7 Reasons I hope Ep3 is the last Half-Life game – The 7 Series

6th November 2011

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

The title of this post has got to have shocked you.

“Phillip must want the Half-Life games to keep coming.”

Yes, I do, but on a fixed schedule. Every 3 years is about right for me. Fixed engine too – no updates to break mods or any of those shenanigans.

But the world and Valve don’t revolve around what I want – quite right too!

So, here are 7 reasons I hope Ep3 is the last Half-Life game.

Don’t forget to add your own in the comments.

Number Seven: Valve have got their fingers in too many IPs
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

I think I understand why Valve have focused on other games. You see it with succesful authors. They have written a series of books based on one universe and then they create something compeltely new. I guess it’s because they want to prove to everybody and themselves that they can create something both new and good.

Nobody wants to be known as a one trick pony, so they try to expand and evolve their creative endeavours.

Now, I am not suggesting that Valve is a OTP, because they are not, the variety of styles of Valve’s games, in art, meaning and gameplay, is amazing but I want them to focus.

I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it here, I have no doubt that Ep3/Hl3 will be the best they can do and quite probably the best of the series and even the best they have ever made, but I don’t want to have to see all the other releases pushed out so much faster.

I want them to either commit to HL or drop it. This “half and half” thing is driving me crazy.

Number Six: Sometimes ending something is kinder than letting it struggle on. End on a high!
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

We’ve all seen it in the movies: sequels and prequels that just get worse and worse. Sure, there are exceptions but most of the time rehashed stuff just doesn’t cut it.

Better to let an IP (Intellectual Property) go and move onto something fresh and exciting. I think Valve know that and that’s why they are taking so long to release this one. They want it to be the best ever and that way it makes it easier to tell the fans it’s the last.

Number Five: Might allow for some mini-games based on HL
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

So, in a kind of contradiction to the above, this being the last game could make way for smaller mini-games. I mean, the 7 Hour War is just begging to be made.

With these smaller games no new tech would have to be added and not too many assets either. I believe players would have lower expectations about these games and we would accept good games as opposed to great games from Valve.

Valve could contract other studios to make the mini-games, sell them for $15 bucks and get about 7 hours play time. I’d be happy with that ratio. A new one every year for a few years.

Number Four: The end of all these remakes
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

As much as I respect what Black Mesa Source are doing, I would honestly have preferred all that time and effort have gone into a new story set within the HL universe.

But I am not just talking about BMS, there are other remakes out there that really should focus all their talent, motivation and energy into new stories.

If there are no new games then maybe these remakes will stop too.

Number Three: The suspense is killing me
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

I am more patient than most people, hell I am still expecting a reply to an email I sent to Gabe 3 years ago, but the suspense is killing me. Just release the damn thing already!

Of course, this being the last game doesn’t mean it will appear in 2012 but if it is the last game at least I won’t have to spend the next few years wondering if they will announce a new game and then another 5 years waiting for the damn thing.

Number Two: They could really work on getting Hammer improved
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Of course, why would they bother if they stop making the games, but since Hammer is used for all Source games, maybe they would.

The better and easier the tools, the better and more common the mods.

It would also allow somebody to make a complete tutorial series without it going out of date every update!

Number One: I might be able to actually finish this site and get on with my other life!
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

I dream of the day when I have every single SP map and mods listed on the site, with working downloads, screenshots, reviews etc.

Then I will feel the site is “finished”. If nothing new was released and I had everything done then I suppose the site would be finished.

I still might have articles to write but without new maps and mods to play visitor numbers would drop and then the desire to write might disappear too.

That is of course, unless I learn to map myself and start create stuff. HA! Then I could keep going until I die!


  1. Jeff

    I think a day people where people stop making Singelplayer maps for Half-Life is waaaaaaaaay far off into the future. Beyond the release of Episode Three.

    1. Of course beyond the release of Ep3, maybe even 5 years. But if they keep releasing games then mappers will keep making maps. However, at some point in the future if there are no new games, then mappers will move onto other games.

      1. Lambda

        But they are still making maps and mods for Half Life.

      2. Kyo

        I don’t think that’s necessarily true. So long as the SDK continues to work, development will continue for three reasons.

