Poll Question 309 – For the next Half-Life game, what are you more interested in? (choose 2)

20th March 2015

I think if I had asked this question immediately after the release of Episode 2 in 2007, the answer people would possible have given would be different.

Then in say 2011, it might be different again.

Now, I think we just want to know what happens. If Valve said they are not going to make a game but a comic instead, a little like Labrat whilst it would crash the Internet at least I would know what happens to the protagonists and Earth.

That’s kinda more important to me than anything at this point.

What about you?

Time to vote


  1. JG

    I really don’t care much for Half-Life’s story. I just don’t. To me, Valve’s achievement with storytelling had more to do with the way it was told rather than the story itself. Gordon Freeman’s story is cryptic for the sake of being cryptic and, in my humble opinion, isn’t anything special. Those expecting amazing revelations are just going to be disappointed. The Episodes proved that they are more interested in posing new questions than answering old ones.

    There’s a reason why Valve had a thing going with the TV series Lost, another bit of media that was needlessly cryptic. That series worked itself into a corner with all of its questions and, in the end, threw up its hands and decided “Screw it, we’re not going to explain any of this, fade to white.”

    Yeah, I’m sure some post-modern storytellers think that’s really bold, but I think it shortchanges the viewers. In hindsight, it’s ironic how much it resembles the ending of HL2. Something on the HL Reddit made me think about EP2’s cliffhanger and how, for as bad as it was to end at that moment, how much worse HL2’s ending was. It comes from out of nowhere, seems to take pride in admitting this, and then provides no resolution at all. It’s terrible! And that’s why I’m like, story? Guys, I really don’t think they care as much about the story as you think they do. They certainly aren’t going to spend millions developing HL3 for the sake of “continuing the story.”

    1. MajorBanter

      I agree, and I think the G-Man is the embodiment of this. The moment they diminished his strength the story fell a little sideways, and his return in Ep2 is one of the defining moments of that game for me.

      The irony of it all is that Half Life’s about strong characters and stronger gameplay, and to fill the story gaps Valve created a literal embodiment of deus ex machina in G-Man. They get away with his ability to pull total bullshit on whatever situation Laidlaw’s written himself into because of just how brilliantly he’s presented.

      We’ll never see G-Man unmasked, or his employers, because you’d shatter that mystique. Imagine Mass Effect 3’s ending all over again; sometimes you just don’t need that extra context. Lazy? Yes, but if you can hide that laziness behind execution, nobody’s going to care too much.

      I suspect it’s also the big reason Ep3 never came to light. Where could they go from Ep2? How do you close such a disjointed arc successfully without alienating people – or even your own writers – with revelations?

      1. JG

        Yeah, one of the biggest dilemmas with not having Ep3 is that we don’t get to start HL3 with a clean slate. You end up with one foot in the past and one foot in the future.

  2. I’m more interested in how Valve use the technology, techniques and skills developed during their time not making Half Life 3. Having Left 4 Dead 2 style gore in Half Life 3 would be pretty sweet as would having some form of AI director. I think if Half Life 3 has any levels in G-mans home dimension then the impossible space stuff used in Portal 2 would also be pretty cool.

    Also hoping that they bring back some of the Half Life 1 aliens.

  3. Mega Sean 45

    Story, because we pretty much don’t know anything about the Combine’s backstory. Who’s in charge of the operation? What are they using the world’s resources for? How did they take over the world in seven hours? Why did they give Dr. Breen power? What makes Earth so special to them? If you think you know the answers just by reading the wiki, there’s actually no proof of anything. Who said the Advisors were in charge? Nothing in the game said that. They might just be powerful beings that are just pawns to the true leaders.

    Other questions yet to answer: what’s going on in other parts of the world? What celebrities are still alive? (That one’s a joke.) Who’s the G-Man? Why is he interested in certain people like Gordon? What happened to the other remaining Xenian species trapped in the world? How much of Earth’s government is hiding in the shadows? So much of HL’s story has so many unanswered questions.

    I’ve been making theories for years, saying that the Combine used to have democracy, the Combine only let Earth survive for research purposes because they find the humans to be an interesting species, a different Combine species was in charge of the Overwatch before the events of EP1, and Dr. Breen is just a pawn not a true leader, and he was actually going to give the humans what they promised and stab the Combine in the back at the right time; just buying the world time and save it.

