Beyond the shadow of a doubt, if Valve made an announcement today that Half-Life 3 is officially in production, it would become the top story for practically every news outlet on the Internet. At this point, however, the existence of a third sequel in the sci-fi first-person shooter franchise has become a veritable punchline on message boards. With Half-Life 2 being the last main entry so far, Gordon Freeman’s tale still remains unfinished, and it’s unlikely that we’ll get to experience a continuation of it any time soon.
Enter The Last of Us‘ director Neil Druckmann. With The Last of Us being a primary example, the BAFTA award-winning writer definitely knows how to craft an incredible story, and it’s certain that Druckmann holds a great deal of respect for Half-Life‘s innovative narrative. As a matter of fact, he’s recently reached out to Valve with an interest in continuing the plot in a rather intriguing, albeit informal way.
Merle Dandridge – the voice of Half-Life‘s Alyx Vance, as well as vocal actress and mo-cap performer for The Last of Us‘ Marlene – tweeted a photo of herself suited up in a motion-capture suit presumably working on Naughty Dog’s survival horror title with the caption “This. My happy place.”. In response, Druckmann slyly pointed out that his company has already worked with her before, and would be even more willing to do so again should Valve pass Naughty Dog the license for Half-Life, as seen in his Tweet below.
Druckmann’s comment is obviously meant to be taken as a joke, and there are no serious discussions taking place between Naughty Dog and Valve regarding the rights to Half-Life. The idea is simply a fanciful notion. But having said that, the “what if” fantasy scenario of a completely different development company taking the reins for the futuristic, dystopian title provides fascinating food for thought.
With enough changes, maybe Naughty Dog could pull off a proper homage to the game’s forebears while creating a completely original experience in its own right. For instance, since the most recent spate of Naughty Dog’s games are so dialogue-heavy and involve plenty of cut-scenes, maybe the developer could successfully change Gordon Freeman from a silent protagonist and into a talking hero chock-full of wisdom and rousing discourse. Although it may sound strange at first, the concept could be effective if done correctly. It worked well-enough when Irrational Games changed their formula for BioShock and gave Booker DeWitt speaking lines in BioShock Infinite.
Despite the fact that it’s an insane long-shot, what do you think about the notion of Naughty Dog developing Half-Life 3? Do you believe that after such a long time of waiting for the game’s sequel that the company could deliver a satisfying end to the story? If not, what other studio do you think would be a good fit for the project other than Valve?
The Last of Us‘ Neil Druckmann is currently working as the creative director fo Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, and it’s set to release on March 18, 2016, exclusively for the PlayStation 4.