so you couldn't say that was aiming for realism.
PMAvers said:
I'd just be happy with resolving the massive cliff-hanger Episode 2 left on.
Agreed. With you and Yahtzee's point on how little room there is to innovate in anymore in FPS's. I mean, the only big change they could even think of doing for HL3 is [GASP!] having Gordon talk!
 

RenegadeDuck

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Half-Life 3, in my belief, will be a disappointment. The FPS genre is not going anywhere, so HL3 is going to already be bogged down by the fact that it's another FPS in an over-saturated market. But then you factor in how long it's been since the last game in the series was released (at the end of which it was basically confirmed that it was getting a sequel). Nearly a decade since Episode 2 came out and literally no news on HL3 has come to light. None. Absolutely nothing. People have probably long since forgotten about their desire to get their hands on a third installment. And any innovation they could possibly achieve would be a drop in the bucket. The entire industry is obsessed with innovation. That's all everyone is trying to do anymore. I'm really trying to think of something that would truly make a big splash in the current world of gaming and I'm drawing a blank.

I'm thinking that the only thing it will have going for it is that it's the long awaited sequel to HL2. Any success it finds will probably come from its infamous reputation for being that thing that was never released but finally is and nothing else.
 

gamegod25

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Call me cynical but as much as I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt I think they have just gotten lazy and complacent. Maybe that's because of how lazy and uncaring their handling of Steam has become, letting anyone throw up whatever trash they please regardless of quality so long as Valve gets a cut...only taking them down if the backlash gets loud enough. Maybe it's because after such a huge cliffhanger they have allowed so much time to pass without even so much as confirming that they are at least working on it. Whatever the reason myself personally have ceased to think of them as game devs and synonymous with shitty indie games. I've simply moved on from HL like any other game that has ended on a cliffhanger that will never be completed. If HL3 ever does come out of course I hope it will be good, but my excitement for it and investment in the story has long since been eroded away.
 

senordesol

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What has always impressed me with Valve is their attention to player experience. Lots of game devs (Order 1886 anyone?) seem to just want to make a movie. Valve has always tried to create game atmosphere. Being unarmed with your first headcrab bearing down on you was a design decision that a lot of people before and since didn't have the guts to make.

Valve knows good and damn well that they *could* have crapped out Ep3. in a year or two after Ep2., but that's not their style. When they make games; they make games people obsess about years after (Hell, we're still talking about HL3 despite no word or promises from Valve at all years hence -- If Dice shut down Battlefield tomorrow, would that still be the case?)

Unlike other studios, they don't put anything to the public that they're not proud of; which is the ONLY reason I'm sure HL3 (when and if it comes to market) WON'T be a great big pile of balls. Valve is a rare company that actually KNOWS the value of what it owns and won't cheapen it just to satisfy the baying fan boys.
 

Yahtzee Croshaw

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Right now AI is left. As the last thing we havent started doing well...

STALKER tried. Valiant attempt, but no one has ever touched it since.


Also I like the way different levels have different tones. And gameplay. I just like it that way.
 

bigfatcarp93

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I don't care.

I don't care what the next big innovation is, I don't care what new gameplay it introduces.

For fuck's sake, I just want to see what happens next. Let Laidlaw toss it in a novel if a game is too much fucking trouble.
 

Tiamat666

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Scars Unseen said:
I'd say that if they're ever going to make HL3, it's going to be after they've gotten used to making games for their upcoming Vive VR HMD.
What makes you think HL3 will not be the killer app for Valve's VR solution, poised and at the ready to blow Oculus out of the sky?
 

Vivi22

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flying_whimsy said:
Kingdom Hearts III already lost me because it took nearly a decade longer to release than it should have, I'm really hoping half-life doesn't go down the same road.
Given that Kingdom Hearts 3 can't possibly be a direct sequel to KH2, to my knowledge, since the various games that seemed like random spin offs on a million consoles are actually integral main series entries, I'm not sure why anyone who still cared about the series after KH2 would be waiting for KH3 to continue the story. I mean Christ, KH2 was almost impossible to even follow and it only had one game between the original and it. At this point I doubt anyone could play just KH1 and 2 and have a hope of ever understanding 3.

Safe to say Half-Life isn't headed down a road resembling KH at all.
 

The Rogue Wolf

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Part of me wonders if this isn't an actual viable scenario, though I'd like to believe that someone at Valve understands "the perfect is the enemy of the good".

Charcharo said:
Right now AI is left. As the last thing we havent started doing well...

STALKER tried. Valiant attempt, but no one has ever touched it since.
The problem is that better AI can't be shown off in a glossed-up screenshot the way photorealistic graphics can, so most devs aren't going to prioritize it.
 