        1. It’s not like there are tons of games shipping with level editors anymore. Most of your high profile titles don’t.

        2. While a number of people will move off to work on platforms like Unity and UDK, some people prefer to stay within the Half-Life universe. It’s daunting to make a complete game from scratch. Especially if you want to focus on level design, and not the ten million other things that are required to make a good game, starting with a strong foundation is a convenient shortcut.

        3. Source SDK is at the boundary of what any one person can reasonably do. Modern video games are made with dozens of people for a reason – there’s a ton of work to be done. It used to be, back in the 90s, that you had the level designer who did everything. Source SDK strikes a balance between the two, presenting decent visuals while still allowing a single person to run the whole process. Work can be completed in a timely manner. Think of it like this – you can make a Deathmatch map for Unreal Tournament 1999 or Unreal Tournament 3. The former will take you two weeks, the latter two months. Both will likely be equally fun since it’s arguably an identical game. Which would you pick?

        1. I don’t think that’s necessarily true.

          I do but maybe in the more pedantic sense. I know people are still making Quake maps and that’s pretty interesting but at some point it’s gotta stop.

  2. Wesp5

    I agree with Philip on almost all of his reasons. Also I fear that dragging HL on much longer might end up in a desaster like Duke Nukem Forever, in that a new generation of players doesn’t undestand anymore what was so great about HL anyway. With all the Call of Duty, Battlefield and other modern military shooter on much better engines, I think Valve should concentrate on getting EP3 out of the door as soon as possible to end the series for good! After that they can keep on making money from Steam and cheap commercialized mods.

    1. Hec

      With all the Call of Duty, Battlefield and other modern military shooter on much better engines, I think Valve should concentrate on getting EP3 out of the door as soon as possible to end the series for good!

      Oh god, u have touch a great point in there, I mean I met HL when I WAS 13 YO!!!, and now here I am 10 years later!!!!!, I mean I love it, but when u put a kid now with 13 YO to play HL1, he is going to waste it or absolutely ignoring, and he just is not going to play that prehistoric game!!!!; I mean I also have think in that. I think that’s maybe one of the reasosns because valve has stopped alot in HL I mean maybe the freakin saga is not fresh and shiny anymore, we the community who we have grown up along with the game, have created a cult game, a really closed spectrum, that now valve just is working on figure how they can open and shock the world with HL again!!!!, I mean, yep Hl maybe is for us and for the gaming magazines one of the best FPS ever. but I mean u have to eforth more after seeing the awsome products the valve’s competitors are doing!!!!!; come on!!, just look at BF3!!!!, that’s what a really young dude is going to play!!!.,not HL3 even if there’s a golden history on it’s back!!!!!, and Valve doesn’t have a modern FPS Modern warfare product yet, I hope they release some competitor of he COD and BF3, yeah I know CSS Global ofensive is coming, but they can do something better and wider than that!!!

  3. Holy makaroni.

    You know , I would really apreciate if you would let Phillip post and not a hacker.
    Because I would NEVER EVER expect a thing like this on a HL2 site.

    It just blew my mind across the room O_O

    —- But really —-
    While just saying quit , and having the good title of a Trilogy I think it would be kind of a downside.
    Considering that 3/4 of us know Valve only because of Halflife.
    Halflife was the main income of the company. And im not sure if they have a financial balance so good to quit it.

    But there are signs of them indicating that they are getting done with it.
    For the past year we were bombarded with new games and their sequels from the [VALVe] office , indicating that they are now looking for a secondary source of income.

    The one most jumping out of the shadow for now is Portal.
    But who knows.
    Maybe we all die befor EP3 gets relased.

    1. Kyo

      Valve’s main source of income likely isn’t a game at all. It’s Steam.

      The smart thing Valve did, as an independent company, is that it found a way to finance its protracted development times with a steady stream of revenue coming in from Steam.

  4. For me No.6 is the most compelling reason to end the series.

    Since 1998 the HL series, has for me been the benchmark for what I look for in a FPS, but all good things have a natural lifespan and the Half Life series is no different. As much as I want HL to continue forever, I don’t want it to become like the Alien films. 1 and 2 were great but it went downhill from there.

    The problem for me is that to reasonably end the series once and for all, is for the unthinkable to happen, Gordon has to die.

    1. Gordon has to die.

      OMG. I wonder if you are right? What a way to end the series. Especially if he does it to save Alyx.

