After years and years of rumors, hints and desperation, every new story about a possible Half-Life 3 leak or confirmation now carries a natural edge of weary humor and cynicism to it. Few games have ever been so highly anticipated for so long – with so little solid evidence of their potential existence to go on.
Really, this is a testament to just how truly excellent the Half-Life series has been so far. The heroic tale of tragically mute physicist Gordon Freeman, his entanglement with a dimensional rift that allows alien creatures to spill into our own world, and his eventual leadership of a rebellion against Earth’s cruel new overlords, is one that has stayed in the hearts of a legion of gamers who are all eager to find out what happens next. That eagerness has ebbed and flowed like a tide in the six years since the release of Half Life 2: Episode Two, as Valve has so far refused to even confirm whether or not a further addition to the franchise is in development.
To help keep the dream alive, however, gaming site NoShitShurlock claims to have been in e-mail contact with Quake Command founder and Half-Life level designer John Guthrie, who was apparently very generous with details about the new game:
“I can’t confirm all too much since the development is still in early stages, but for now I can confirm that we are going to release on both current and next generation consoles and we will also release the game on our own platform exclusively for PC and Mac… We hope to have the first trailer ready for E3 2014, which we (after several times not attending) will finally come back to.”
For someone who isn’t able to “confirm all too much,” Guthrie certainly confirmed… much. According to the article, he also revealed that Half-Life 3 will have a single-player campaign only, with no co-op or multiplayer, and that it will include many of the main characters from Half-Life 2 with a story that picks up where the last one left off.
It’s hard to properly assess the veracity of this rumor because yes, even after six years of waiting and false leads and waiting and speculation and waiting and fan frustration (did we mention the waiting?), the power of hope still shines through even the hardest crusts of jadedness and despair. It seems self-evident that Valve already has the next iteration of one of its must successful, well-loved and critically-acclaimed games to date in development, so the only question that remains is that of when it will arrive.
It does seem a little strange that John Guthrie would choose to finally confirm not only the development of Half-Life 3, but also major details about the game along with an estimated release date and list of platforms, via e-mail to a relatively small gaming blog. Of course, Valve has always been a slightly unconventional company and this wouldn’t be the first time that it’s teased a Half-Life continuation seemingly for the sole purpose of providing fuel for the hype machine, but until Valve releases any confirmation or denial of this claim it’s best to take it with a large pinch of salt – so as not to have your happiness dashed too cruelly, should it turn out to be false.
Crowbars at the ready? Well, not just yet. This would be beyond wonderful news if true, but the “if” is just too big, and at this point it’s best to remain a skeptic until right up until you can actually sit down and start playing the game. Maybe even for a little while afterwards.
Half-Life 3 will be available on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Mac in late 2014. Honest.