RedDeadFred

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The_Darkness said:
Honestly, I think they're missing a trick here. Release Half-life 3... and have Gordon acquire the portal gun in the first half-an-hour. Boom, FPS with portals. The Combine won't know what hit them... (I have to assume they've tried this, and that it didn't play well for some reason. Pity...)
As cool as it sounds, I think the portal gun would make it way too easy. Unless we're fighting extremely mobile and agile versions of the turrets from Portal, exploiting normal enemies is going to be way too easy. This is assuming that you'd be able to use the gun on most surfaces seeing as if you couldn't, you'd run the risk of just turning it into a gimmick. From what I've experienced in most games, mobility trumps just about anything, and the portal gun his pretty much as mobile as you can get.

As far as my personal interest in HL3, I don't really care anymore. To be honest, I doubt it's ever coming out.
 

Yahtzee Croshaw

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The Rogue Wolf said:
Part of me wonders if this isn't an actual viable scenario, though I'd like to believe that someone at Valve understands "the perfect is the enemy of the good".

Charcharo said:
Right now AI is left. As the last thing we havent started doing well...

STALKER tried. Valiant attempt, but no one has ever touched it since.
The problem is that better AI can't be shown off in a glossed-up screenshot the way photorealistic graphics can, so most devs aren't going to prioritize it.
Too true.

So we should demand it :p. There is a reason i whine so much about AI.
 

LostCrusader

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Even if Half Life 3 came out today, I don't think I would care. Its been too long since I've played the older games to remember what was going in the story, and I wouldn't want to go back and replay them since half the shooters that have come out since then have copied the gameplay.
 

thanatos388

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RedDeadFred said:
The_Darkness said:
Honestly, I think they're missing a trick here. Release Half-life 3... and have Gordon acquire the portal gun in the first half-an-hour. Boom, FPS with portals. The Combine won't know what hit them... (I have to assume they've tried this, and that it didn't play well for some reason. Pity...)
As cool as it sounds, I think the portal gun would make it way too easy. Unless we're fighting extremely mobile and agile versions of the turrets from Portal, exploiting normal enemies is going to be way too easy. This is assuming that you'd be able to use the gun on most surfaces seeing as if you couldn't, you'd run the risk of just turning it into a gimmick. From what I've experienced in most games, mobility trumps just about anything, and the portal gun his pretty much as mobile as you can get.

As far as my personal interest in HL3, I don't really care anymore. To be honest, I doubt it's ever coming out.
What can they do with a Portal gun though? After writing a way for it to make portals anywhere and not just on moons what will you do? Use it to fall out of the world? Kill every enemy by teleporting them to high places? I think it would be very hard to kill enemies with it honestly, especially in tight hallways and when guns are a faster easier way to go about it. Since that is out of the picture they could just have the player solve puzzles with it or something. Except the game Portal already exists and exploited those gameplay possibilities for all they're worth back in 2011. Damn.

G00N3R7883 said:
Btw Yahtzee, that whole innovation thing you were talking about? AI. Enemy AI. NPC AI. Characters that react to the player's actions in believable ways. It can influence FPS tactics. It can influence RTS and TBS tactics. It can influence open world games and narrative driven games. But it also requires developers to drop their obsession with graphics so ... not holding my breath.
But if they did that the gameplay would be so different why bother making it a Half Life game? Half Life is an FPS and its innovations made the FPS genre better. What you are talking about it making a new genre or possibly just mixing genres. It would be like innovating Star Fox by making it more like Armored Core and Cooking Mama. At that point they would rather sell that as a new IP instead of as an FPS. Thats why the Portal games weren't Half Life games even though they were in the same world. Basically there isn't much you can do with the gameplay of FPS that would wow people the way the first two games did and thus no matter what they do it will either be disappointing or it will be Half Life game that feels and plays nothing like Half Life. I'm pretty sure that cliff hanger ending must be one of Valves biggest regrets now because of that.
 

Scars Unseen

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The Rogue Wolf said:
The problem is that better AI can't be shown off in a glossed-up screenshot the way photorealistic graphics can, so most devs aren't going to prioritize it.
It can be showcased though. Bethesda did so in their demo for Oblivion to showcase the game's Radiant AI. Granted, it turned out to be nowhere nearly as good as they made it out to be, but the demo did have people hyped up, so you can't say there wasn't merit in trying to put AI in as a killer feature. You see the same thing when space sim developers start talking about procedurally generated universes. You just have to find the right audience to pitch to.

thanatos388 said:
What can they do with a Portal gun though? After writing a way for it to make portals anywhere and not just on moons what will you do? Use it to fall out of the world? Kill every enemy by teleporting them to high places? I think it would be very hard to kill enemies with it honestly, especially in tight hallways and when guns are a faster easier way to go about it. Since that is out of the picture they could just have the player solve puzzles with it or something. Except the game Portal already exists and exploited those gameplay possibilities for all they're worth back in 2011. Damn.
The first thing that comes to mind is adding co-op with Gordon wielding the physics gun and Chell manning the portal gun. Then suddenly you can have Gordon throwing portal surfaces, Gordon throwing Chell at portal surfaces and so on and so forth. Granted, you'd either have to have a separate campaign for people that don't want to do co-op or at least have multiple paths depending on whether or not you were playing by yourself. Still, there's lots of possibilities besides just Portal+Bullets.
 

