Half Life2: Episode 3 summary leaked by Marc Laidlaw

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Half Life2: Episode 3 summary leaked by Marc Laidlaw

Postby A Combustible Lemon » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:55 am

Marc Laidlaw is the lead writer of the Half Life series.
Blog post (probably being hugged to death right now, his entire site's down, here's a mirror)

Half Life 2: Postmortem
HL2 was pretty much one of the most influential games of all time. It launched with Steam, the platform that saved PC gaming. It introduced Source, made Havok famous, along with physics engines in general. (most shooters after Half Life 2 had gravity guns for about three years). It revolutionized game direction. Elements of it surface in so many action games today it's basically the Genghis Khan of video games. Its DNA is in so many future games, even completely unrelated things like RTSes, MOBAs and TBSes. It laid the foundation for L4D and Portal, some of the best Co-Op and Puzzle games of all time. It had some of the best design elements of all time. Valve's ridiculously good playtest-to-iterate methods were first publicized for their use in the construction of Half Life 2.

The game is a masterpiece. From the small interactions that set the tone masterfully in the beginning, to the electro soundtrack announcing the start of the chase at the end of the prologue, that continues all the way to Black Mesa East. With the Hunter Chopper and its Nemesis style appearance in various levels through the chase, culminating in the boss battle. The sets of Ravenholm, the survival-style gameplay with low ammo and higher emphasis on the use of the gravity gun. The attack on Nova Prospekt, the return to City 17. The final level. They're all wonderful. If you find any part of it cliche, you're likely looking at the game that made it popular in the first place. (Though that probably applies far more to Half Life 1, honestly. Black Mesa is one of my favourite games of all time for a very good reason)

Its sequel isn't just a meme. People really did want Half Life 3 that fucking badly. The Half Life series isn't just a set of 'good' games. No. That's stuff like Bioshock, or Dishonoured. Half Life is a set of Revolutionary games. It belongs with genre archetypes. The Tolkiens, the Lewises, the Asimovs, the Shakespeares, the Vernes. It belongs on gaming's mount olympus.
with Deus Ex 1 and System Shock and the idea of the Immersive Sim.
With Half Life 1, Doom, Quake 3 Arena, Unreal Tournament, Halo and the fathers of all FPSes that are made today.
With Ultima, that other series whose inventions permeate the DNA of all games.
With Final Fantasy 6, Final Fantasy 7 and Dragon Quest 1, creators of the JRPG as we know it.
With Legend of Zelda for the NES, Super Mario Bros, Megaman 1, Megaman X, A Link to the Past, and their popularization of the save system, the open world, Boss design, level design, puzzle design as we know them today.
With Ocarina of Time's invention of the fundamental mechanics of 3D interaction in console videogames.
With Adventure and the adventure games of the 80s, precursors to the adventure game genre.
With Maxis and its simulators, some of the most fun I have ever had with video games.

Is it that surprising that a series with a pedigree like that would have a highly anticipated continuation?

And now Marc Laidlaw's basically leaked the script, something he wouldn't do if he thought it was going to happen.
Half Life 2 is dead, finally.

On Valve:
I'm not angry at Valve. They're organized in such a way that people have to want to do something to do it. One man can't make Half Life 2 Episode 3 on his own. I don't blame them.
Contrary to reddit's circlejerks. They've never not been like this.
Gaben is a libertarian. He applies it to his company. He has always applied it to his company. This culture is what created Portal, Portal 2. It's what created DotA 2. It's what made Team Fortress 2. It's what made Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2. This culture is why Half Life 2 Episode 3 didn't happen. Because the episodes were getting too short.
This is why Half Life 3 didn't happen. Because no one was willing to work on it.

As a software engineer. I understand why. People want to solve problems. Making a third episode, a Half-Life that's not revolutionary, might satisfy some people.
But it wouldn't satisfy the people making it.

You can tell. Because no one was stopping them. And they didn't do it.

They like VR. That's why they're working on VR. They wanted a controller. That's why they made the steam controller (my favourite hardware purchase). They solve problems. And they use their vast reserves of money to do it. Good luck to them for it. I look forward to their VR when I can afford a helmet. I have no doubt at all that it would be great.
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WE ARE ALL FLOATING IN THE WINDS OF TIME. BUT YOUR CANDLE WILL FLICKER FOR SOME TIME BEFORE IT GOES OUT -- A LITTLE REWARD FOR A LIFE WELL LIVED. FOR I CAN SEE THE BALANCE AND YOU HAVE LEFT THE WORLD MUCH BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT, AND IF YOU ASK ME, said Death, NOBODY COULD DO ANY BETTER THAN THAT...
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