    But my point is: story is what I’m most interested in the HL series because there’s just not enough of it.

  4. Hec

    WELL I choose this 2: New weapons and enemies, Because I’d Love to fight against a Combine Mech, like one that is shown at some fantastic fan made trailer, and you know, having new weaponry just would be so sweet.

    Also i said story, this is probably the most eagerly awaited stuff from HL3 you know be able to follow the story, it’s unbelievable we’re in 2015 and we know still very, very few details about the G-Man, possibly i just can’t wait to know more about the G-Man.

    Also if i could pick a 3rd one I’d say explore new environments, maybe xen again? maybe outerspace or other worlds dominated by the CMB that just so hot!!!

    1. Hec

      Yeah those are pretty interesting and mysterious questions, it makes me think in HL whole universe, as the Steven Spielberg’s series Falling Skies. The more you’re into deep the more complex you know is the context all around you.

  5. K. Foster

    I’d love to see a continuation from where the story leaves off at the end of Episode 2. I’d really like to have most of the old weapons and perhaps a few new ones. Especially, I’d like Gordon to find a portal gun! I think combining the tactical game-play of HL2-EP2 with the logical challenges of portals would be fantastic if done correctly. I could imagine Gordon and Alex exploring and fighting their way through parts of the Aperture facilities that we haven’t yet seen in a bid to finally rid Earth of the combine forces.

  6. I’d love to see the uprising going so far that the metrocops would turn against the combine

  7. Honestly, at the moment I’m not too concerned about what happens with Half-Life 3. Listening to the recent GameSlice podcast with Gabe makes it reasonably clear that nothing much is going on with Half-Life at Valve. The conclusion I’ve come to is that we won’t be getting Half-Life 3 any time soon, and to be honest I don’t have time to play most of the games I’m interested anyway, so I can’t get too hung up on it any more.

    That said, if Valve announced Half-Life 3 this year, the two points I would most be interested in are the story and new gameplay mechanics. It’s not so much the core narrative of HL that interests me (although the characters are amazing) as it is the rich back-story woven into the world. That’s something I especially want to learn more about. Other than that, the main attraction would be seeing what Valve could do to shake up the single-player FPS again, as something following directly in the tracks of Half-Life 2 just wouldn’t be enough.

  8. I chose Story and Innovative Gameplay, maybe because I believe those will be the points on which Valve will focus the most. I do think they’re waiting for the new technologies to be released, be it VR, Steam machines, Link, Controller and whatnot before risking it all and making an announcement about Half Life 3. I think they’re still working on it, albeit very slowly. They probably haven’t even put down any kind of continuation of the story or planned out how the levels and the locations will pan out, they’re probably still in the pre-production phase which, as we know from Valve’s previous history, is mostly of tampering with their game engine’s technology and possible future capabilities.

    I believe they’re pointing on it being some kind of revolutionary product, superior from a technological standpoint that will include particular kinds of interactions between the player and the world that will really elevate its gameplay. Although I don’t think they’re really near even to an announcement, so the release date will be pretty far in the future… I hope in the next 2-3 years we will know something more about it, if not sooner.

    Announcing the game would be the biggest risk they could ever take, it being surrounded by a huge hype and the weight of the previous games on it, and it could actually be the turning-point product in revealing the true face of Valve today, that is being a huge publisher that wants to cash in only on their main service or that they are a game development company that still cares about doing high quality videogames with a unique art direction and design. That is, single player games, preferably in a dark, dystopian future infused with a little dose of humor and an emotional story to follow.

    PS: I do know about Gabe’s interview about Half Life 3 and “Super Classic games”, that’s why I added that “true face of Valve” part. They still have to show that they’re still somewhat interested in doing something like that, but I think they will… sooner or later… (Laidlaw and Faliszek’s huge writer’s block on the HL series is going to end eventually)

  9. I’m interested to see how they shoehorn Aperture Science into the franchise without making a farce of the whole thing.

  10. Hi, I’m just in it for story. I like game play and will play easy, medium, and hard. But, the story is just so riveting that It could be a book and I wouldn’t care. now if a new weapon or enemy is important to the plot then I will care. Locations are normally big so I care about that. Half Life 3 can be built on the gold source engine and I wouldn’t care. All I care about is what happens. Now I do find myself getting into the plot sometimes but not often. Thank you, bye.

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