SonOfVoorhees

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Im sorry but you have to be the biggest idiot in the world to believe they are still developing this game. All companies have budgets and not even Valve would just give a blank cheque and zero development time limit to make a game. Its a business and the longer a game takes the more money it costs. I really dont understand why people are not pissed that Valve screwed every one over by selling 2 parts of a 3 part game. They already said they are not making HL2 Episode 3 yet people still think they are making it. lol. Personally dont care if they release HL3 or not. Would like a Portal 3 though.
 

FPLOON

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Well, no matter what, I think we can all agree that Half-Life 3 could potentially have the best depiction of real-life physics of all time... so far...

Other than that, after that comes out, we'll finally get The Orange Box 2 and shit...
 

thanatos388

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Scars Unseen said:
The Rogue Wolf said:
The problem is that better AI can't be shown off in a glossed-up screenshot the way photorealistic graphics can, so most devs aren't going to prioritize it.
It can be showcased though. Bethesda did so in their demo for Oblivion to showcase the game's Radiant AI. Granted, it turned out to be nowhere nearly as good as they made it out to be, but the demo did have people hyped up, so you can't say there wasn't merit in trying to put AI in as a killer feature. You see the same thing when space sim developers start talking about procedurally generated universes. You just have to find the right audience to pitch to.

thanatos388 said:
What can they do with a Portal gun though? After writing a way for it to make portals anywhere and not just on moons what will you do? Use it to fall out of the world? Kill every enemy by teleporting them to high places? I think it would be very hard to kill enemies with it honestly, especially in tight hallways and when guns are a faster easier way to go about it. Since that is out of the picture they could just have the player solve puzzles with it or something. Except the game Portal already exists and exploited those gameplay possibilities for all they're worth back in 2011. Damn.
The first thing that comes to mind is adding co-op with Gordon wielding the physics gun and Chell manning the portal gun. Then suddenly you can have Gordon throwing portal surfaces, Gordon throwing Chell at portal surfaces and so on and so forth. Granted, you'd either have to have a separate campaign for people that don't want to do co-op or at least have multiple paths depending on whether or not you were playing by yourself. Still, there's lots of possibilities besides just Portal+Bullets.
Co-op with portals was already done in Portal 2 though, even the launching bit was achievable with two portal guns so it would just make those platforming puzzles easier than they were before. But I guess if you're lucky you can throw saws through portals to hit distant enemies but then they could use those same portals to get to you faster or just shoot back through them as well.
 

Scars Unseen

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thanatos388 said:
Scars Unseen said:
The Rogue Wolf said:
The problem is that better AI can't be shown off in a glossed-up screenshot the way photorealistic graphics can, so most devs aren't going to prioritize it.
It can be showcased though. Bethesda did so in their demo for Oblivion to showcase the game's Radiant AI. Granted, it turned out to be nowhere nearly as good as they made it out to be, but the demo did have people hyped up, so you can't say there wasn't merit in trying to put AI in as a killer feature. You see the same thing when space sim developers start talking about procedurally generated universes. You just have to find the right audience to pitch to.

thanatos388 said:
What can they do with a Portal gun though? After writing a way for it to make portals anywhere and not just on moons what will you do? Use it to fall out of the world? Kill every enemy by teleporting them to high places? I think it would be very hard to kill enemies with it honestly, especially in tight hallways and when guns are a faster easier way to go about it. Since that is out of the picture they could just have the player solve puzzles with it or something. Except the game Portal already exists and exploited those gameplay possibilities for all they're worth back in 2011. Damn.
The first thing that comes to mind is adding co-op with Gordon wielding the physics gun and Chell manning the portal gun. Then suddenly you can have Gordon throwing portal surfaces, Gordon throwing Chell at portal surfaces and so on and so forth. Granted, you'd either have to have a separate campaign for people that don't want to do co-op or at least have multiple paths depending on whether or not you were playing by yourself. Still, there's lots of possibilities besides just Portal+Bullets.
Co-op with portals was already done in Portal 2 though, even the launching bit was achievable with two portal guns so it would just make those platforming puzzles easier than they were before. But I guess if you're lucky you can throw saws through portals to hit distant enemies but then they could use those same portals to get to you faster or just shoot back through them as well.
But you can't use a portal gun to throw portal surfaces. You also have very limited control over direction of travel with portals alone. A physics gun would add a lot more potential variety to the mix.
 

