Poll Question 087 – What would you most like to see in HL2: Episode 3

14th June 2008

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

No game is perfect and everybody would change something if they had the chance. But instead of looking back, let’s look forward.

What would you most like to see in HL2: Episode 3?

Better Graphics

Now, you can’t exactly say that Source graphics suck but other games have come along that have certainly pushed them into the background. Crysis did and FarCry 2 will definitely do that. Of course is it that important in this case? Have we come to accept small incremental improvements and won’t expect a big jump until after the episodes finish? Perhaps the environments being planned won’t require better graphics, who knows, not me.

More intense, closed quarters combat

One thing that I feel about the previous games was a feel on being in closed quarters and having to fight my way out. I’m not saying those combat situations didn’t exist, it’s just that I don’t remember them, therefore they didn’t make a lasting impression on me. When I think of HL2 etc I think open, beautiful places, not cramped areas. Of course cramped can be bad but perhaps I just wanted something a little closer.

Better enemy A.I.

Can’t get enough of this! I want my enemies to be as smart as humans. I want that challenge, the tactics, the skill the planning. Not just walking around a corner to see Combine solider waiting to be shot. I want some random response, some cowards running away or simply panicking. In short I want MORE!

Story resolution

Whilst I don’t exactly want the story to end I feel that Valve need to tie a few ends together. I won’t list them here in case you haven’t played Ep2, but it gets a little frustrating to have a cliff hanger EVERY episode.

More physics effects as part of the gameplay.

Players are beginning to expect more and more from these sorts of effects and who ever gives it to them will be in a strong position, sales wise. Hl2 changed the way we think about physics within games and Episode 3 need to take us one step further.

New enemies, weapons and vehicles

After I post this poll question I may write another rant about episodic content. The problem is that modders want large collection of new assets to use, not just one or two new items every episode. Without these things it’s hard to convince current players that they need to invest more money in a game series they already know very well.


What other things are you hoping they include?

The Poll


  1. AI

    I would like to see a good sniper rifle, like in FarCry, to pick off the Combine at a distance! 😉

  2. Oopla

    I really don’t mind the graphics. I would hate to see the system spec requirements jump up so high that they would cut out casual gamers, ala Crysis.

    I would really like to see a sympathetic Combine character. It would help round out the story, provide some answers and help further Valve’s ideas about believable digital characters.

    That and I want to see Dr. Mossman. I’m a Michelle Forbes fan 😉

  3. fragmaster

    Well I do want to see Alyx alive at the end & maybe she’l be for a future installment of the next HL game & play a very superiorly important role.
    As for Gordon & The Gman I hope they come head to head & explain why the combine where wanting Earth as their homebase.
    Well Ep2 gave us uncountable new textures themes story secrets & achievements.
    but have the achievements as real rewards like giving unlockable content on the spot.
    Make the Gravity gun rotate objects to right a fallen barrel straight up again etc
    Crowbar should be use more that a blunt weapon to be used in puzzles to.
    And finally make the game a truly enjoyable experience that can run on all computer systems smooth as glass.
    yeah im a forbes fan too check her in BS Razor.

  4. Sabre

    I would like to see more combat, not necessarily close combat, but ep2 had hardly any until the end. Most was so scripted that it was dull.

    New stuff would be nice, eps 1 and 2 seemed a bit samey compaired to HL2.

    AI I think is fine. I still remember being amazed when I first played Half Life 1 (was about the same time as the PS2 version). I shot a grunt in the leg and he limped away and tried to hide. Also when lone guard are cowardly until they have friends around. As for HL2, I remember a small group popping in and out of cover in such a way that I was always under fire. I hope one day that there will be AI that works well without loads of nodes needed for navigation, but I think the AI is good for now.

  5. tox (dev)

    I want they(Bullssquid, houndeye, icky, tentacle.. ect) come back!