  5. Kyo

    Personally, I don’t think Valve is working on Half-Life anymore. It’s been far too long since Episode 2.

    I’ve had various thoughts about what they might be doing, and the one that lingers in my mind is that they’ll conclude Half-Life 2 through allusion, either in a Half-Life 3 or in a new product that takes place in the same continuity. Valve has always been the king of visual storytelling, where a carefully positioned prop tells a better story than any cinematic could. This seems right up their alley. You imply what happened and let the fans piece it together themselves.

    1. That’s an interesting view.

      1. Thinking about that kinda gives out even more of a connection to Portal 2.

        The game referenced Borealis.
        That means that Borealis was first at Aperture in the mid-years of the company. And later taken by something strange.

        But now back up a little !!!
        The Aperture Innovators facility is stuck under the ground like a needle in the hay stack.
        So how could they transport it down and up in the dock ??
        TELEPORTS !

        And Aperture with Black Mesa and the Combine are using teleportation.

        So you can see that from my prespective , Portal 2 is starting to tell us about EP3.

        1. Hec

          , Portal 2 is starting to tell us about EP3.

          Yep if not is like that, dfinitely they are glitching some mistery out there.

          I still don’t know why anyone has done some mod, specially located in Aperture sience maybe the cmb and the resistance were sent there in a secret mission and they fight there, I mean that would be a really cool scenario for a mod.

          1. I sure hope we will get the portal gun in EP3, but then this may be another thing that is delaying it. A portal gun is fun in a limited and simple environment as in Portal1/2, but in the real world it would be very powerful and hard to restrict to the things the developers want to do in a linear game like HL. At least they should make it available on the Borealis itself…

            1. Derbler

              Your comment assumes that a portal can be placed on any flat surface. Doesn’t a surface need to be coated with liquified lunar rock in order for a portal to be placed on it? I know in the “behind the scenes” parts of Portal and Portal 2, we often placed portals on surfaces of various materials, but I had thought that, at least with some iteration of the portal gun from the past decades of Aperture’s experiments with it, a lunar rock-coated surface was required.

  6. NAN

    “7 reasons I hope Phillip can’t come up with 7 reasons.”

  7. Hec

    Well about the year when HL3 or ep3 is going to be released I think it has to be 013 not 012 and forget about our dieing 011!!!! is going to be 2013 look the “3” at the end??, is really simbolic really speciall, I hope we get to that year at least with some strong news about HL franchise.

  8. Hobbax

    Theres another one that theres I hope hl3 is the end

    Portal TWO
    Team fortress TWO
    Half life TWO
    Half Life TWO Episode TWO
    Dota TWO

    Seriously there are too TWO in the name but not THREE valve cant count to 3?

  9. Hec

    Seriously there are too TWO in the name but not THREE valve cant count to 3?

    For now we can see that easily but I think in a year or 2 Valve are going to give us masively the “3” number in all it’s releases, from L4D and maybe we could see a Portal3 who knows, HL forcely has to pass through a third stage.

  10. Count_de_monet

    I don’t see any other reason for HL to stop than the drying off of Valve creativity. HL a mastered the perfect balance between reality and fantasy. . HL has interacting characters with realistic personalities, eerie and/or splendid landscapes, fun vehicles, puzzles, great weapons, yummy shoot outs, you name it …

    Portal is just plain boring because totally artificial and I feel its only use would be as a prototypical side-project to inject some portal technology into HL. For example, a portal could send you on Combine bases on other planets of our system (yes, it’s a Doom idea but the shotgun and the grav gun are common artifacts too). Hence new landscapes, xenomorphs, characters …

    Doom may be a great game, it will never go beyond “corridor, one monster, room, five monsters”, whatever amazing background Id may create
    Other games don’t come close unless you need permanent fragging to be interested or are inclined to shoot any form of non-US citizen on sight, especially “ragheads” as they say.

    In a nutshell, as long as good ideas keep coming, why stop?
    I focused on reasons 7,6,5 as the others were not relevant to me.


    PS: I am happy to sign this first post after 6 months in a hospital and a long series of rather gorey episodes.

  11. I hope that Valve doesn’t stop HL only for the selfish reason that I want people to keep making great mods. If Valve stopped producing new content for the platform I think interest in modding would completely die off and that would be sad.

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