Evil Smurf

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I don't care about the HL series, because other video games exist, I can just play them.
 

beleester

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thanatos388 said:
What can they do with a Portal gun though? After writing a way for it to make portals anywhere and not just on moons what will you do? Use it to fall out of the world? Kill every enemy by teleporting them to high places? I think it would be very hard to kill enemies with it honestly, especially in tight hallways and when guns are a faster easier way to go about it. Since that is out of the picture they could just have the player solve puzzles with it or something. Except the game Portal already exists and exploited those gameplay possibilities for all they're worth back in 2011. Damn.
It's not for killing the enemies directly, it's for shaping the battlefield. Open a portal behind the enemy's cover and shoot the hell out of them. Chuck a grenade through the portal, then close the portal so you don't get caught in the blast. Portal to the high ground and close it so they can't follow you. Portal exploding barrels next to the enemy. Redirect enemy rockets. Put a portal on the floor of a narrow choke point so the enemy can't get through. There are plenty of possibilities.
 

Vigormortis

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Johnny Novgorod said:
This made me wonder, did episodes 2.1 and 2.2 (which I haven't played) break any ground in the sense HL1 & HL2 did? Or where they just re-runs of HL2?
A bit, yes.

Episode 1 introduced (along side Lost Coast) HDR lighting and a few other little graphical features. Episode 2 introduced the "cinematic physics", which were showcased first with the bridge collapse at the beginning of the game, and taken to their extreme in the opening sequences of Portal 2.
 

flying_whimsy

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Vivi22 said:
flying_whimsy said:
Kingdom Hearts III already lost me because it took nearly a decade longer to release than it should have, I'm really hoping half-life doesn't go down the same road.
Given that Kingdom Hearts 3 can't possibly be a direct sequel to KH2, to my knowledge, since the various games that seemed like random spin offs on a million consoles are actually integral main series entries, I'm not sure why anyone who still cared about the series after KH2 would be waiting for KH3 to continue the story. I mean Christ, KH2 was almost impossible to even follow and it only had one game between the original and it. At this point I doubt anyone could play just KH1 and 2 and have a hope of ever understanding 3.

Safe to say Half-Life isn't headed down a road resembling KH at all.
I actually liked KH2 and had no problems following it without playing chain of memories (I don't have handhelds so I haven't played any of the other kh games), so :p

Anyway, for half-life we've also had blue shift and opposing force between hl1 and hl2, and then we had the two episodes after hl2 and the spin-off that is portal (and that's not mentioning the console exclusive campaign for the original game, the 2d remake, or the lost coast technical demo). I hadn't thought about it more than a comparison for time spent waiting, but there's more similar between the series than I gave it credit for. That's actually worrying.
 

Torchiest

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Yahtzee Croshaw said:
And the thing with nowadays is, I don't think there is any remaining ground left to break. Games could always look a little better, but there are no more great quantum leaps like physics engines to be made, the kind of thing that can drive new gameplay that turns heads.
Famous last words. There's ALWAYS more ground to break. Never underestimate human creativity.
 

Callate

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Well, Valve does have its own hat in the VR ring, and one of their demos apparently showcases a take on Portal's world.

Which is certainly alleged to be Half-Life's world as well.

If they wanted to assure their standard's place in the VR world, tying Half-Life 3 into it would be far from the stupidest idea. Despite all the protestations, I think an awful lot of people would be curious if Half-Life 3 were to materialize, in any form.

...Yet realistically, it's a little hard for me to believe that if HL3 were still in production, someone wouldn't have leaked something by now. I know Valve is a smaller and tighter ship than many, but it's been an awfully long time for everyone to keep something people are camping out on your lawn in desire for completely under wraps.

If it were to happen, though, my advice to Valve would be to half-step it. Release Half-LIfe 2:Episode 3 as the frosting on a revolutionary new version of Source, wrap up the existing plot threads, then move in a completely new direction with HL3 (which would almost certainly necessitate a very different style of game-play to incorporate well with a VR headset anyway.) The further adventures of Gordon Freeman across the multiverse... or whatever.
 

RedDeadFred

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thanatos388 said:
RedDeadFred said:
The_Darkness said:
Honestly, I think they're missing a trick here. Release Half-life 3... and have Gordon acquire the portal gun in the first half-an-hour. Boom, FPS with portals. The Combine won't know what hit them... (I have to assume they've tried this, and that it didn't play well for some reason. Pity...)
As cool as it sounds, I think the portal gun would make it way too easy. Unless we're fighting extremely mobile and agile versions of the turrets from Portal, exploiting normal enemies is going to be way too easy. This is assuming that you'd be able to use the gun on most surfaces seeing as if you couldn't, you'd run the risk of just turning it into a gimmick. From what I've experienced in most games, mobility trumps just about anything, and the portal gun his pretty much as mobile as you can get.

