Poll Question 324 – What’s more important for you in HL3?

8th October 2015

My apologies for asking another HL3 related question, but it’s been on my mind for a while now.

Half-Life 2 WAS a revolutionary gameplay experience and it certainly expanded the story but you could easily argue that it created more questions than it answered.

I don’t think I want to go through that again. I want answers. Good ones too. Of course I want to play a fantastic game but I would prefer I game made with the current version of Source that draws the series to a well-crafted close rather than an amazing new game that doesn’t answer any questions.

Obviously, we want both, but if you had to choose between the two would you be able or is there something more important for you?

Time to Vote


  1. dodo021

    For me I want a mind blowing physics engine like when Half Life 2 was released with more physics puzzles.

    1. So, the first option in the vote, then: a revolutionary game.

  2. Sorry, but for me the most important in HL3 is to release it finally!

    1. So, you would be happy with a shitty game as long as it was released? I don’t think so.

      1. No, of course no, but i think if Valve releases a game, that’s not shitty,
        i simply miss some new long Half-Life game (or mod, Leon Brinkmann, i see You!)

      2. But i thought people liked Left for Dead?

        1. L4D (I & II) is one of the best games I’ve ever played, mainly because of the rich characterisation, humour, and co-operative social style of play. The game engine itself is top notch, as you’d expect, but that’s not the clincher for me.

          When you get a nice team together it’s great fun. Sadly, that doesn’t happen often. Most players don’t interact with each other, and you inevitably get trolls and team-killers.

          If Valve came out with a similar concept in the half life universe, that would be awesome. I know there are co-op games out there, but nothing has captured my interest so far.

  3. In Valve games, the gameplay serves the story, so of course they should ‘raise the bar’ once again and create a fun to play game. I’m more interested in a game that will capture people’s imaginations for mods and maps and a game that people can play and enjoy for generations to come.

    That to me is more important than the mystery of the G-Man or what happened to Barney Calhoun.

    1. That’s a fair point. And yes, having people inspired to create new maps and mods for it, is a very important point, although I suspect that almost anything they release will do that.

  4. I voted a revolutionary gameplay, simply because HL1 and HL2 both achieved this. As long at is isn’t VR… Even a more advanced physics system like Euphoria or similar would make me very very happy.

    Obviously I would be super excited to get stuck into the next part of the story, but I almost don’t want it to be concluded. However, when you consider mods, did Half-Life or Half-Life 2 ever really “Finish?” Sure the official story can be wrapped up, but there are so many mods that expand and branch off of the main plot.

    1. Remember: finishing Half-Life is just the beginning!

  5. I don’t care about whizz-bangery as much as an emotional connection with the game. I’m perfectly happy with the technical aspects of the source engine. What would annoy me would be if they changed the look and feel of the game too much.

    For me it’s mostly about a good story.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly….

  6. Unq

    I highly doubt any of our minds would be blown by a physics engine these days. Not to say everything’s been done already, it’s just that it’ll never have the effect of seeing it for the first time like in HL2. Maybe a quantum physics engine. 🙂

    For me, I just want an involving and polished game just like all of Valve’s other games. I don’t expect a satisfying conclusion, especially one that wraps up all the loose ends. Not sure I even want one – I thought the ending of HL1 was perfect. The cliffhanger of Episode 2, however…

    Episode 2 was very much in this vein for me: nothing revolutionary (we had seen it all in HL2) but polished and connected with the player.

  7. Neither, really.

    The brutal truth is that I honestly don’t care much about Half-Life’s story. It was always the delivery method that was the interesting part. If it were 8 years earlier and we were in the thick of Half-Life mania, that would be something else. But, at this point, I could care less about their narrative. I also seriously doubt they’ll answer any questions because that’s just not their style. And like Unq, I’m not even sure I’d want answers.

    I also don’t need a “revolutionary” game that redefines the FPS experience and all those buzzwords marketers love to use. I want well-constructed, memorable game with the sublime design that Valve is known for. It doesn’t have to introduce entirely new systems and mechanics (i.e. something on par with physics in HL2). Story-based FPS games are in such short supply anyway that the mere release of a great HL3 would probably be a big deal because it would change the trend.

  8. Anon_1403987

    Other: Existence

  9. Revolutionary would be a bit of a strong word but I’d just like a HL3 that implements technology, techniques and learnings from everything Valve has been working on instead of HL3.
    So Left 4 Deads AI director, L4D 2’s gore system. The impossible space feature in Portal 2 would be interesting especially if HL3 includes inter dimensional travel (like exploring G-mans dimension)

  10. Zekiran

    I would much prefer a good solid ending – with most questions answered perhaps, but that’s not important to me, as I like thinking for myself. I don’t want it ‘open ended’ in that ‘and we have more story but you have to wait’ manner. I want them to have told a story that while the universe can harbor plenty more questions and answers, that this particular tale – of Alyx and Gordon and Barney and Izzy – has a reasonably satisfying end. They don’t have to all live happily ever after.

    I don’t need, and in fact don’t want, something ‘so revolutionary’ that it overtakes or renders obsolete, what game play we have. I don’t want it to be so radically different, as HL2 was from HL1 in those ways, that I don’t easily settle myself into the universe. It needs to be recognizable as Half Life’s universe. That means graphics, motion, background, lighting, etc – they can become cleaner or clearer perhaps, but I really don’t want to ‘be impressed’ by anything in that regard.

    They can change the process by which those things are rendered, anything in the background or code that can be smoothed, streamlined, made better – those are changes in the engine which are long overdue.