  6. Berrie

    Choose better AI. And I don’t just mean enemy AI.
    I want to see combine soldiers working better together and with synths. Dividing tasks trying to draw distract you, while another goes for a better shot. That sort of things
    And I want you’re rebel allies to be smarter as well. In Episode 2 they were target practice for the hunters. Let them use an energy sphere team up or look for cover.

  7. Zaphod

    I voted story resolution. When I had finished Half-Life 2 for the first time I was really frustrated by the suddent ending. I did not mind the cliffhangers in Episode 1 and Episode 2, but that is because I know the story will continue in the following episode.

    Here comes a list of other things I want to see in Episode 3:
    Hunters: Perhaps my favorite game enemy of all time.
    More small graphics improvements: Yes I have a weakness for nice graphic.
    More Cinematic physics: It is simply so cool.
    Big open outdoor enviroments: I am a little bit tired of narrow sewers, tunnels and mines.

  8. Count_de_Monet

    i’d like great landscapes, new vehicles, more interaction with characters (friends and foe) and …… some sniping, please.

  9. CrowbarSka

    I want to see more of the same but applied in new and interesting ways.

    I want to see at least 1 or 2 new enemies (preferably something Combine).

    I want to fight an epic final boss, but something like the tentacle in HL1 that requires other tasks to defeat it.

    Most of all, I want a satisfactory ending that will leave the story open for more instalments but also give a sense of resolution. Something conclusive that will allow HL3 to take place another 10 years down the line or something. But not another “G-man wisks Gordon away’.

  10. I have to agree with AI: I too want my sniperrifle! Picking them off from a distance is one of the best aspects of Farcry.
    What else I want to see in Ep.3:
    Being able to shoot your weapon while in zoommode.
    Enemies visible from greater distances (and yes….that sniperrifle haha)
    More urban sceneries, I just love fighting in a city environment, something a really missed in Ep.2
    More storylines so you can play it in different ways or with different characters.
    Better AI (witch I voted for), not only for the enemy but especially for people joining you: we all know how hard it is to keep m up with you and alive. No more headless chickens who are lost when you turn a corner or run straight into enemy fire.
    Being able to shoot the Gman haha, man don’t you just hate his slow speaking voice?
    What I DONT wanna see:
    More of those ridicilous creatures like the acid spewing spiders.
    A weapon like that magnetic ball (forgot the name) you had to hurl to the striders with the physicsgun. I totally missed the logic of having to shoot a weapon at the enemy and then have to shoot it again with a different weapon to make it explode.
    Endlessly running around in caves.
    Enemy spawning behind you while you’re a 100% shure you cleared that area.

  11. MASTER74

    Vox Populi!!
    That’s right, most of us want to see new enemies, weapons and vehicles (especially new weapons).
    Are we asking for too much?? I don’t think so.

  12. GypsyJim

    As has been mentioned I’m looking for a resolution of some of the unanswered questions….

    Who set up the initial resonance cascade? Why?

    Why did the troops try to cover up?

    What are the combine? WHy do they need earth? Why did they want Zen?

    Why did Breen turn against the earth?

    Why did the combine advisors do what they did at the end of Ep2?

    What’s the tie-in with Portal?

    Why did Mossman change sides, not once but twice? Has she really changed for the good, or for another motive?

    The most asked one: Who/what is the G-Man?

    I’d also like some new NPCs please, rather than anonymous citizen clones, let’s have another major character or two at the very least…

    & a new weapon or two, maybe….

    I’d rather they didn’t ramp up the graphics too much, the idea of having to fork out another £100 or more for a new graphics card & more RAM doesn’t really strike me as such a customer friendly idea, but maybe that’s just me….

    The way this particular wish list is going I suppose HL4 isn’t too much to hope for??

  13. Hoyy

    Story resolution and better enemy ai. The ep2 enemy ai is good but hl2 was really sucky, they just standed in corners to die you know?

    Story resolution too, because at each episode there is little development in story, at least in ep1, wasn’t that much IMHO. New itens could be good too. but, above all for me its the ai who needs some incrementation. Like he said, I want MORE!