As far as my personal interest in HL3, I don't really care anymore. To be honest, I doubt it's ever coming out.
What can they do with a Portal gun though? After writing a way for it to make portals anywhere and not just on moons what will you do? Use it to fall out of the world? Kill every enemy by teleporting them to high places? I think it would be very hard to kill enemies with it honestly, especially in tight hallways and when guns are a faster easier way to go about it. Since that is out of the picture they could just have the player solve puzzles with it or something. Except the game Portal already exists and exploited those gameplay possibilities for all they're worth back in 2011. Damn.
I was thinking more along the lines of abusing enemies by shooting them in the backs with portals positioned behind them, then simply closing said portal when they turn to react. Simply using them to more easily get around the battlefield would be a huge advantage. Imagine if you were playing an online shooter and you could teleport at will and nobody else good. It would be insanely overpowered. Who knows though, maybe the next HL3 game's biggest contribution to gaming will be incredible AI that is actually up to the challenge of dealing with someone of your capabilities. That would be a pretty amazing game.
 

Falsename

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Am I the only one who heard Gabe tell people that Half Life 3 pretty much won't exist. (Something about wanting to avoid the same problems that Portal 2 had).

Half Life 3 isn't coming. Sorry. I'm sad too but it's best to just move on.

How long will it be before we accept this? Ten years? Twenty?
 

G00N3R7883

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thanatos388 said:
G00N3R7883 said:
Btw Yahtzee, that whole innovation thing you were talking about? AI. Enemy AI. NPC AI. Characters that react to the player's actions in believable ways. It can influence FPS tactics. It can influence RTS and TBS tactics. It can influence open world games and narrative driven games. But it also requires developers to drop their obsession with graphics so ... not holding my breath.
But if they did that the gameplay would be so different why bother making it a Half Life game? Half Life is an FPS and its innovations made the FPS genre better. What you are talking about it making a new genre or possibly just mixing genres. It would be like innovating Star Fox by making it more like Armored Core and Cooking Mama. At that point they would rather sell that as a new IP instead of as an FPS. Thats why the Portal games weren't Half Life games even though they were in the same world. Basically there isn't much you can do with the gameplay of FPS that would wow people the way the first two games did and thus no matter what they do it will either be disappointing or it will be Half Life game that feels and plays nothing like Half Life. I'm pretty sure that cliff hanger ending must be one of Valves biggest regrets now because of that.
First of all, maybe I wasn't clear in my first post, but I wasn't talking about making Half Life into another genre. Obviously I still want Half Life to be a FPS (maybe I'd be okay with a more open world FPS but that's another debate ... the recent Wolfenstein was linear and that was awesome). All I was saying is that the next great video game innovation should be better AI and it would improve pretty much every genre.

Secondly, if you don't think improved enemy AI can make FPSes better, I don't really know what to say. No more enemies that stand still while you shoot the guy standing next to them from a long distance. No more enemies that think tactics equals "hide behind a crate, occasionally stand up and then crouch, repeat". Enemies that will actually work together, use the level design to flank you. How about when you've got a special enemy with a powerful gun, and a few weaker minions, you kill the special one first because its the bigger threat ... and one of the weaker ones picks up that gun? There are so many things you can do with smarter enemies and yes, if the developers do it right, players would be excited.
 

Batou667

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Yahtzee didn't like Ravenholm!? Only last week he was waxing lyrical about the joys of the gravity gun, and Ravenholm is the perfect showcase for it. Hell, the Orange Box version of the game has an achievement for using just the Gav Gun for that section.

Yes, the level design is pretty friggin' garbage, but you could say the same for much of HL2. It's amazing how unintuitive so much of HL2 is, especially when you compare it to Valve's later stuff like Portal and Left for Dead, which were both series with excellent character and level design, very intuitive signposting, audio prompts for different types of events, and so on. Playing through HL2 there were multiple times where I got lost (a feat in itself in such linear environments) and with no idea what to do or where to go, and resorted to just pressing every switch indiscriminately, shooting every door in the hopes that one might be destructible, and so on - which basically means that the lead level designer was doing their job wrong. It also suffered from the thing where you're encountering a situation and you're left wondering, is this a boss fight? A stealth section? Should I be going Rambo or conserving my ammo for the real fight around the next corner? I found Episodes 1 and 2 both got progressively better on those scores though.

Johnny Novgorod said:
This made me wonder, did episodes 2.1 and 2.2 (which I haven't played) break any ground in the sense HL1 & HL2 did? Or where they just re-runs of HL2?
I'd say they were a logical - and worthwhile - extension and expansion of HL2. For my money they were much "tighter" and better designed than HL2, and also demonstrate some evolution of the game. HL2 was a game that at times felt very chained to its pre-Millennial roots, with linear environments, very obviously scripted bits, floaty and unsatisfying guns (and by the end of the game you'd be carrying about two dozen of the bastard things), and a bit of a "red key to open the red door" mindset in general, if that makes any sense. EP1 and 2 I thought had much better characterisation - I found myself actually giving a flying fuck about Alyx, rather than her just being some indestructible girlfriend/mother surrogate who turns up when prompted - and the open world and sandbox elements seemed better too. Some of it is understandably well-trodden ground - only so many variations on see-saw and stepping-stone physics puzzles after all - but it's much more polished. The ending is a complete ass-pull, but hey ho.