    But I want to be able to look at Alyx and see Alyx. I want to look around and see the grime of White Forest’s base, or a ruined City, or a Combine soldier, and know what they are. Interacting with those things can be built up, built on, but… not rebuilt – I want to be able to play the game, and know I’m playing Half Life.

    That’s looking at it from the perspective of having bought and played HL2 and the episodes *before* HL1 – though I’ve played through all of them many, many times now, and can say I honestly appreciate both goldsrc and source as engines, as well as their dedication to how they’ve told both stories so far.

    I’m not looking to be wow’d. I’m looking to be satisfied, not goaded, and not slammed with so much that there’s no room for thought.

  11. charlie

    i want a good ass m****** f******* game

    1. Zekiran

      And that means what, exactly?

      ‘good’ to you might mean something significantly different to me.

  12. if they can meld the story line, physics and game play of HL2 and Portal in a reasonable manner I’ll be ecstatic.

    1. You and 100 million other people!

      1. 100 million – 1! Not a Portal fan…

  13. Mahat

    Why should the story end in HL 3? Hahahah Yeah, I’m too optimistic about it, but I think the most important thing is that HL 3 be as revolutionary as his two predecessors were. Surely the story will fit the revolutionary aspects of the game (as the previous ones have).

  14. I am looking for an interesting new challenge for Gordon Freeman and a good ending to such an amazing classic series. I am not interested in incredible new game-play physics that would cost me over a grand (£1000) in new computer tech to play. My PC can handle most HL2 mods, so I am looking for exploration of new environments as the main theme for HL3, not photo-poor graphics seen in most new games. and, of course an final ending. No one is hoping for HL4 are they?
    New scenery, some new weapon designs and a new vehicle, maybe a hovering something?
    How about three endings for HL3 dependent on earlier mid-game route choice?
    Mostly I just want to be able to play it and see an ending after such a long wait. So, so many years!

  15. Ultrapurple

    This is a ramble but not a rant.

    I think what I’m looking for is ‘more of the same – only better’. I really engage with the Half Life universe and premise. I relish the first-person single player mode: I have never wanted to play team-type games but respect the wishes of those who do and the fact that the Half Life universe facilitates this.

    Graphics realism has improved markedly in the years since Half Life 2 was released, yet the HL2 series still score for their detailed, well-crafted textures. I’d like to see this brought up to date in terms of complexity but without losing the original spark.

    (Relatively) recent mods like Uncertainty Principle show what can still be done with the existing engines, props and models when allied with new creativity. (I really enjoyed that mod – it was quite simply all the best bits of Half Life deftly rolled into one great experience. I would cheerfully have paid good money for it as an Episode).

    Now imagine how good that would be with a modern engine.

    I rather expected Valve to release a new piece of Half Life to make the Steam Machine the must-have computer. But as that hasn’t happened, I’m very much afraid that it either finally isn’t going to happen, or it’ll be kept back until there’s a trendy new VR system or suchlike. Which would be a great pity.

    Yes, the development costs are large for any worthwhile new game and it’s always a risk to release something new. I for one would buy an Episode 3 that just built on the existing game, particularly if there were some clear hints about a new version genuinely in the pipeline. I frankly don’t care whether it brings the Half Life story to a close. I just want puzzles, frights and another wink from Alyx.

    One of the things that seems to have been forgotten in recent years by many software companies is the power of the shareware release. Imagine if a Lost Coast-like demo was released of the whizzy new system. Wouldn’t you download it, play it, and beg for more? Of course we all would. We remember how we first encountered Half Life, Portal and other games via a similar route, and I suspect very few people who played through to the end of the demos didn’t buy the retail game.

    Well, I’ll go back into my shell for a while and re-play the old mods whilst secretly imagining what we could have. Meanwhile, my money is getting frittered away on other games that leave me unsatisfied.

    C’mon Valve – sate us…

  16. I voted for the second, mainly because when it comes to gaming, everything’s been done. There’s nothing that can be considered revolutionary nowadays, whether it’s story-wise, gameplay-wise or technologically-wise.

  17. Sorry, I’m a little late to the party, but I’d like to record my opinion here nonetheless, if that’s okay. And it will be very personal and probably self-centered, so my apologies in advance for that.

    I’ve been putting some thought into ‘Half-Life 3′ recently and come to some conclusions. For one thing, I realized I care more about the world and the story than playing the games themselves, but not for the usual reasons.
    To be fair, Half-Life, story-wise, is very simplistic. At its core, Half-Life 2 is a story about a revolution against alien overlords, which isn’t exactly a mind-blowing premise. It’s the amount of detail that went into the world-building that really makes the difference, as well as the investment that Valve made in terms of building engaging characters, which paid off in the fans’ love for them.

    For me, though, I realized that the only reason I still think about the Half-Life saga almost daily (which I only now noticed is somewhat insane) is because fans created tools, ages ago, that let me make my own stories there, and I’ve always loved telling stories since I was a kid, even if I’m not exactly great at it. Because of the series’ ambiguity, I kept trying to fill holes in it, which eventually led me to making my own (fan-fiction) series parallel to the main events of the game.

    Which doesn’t make me special at all, mind you; lots of people, including some here that I recognize (hi, Zekiran!), created their own long-spanning stories around the series. But I’ve put so much thought and, yes, love into mine that, if there were to be a Half-Life 3, I’d just want to see where this world goes, and where the characters ultimately head towards.

    Plus, Valve has proven that they can take the same tools they’ve used before and put a new spin on them, as seen in the episodes. So, for me, the game could still be a fancier-looking Half-Life 2: Episode Three, because I only want to know the end to this story I give waaaay too much though on a daily basis, considering there are more important things to think about.

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