  14. Oopla

    Who set up the initial resonance cascade? Why?

    In ep 2, Dr. Vance mentions the Gman delivering the sample, and standing with him in the control room as the accident happens. (mentioning the keywords “Unforeseen consequences”) We can only speculate as to why. My guess, and I hope I am not projecting here, is that the Gman wanted to force the combine’s hand, forcing them to over extend and set them up for defeat.

    Why did the troops try to cover up?

    I think that someone in the government just wanted to clean up the problem and it spiraled out of control from there.

    Why did Breen turn against the earth?

    My speculation is that breen was working with the combine all along.

    Combine portals, according to Ep2 need someone at both ends of the rift to generate one.

    I don’t recall any hints of a giant combine fleet arriving at earth, so they would need someone to open the portal. Likely candidate, Dr. Breen.

    Why did Mossman change sides, not once but twice? Has she really changed for the good, or for another motive?

    My guess is that she is working for someone else in the fray, either the Gman’s hinted at masters, or maybe a third party.

    Why did the combine advisors do what they did at the end of Ep2?

    My guess is it was like in the Starship Troopers movie where the Brain Bug eats the brain of the co-pilot to learn what he knows.

    One thing I would really like to see is Adrian Shepard make a re-appearance.

    Maybe have some of the scientists from Blue Shift as NPCs.

    Another thing is to see the other Aliens from Opposing Force. If nothing else then to just tie them up as combine scouts/shock troopers that Breen started to let through before Black Mesa was destroyed.. Just to tie up that loose thread.

    A thought occurred to me, what if Gman was betrayed by his alleged masters. It’d be pretty bold, having him just have been a puppet all along.

    A few more ideas I had.

  15. Werner Spahl

    I would like to see the Portal Gun of course and more of the cool Xen aliens of Half-Life 1 instead of the boring Combine, Zombie, Headcrabs variations of HL2.

  16. Mman

    I had to vote “everything” in other, I can’t really choose a single thing; if it’s merely as good as Episode 2 it will blow me away, if it’s improves on everything there then it will be incredible.

  17. Gypsy Jim

    I like your thinking Oopla, this could go any direction to be fair, and it’s a major credit to the whole Valve team that we’re even still discussing it, let alone the fact that Philip’s site is getting as enormous as it is….:)

    Come on you lot, get your thinking caps on, this is potentially one of the biggest questions on the HL series that there is, you must have some ideas?

    I overlooked the “Opp For” and “Blue Shift” things, but for no reason, of course the enemies and plot twists they (sort of) introduced need dealing with, just as much as the rest.

    Boy oh boy, I for one would like to be able to listen in to some of the writers” meetings. HL3 could go anywhere after all……. Just hope it doesn’t take another two years!

  18. Rob

    Graphics, characters and storytelling are all still awesome, but the gameplay is getting tired. 3 things i’d like to see to bring gameplay into the new age:

    1. grenades toggle button ala F.E.A.R. & Halo
    2. melee with your weapons, again like F.E.A.R & Halo (im sick of changing to crowbar/grav gun every time I need to open a crate!)
    3. cover system like Vegas/Gears

  19. I hope there is more interaction with DOG and Alyx, she is so cute and sweet. I would love to see a weapon to kill the combine advisor, more complex puzzles to solve, more engaging battles, better AI, not much to complain about graphics actually, and the same goes for story line. Hope they have once entire chapter for getting into the super portal and destroying it, or may be Alyx goes into the super portal to destroy it, Gordan and DOG can go and rescue her and bring her back. Know more about Gman.

    1. Gordon, Alyx and dog drive into the sunset happily ever after?.. hey it happens.. I have stories..lol

  20. I’d like to see a return of some more of the Xen wildlife, like the houndeyes and bullsquid, that assassin that got cut from HL2, and also a better map handling system that allows maps to be loaded in the background as you approach the transition point to them.

  21. I said Other then ALL of the above.. Since I will be soon adding to the collection..AI tops it, but everything.

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