If I had stopped playing at the end of HL2, I would have given the overall experience a 6/10. The addition of ep1 and 2 bumps that up to 8/10 for me.
 

LordFeast58

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Well, considering that we won't even hear about Half Life 3 or Half Life Episode 3 development anytime soon, lets just hope some ambitious modders decided to make their own canon or continuity of the Half Life sequel. We already got the tool such as Garry's Mod or others which already have the potential of making good games, let alone making another Half Life 2. With good story, good gameplay and a satisfying conclusion, everyone who already played Half Life and Half Life 2 will probably be happy, as well as Valve so they don't have to disappoint fans and gamers alike.

Valve of course, should support the modders development of the Half Life unofficial sequel, unless they are not happy because they actually DO making the sequel, or they decided to make a cease and desist, just for being ridiculous.
 

Varadar

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I started thinking a long time ago that HL 3 may come out like Duke Nukem Forever (if it comes out at all). In fact, what was so great and unique about the HL series? The introduction of scripted event in gameplay. Of course, now linear scripted shooters are in no way unique, so HL3 doesn't look so interesting as it has been before.
 

Vorpal_Smilodon

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I don't see how Yahtzee could miss the possibility Valve is going to release Half-Life 3 alongside their VR headset and controller as a sort of killer app.
 

thanatos388

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beleester said:
thanatos388 said:
What can they do with a Portal gun though? After writing a way for it to make portals anywhere and not just on moons what will you do? Use it to fall out of the world? Kill every enemy by teleporting them to high places? I think it would be very hard to kill enemies with it honestly, especially in tight hallways and when guns are a faster easier way to go about it. Since that is out of the picture they could just have the player solve puzzles with it or something. Except the game Portal already exists and exploited those gameplay possibilities for all they're worth back in 2011. Damn.
It's not for killing the enemies directly, it's for shaping the battlefield. Open a portal behind the enemy's cover and shoot the hell out of them. Chuck a grenade through the portal, then close the portal so you don't get caught in the blast. Portal to the high ground and close it so they can't follow you. Portal exploding barrels next to the enemy. Redirect enemy rockets. Put a portal on the floor of a narrow choke point so the enemy can't get through. There are plenty of possibilities.
I think that would be very difficult to build into every environment and not have it just be easier to do it the usual way. And the benefit versus the cost of having enemies doing the same to you could easily be too much in most situations.
G00N3R7883 said:
thanatos388 said:
G00N3R7883 said:
Btw Yahtzee, that whole innovation thing you were talking about? AI. Enemy AI. NPC AI. Characters that react to the player's actions in believable ways. It can influence FPS tactics. It can influence RTS and TBS tactics. It can influence open world games and narrative driven games. But it also requires developers to drop their obsession with graphics so ... not holding my breath.
But if they did that the gameplay would be so different why bother making it a Half Life game? Half Life is an FPS and its innovations made the FPS genre better. What you are talking about it making a new genre or possibly just mixing genres. It would be like innovating Star Fox by making it more like Armored Core and Cooking Mama. At that point they would rather sell that as a new IP instead of as an FPS. Thats why the Portal games weren't Half Life games even though they were in the same world. Basically there isn't much you can do with the gameplay of FPS that would wow people the way the first two games did and thus no matter what they do it will either be disappointing or it will be Half Life game that feels and plays nothing like Half Life. I'm pretty sure that cliff hanger ending must be one of Valves biggest regrets now because of that.
First of all, maybe I wasn't clear in my first post, but I wasn't talking about making Half Life into another genre. Obviously I still want Half Life to be a FPS (maybe I'd be okay with a more open world FPS but that's another debate ... the recent Wolfenstein was linear and that was awesome). All I was saying is that the next great video game innovation should be better AI and it would improve pretty much every genre.

Secondly, if you don't think improved enemy AI can make FPSes better, I don't really know what to say. No more enemies that stand still while you shoot the guy standing next to them from a long distance. No more enemies that think tactics equals "hide behind a crate, occasionally stand up and then crouch, repeat". Enemies that will actually work together, use the level design to flank you. How about when you've got a special enemy with a powerful gun, and a few weaker minions, you kill the special one first because its the bigger threat ... and one of the weaker ones picks up that gun? There are so many things you can do with smarter enemies and yes, if the developers do it right, players would be excited.
Yeah I made a mistake. I thought you wanted improved AI that would lead to RTS segments in the game. Similar to what was in Brutal Legends I suppose. Which is why I said it wouldn't be a Half Life game and that it wouldn't improve FPSs too much. But if Valve were able to have complex enemy and ally AI to the point that it looked something like what Naughty Dog lied to us about in the marketing for Last of Us that would be great and of course would elevate the genre. Sorry.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZYkj0glnqs
 

Steve the Pocket

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The problem is less that there was nowhere to innovate after 2; it's that the innovation has largely been done by other studios. We've already gotten games in progressively-loading open-world environments, for example, and the destruct-o-physics that would be the logical next step for a series renowned for its physics engine and the gleeful abuse thereof. If Valve is OK treading ground that's already been done, there should be no problem. And it's not like they've lost their ability to make exciting set pieces; Portal 2 and even Left 4 Dead 2 to an extent showed that they've still got the chops.

If all that's holding them back is that they feel the need to create something that would be considered worth waiting this long, well, that's a catch-22, frankly. If it's a case of having literally run out of ideas, period... well that's what happens when you cram all the ideas you had the first time around into one game and then throw the leftovers into a pair of expansion packs, I guess.

Falsename said:
Am I the only one who heard Gabe tell people that Half Life 3 pretty much won't exist. (Something about wanting to avoid the same problems that Portal 2 had).
[citation needed]
 

LOLITRON

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[citation needed]
http://podcast.gameslice.com/1-gabe-newell-and-erik-johnson-from-valve

I believe that's the interview he's referencing. Gabe pretty much states that unless a bunch of people at Valve want to make HL3, it's not going to happen due to all of the problems that happened with shipping Portal 2 or something. Bunch of people were talking about this a few weeks back.
 

Arcane Azmadi

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I actually made a thread with a similar subject to this one last year ( "Are Valve even AWARE of how badly they're screwing up?" [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.860463-Are-Valve-even-AWARE-of-how-badly-theyre-screwing-up]) questioning whether Half-Life 3/Episode 3/whatever has been delayed so long, with absolutely no indication that Valve are even working on it at all, that it's missed its time and people just don't care about it any more. The general reaction of the thread was "so what?", mostly claiming that Valve themselves don't care about Half-Life 3 at all either, which I took pretty much as agreement.

Maybe Yahtzee is right that Valve don't want to release Half-Life 3 without some new innovation or gimmick for it to showcase, but that's still a stupid and irresponsible thing to do. I want to know what happened after the cliffhanger ending of episode 2, dammit!
 

webkilla

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Ya pretty much...

Its been so long since Halflife 2 Ep 2 - making a Halflife 3 - it has so much legacy to live up to. I doubt it would ever be possible to live up to the expectation
 

JohnnyDelRay

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Like many, I wish they would've just released Ep.3 and just be done with it. But it's past the point of my interest anyway, I can't say I'd be more excited for HL3 than I would any other franchise to be honest. As in, if I heard news of it, I'd still just wait till it came out, watch a couple reviews, play it once it's on sale, and forget about it.

Would be a tragedy if it was a repeat of Duke Nukem, that game I still gave it a go because the first few played a pretty big part in my early gaming days, but I couldn't even bring myself to finish it, as painful as it was.
 

Sampler

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So, they have to innovate for HL3 - developed for VR headsets like Oculus? Half Life 3D?
 

Gregio

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Torchiest said:
Yahtzee Croshaw said:
And the thing with nowadays is, I don't think there is any remaining ground left to break. Games could always look a little better, but there are no more great quantum leaps like physics engines to be made, the kind of thing that can drive new gameplay that turns heads.
Famous last words. There's ALWAYS more ground to break. Never underestimate human creativity.
I'm glad someone said that.
The thing about innovation is you can never (in theory) predict it. You can't say, there's nothing else to be invented, most "innovations" in games nowadays are just a way to use something already there better, or pull off some theory people already wanted, but real innovation, real innovation is when something pops up no one could have predicted, it was simply new, hence innovative.

So something crazy, like, finding out that dating simulators are actually the best way to tell a story about world war 2 with good player interaction. Or making a high-precision game that plays better on guitar hero controllers, those would be real innovations.
 

Nazulu

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I don't get that Yahtzee. Half Life 2's day cycles and different tones a gimmick? How can it be a gimmick? It's not like it was the only thing the whole game was designed around. It's just for different scenery, and that's meant to be a good thing.

Also Half Life 3 shouldn't be expected to be ground breaking. I don't believe picking guns off the floor like normal to be something no one else would think of, or adding more detail to the story, or whatever. The thing that divides Half Life from the rest to me is how it switches up the challenges so quickly, and that they're great quality experiences in general (HL & HL2). HL3 just needs to perform well and switch up just as well as the previous games, including to finish the damn story, and it should be taken well.

There will always be some public interest in the next since it's still the top series.
 

SiskoBlue

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I'd say money stopped Half-Life 3. Most people agree Half-Life 1 & 2 were "successful" games but nothing when compared to the money Steam and Dota have made. Why invest loads of time and money in to a AAA game that makes mediocre profits when they seem to be get 10 times the pay out with 10% of the human resources required? They made Counter-Strike off the back of HL and they made the effort to reboot that... because it was financially viable.

Also if look at the way Valve operates games are made based on the interest of employees. I'm sure there are plenty at Valve who would have a crack at HL3, and probably have, but nothing has made the cut of going in to full production. They teach their employees to kill their babies, so to speak, and embrace change.

Thirdly, HL1 & 2 aren't really that connected are they? The stories are connected but only because they made them connected. THere's nothing in the gameplay of HL2 that meant it HAD to be a continuation of HL1. A bit like the way Nintendo use Mario in whatever new game style they've created. HL2 could have been a totally new game, with a new protagonist and story.

Still, I'd look forward to a HL3 game. And as others have said, really clever innovative AI would break new ground. There's a reason "zombies" are used a lot in games besides being the de riguer at the moment. STALKER was the last time I remember anyone making a bold change to AI behaviour.
 

KilloZapit

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Comparing TF2 and HL3 doesn't make much sense to me. I mean, correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think the original Team Fortress had millions and millions of fans waiting for years of disappointment, latching on to any possible hope of a squeal that may appear, hyping it up until one of the most enduring jokes online have to do with it being even confirmed to exist. In fact, I bet most people that play TF2 have to stop and think for a moment before realizing the 2 in the name implies a first one.

If you think about it, that TF2 took as long as it did, and had much less pressure to conform as a result, only could have helped. Could you imagine TF2, with all of it's cartoony flair and personality, released soon after the original's more "realistic" style? They almost might as well be entirely different series visually. I mean what if it turns out the next Half-Life ends up being radically different form anything most people would expect? In a way that has already happened. Let's not forget that the Portal series takes place in the same universe. Why do we necessarily have to expect the final ending to the Half-Life saga as coming from a game with that title and staring Gorden Freeman?
 

Flammablezeus

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No more ground to break? Come on, surely Yahtzee can think of a few things! Physics engines, procedural generation/animation, stories, AI and interfaces still feel like they're barely scratching the surface of what can be made. I'm sure there's plenty more too but they were just the first things to pop into my mind.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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Flammablezeus said:
No more ground to break? Come on, surely Yahtzee can think of a few things! Physics engines, procedural generation/animation, stories, AI and interfaces still feel like they're barely scratching the surface of what can be made. I'm sure there's plenty more too but they were just the first things to pop into my mind.
Yahtzee's staple mantra for "what's next?" is virtual reality.
 

Joos

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Olas said:
Honestly everyone talks about HL3 not being able to live up to the hype, but I don't think there truly is much hype anymore, just exasperation. At least for me, all it needs to do is maintain the level of quality of Half-Life 2 and finish the story. Anything else on top of that is gravy.

Also, Ravenholm is one of my favorite levels.

Dannyjw said:
These days i find HL1 holds up better than HL2.
Really? Even with those platforming bits, and the Xen levels, and the 500 scientists who all look and talk alike? I liked the original Half-Life, even though I first played it more than a decade past it's launch, but to me it'll always be a weird quirky game full of mechanics that would never get by today.
Well, I'm currently playing through Half Life 1 for the first time (in the Black Mesa remake/mod) and I think at least the first game holds up really well, I'm enjoying it immensely.

I'll get back to you when I start on HL2.
 

Olas

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Joos said:
Olas said:
Honestly everyone talks about HL3 not being able to live up to the hype, but I don't think there truly is much hype anymore, just exasperation. At least for me, all it needs to do is maintain the level of quality of Half-Life 2 and finish the story. Anything else on top of that is gravy.

Also, Ravenholm is one of my favorite levels.

Dannyjw said:
These days i find HL1 holds up better than HL2.
Really? Even with those platforming bits, and the Xen levels, and the 500 scientists who all look and talk alike? I liked the original Half-Life, even though I first played it more than a decade past it's launch, but to me it'll always be a weird quirky game full of mechanics that would never get by today.
Well, I'm currently playing through Half Life 1 for the first time (in the Black Mesa remake/mod) and I think at least the first game holds up really well, I'm enjoying it immensely.

I'll get back to you when I start on HL2.
Trust me, Black Mesa is a very VERY big overhaul of the original game, with some bits edited out or altered to fit more modern shooter sensibilities.

Also, I'm not saying the original Half-Life isn't still fun or a good game, just that it definitely shows it's age when compared to it's sequel(s). By which I mean the 10 year old Half-Life 2 holds up better today than Half-Life 1 did when it was the same age.
 

gold5

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Theyre working on Smell-O-Vision. Its the wave of the future.. All Steam boxes will have an extruder nozzle and replaceable stinktanks inside.