Could Half-Life 3 be an open-world game?

Take this one with a grain of salt, but word has it the next title in the Half-Life series might not follow the same template as its predecessors. According to a story by French website Le Journal du Gamer, which has already been linked extensively around the web, Half-Life 3 will be an open-world game.

No, I’m not kidding.

The story, which is in French, credits a "trusted source who wishes to remain anonymous" for the scoop. It claims Half-Life 3 will be imbued with RPG elements like side quests and an open game world, not unlike Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls games. Development is described as "well under way," albeit "very chaotic." (Valve purportedly restarted work on the game multiple times.) According to Le Journal du Gamer, the game is "very likely" to come out after 2013.

Now, I’ve never heard of Le Journal du Gamer before, and the story seems almost too implausible to be true. Nevertheless, it’s been picked up by sources like the International Business Times and IGN, so perhaps there’s some nugget of truth to it. If so, those guys in France must have some pretty good connections—we haven’t heard a peep about Half-Life 3 in the past few years.

Comments closed
    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 7 years ago

    I trust valve to make an amazing game. I just don’t trust we will see it in a timely fashion.

    • Meadows
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]"the game is "very likely" to come out after 2013"[/quote<] Valve knows there is no shortage of years after 2013. I hope they're not thinking what I'm thinking.

    • Meadows
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]"(Valve purportedly restarted work on the game multiple times.)"[/quote<] Half Lifem - Episode Forever

    • TurtlePerson2
    • 7 years ago

    This does make some sense. Half-Life 2 is a very old fashioned game by today’s standards. There’s limited use of cover, no aiming down iron sights, no recharging health. I remember thinking that HL2:E2 felt very old fashioned at the time, albeit still a lot of fun. I could see them overhauling the game to make it more relevant to people who didn’t play the earlier titles in the series.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    Projects are Valve are decided based on what employees are interested in… So we aren’t seeing HL3 because no one over there is interested in making it. Either that or there is a very small group of individuals working on it. I’m sure if the company actually becomes interested in it, like Portal 2, we’ll see it in less then two years if they’re working from the ground up.

    Till then I’m sure nothing will come of it because nothing is being done with it.

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      You can’t make a modern video game of HL[i<]x[/i<]'s class without [b<]hundreds[/b<] of people involved. So by very small you might mean a few hundred?

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        No, by very small I mean like 10 people working on it for close to a decade cause no one else has been interested.

      • Grape Flavor
      • 7 years ago

      This is such bullcrap. Valve have repeatedly confirmed that Half-Life has been in continous development. In fact, it’s the only thing they’ve confirmed.

      Give me one reason why I should trust unsubstantiated statements from Bensam123 more than Valve themselves.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<] New employees aren’t even told where to work in the company. Instead, they are expected to decide on their own where they can contribute most. Many desks at Valve are on wheels. After figuring out what they want to do, workers simply push their desks over to the group they want to join. [/quote<] [url<]http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/09/technology/valve-a-video-game-maker-with-few-rules.html?_r=1[/url<]

    • Digex
    • 7 years ago

    Half Life always felt like a open world to begin with. I can understand the reason for doing this. Look how good Fallout 3 and Skyrim have been.

      • burntham77
      • 7 years ago

      Fallout 3 was the first thing that came to mind. I like this idea.

    • indeego
    • 7 years ago

    [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridge%27s_Law_of_Headlines<]Betteridge says no.[/url<]

    • torquer
    • 7 years ago

    Valve is focused now on Steam, micro-transactions, and possibly hardware. If they gave a crap about the IP, they’d have released HL3 already.

    This “when its finished” crap is bogus. Long development times do not guarantee a great game (Duke Nukem Forever?). If they were focused and wanted it to be out, it would have been by now.

      • Ryu Connor
      • 7 years ago

      Personally I think Valve has managed to jam themselves up with the Half-Life story.

      I suspect they never created an outline detailing where they wanted their story to go or how it would end. The four games have created more questions than they answer, furthering my impression that they’re telling this story on a whim.

      Now they are under pressure to finish the story and that’s gotta feel all sorts of daunting if not impossible at this juncture. There are so many threads and unexplained elements that need to be laid out. This doesn’t even delve into the pressure they’re under to deliver a blockbuster game. I wouldn’t want to make the game either. At this point letting the player imagine his own outcome seems a far better choice.

        • torquer
        • 7 years ago

        Thats not a bad point, and truth be told its actually possible they’ve given up on the franchise altogether, but it would seem like a waste of valuable IP.

        WWGFD?

        • l33t-g4m3r
        • 7 years ago

        Absolutely. I felt that to be the case playing HL2, which took just elements from the first and made something completely different. Half-Life is pretty similar to the Matrix in that regard, whereas the first game was the best, second meh, and the third will most likely be fubar and kill off the main character.

        • Geistbar
        • 7 years ago

        I agree with this, but I think their story issues are a bit more specific. How Freeman / the resistance defeat the combine, how the Borealis fits in, those kinds of things they can get away with not having planned out years in advance. They’re easy enough (at least for talented designers) to create a natural feeling solution for.

        Their problem lies in the supernatural elements — principally G-Man, but also elements such as his customers and how they interact with the higher levels of the combine, why Freeman is special, and the interaction of the vortigaunts with everything else. Even there, they only [i<]really[/i<] need a satisfactory answer for the G-Man. Just, as you mentioned, they almost certainly didn't make one up in advance, which means that his elevation past "quirky observer and very basic plot device" to "more central plot device" is problematic, because it means that a conclusion almost requires some resolution with him for it to feel satisfactory.

          • Sargent Duck
          • 7 years ago

          The G-Man is actually [b<]G[/b<]ordan Free[b<]Man[/b<] who has, thanks to the gravity gun and portal gun, mastered the space-time continium and is able to time travel and portal seemingly at will. Unfortunately the effect of all this portaling has caused a very serious side-effect, the loss of facial hair and the younger Gordon's killer goatee. *Of course, I just made all this up in the past minute while bored at work. But I kinda like it, so I think I'll stick with it.

            • kvndoom
            • 7 years ago

            “Unfortunately the effect of all this portaling has caused a very serious side-effect, the loss of facial hair and the younger Gordon’s killer goatee.”

            Plus his vocal cords started working.

      • Sargent Duck
      • 7 years ago

      Valve doesn’t have a typical management structure where one guy (gal) says “let’s make a game, now do it” and everybody underneath goes about following their bosses order. They have a VERY open management system where developers/coders/graphic artists wheel their desk around to where there is a project going on that they have an interest in.

      Thus a bunch of people could get together to start HL3, then lose interest and wheel their desk over to start L4D. When that’s done they might get together and restart HL3, but then get bored and wheel their desk over to the Alien Swarm group.

      So long development time could literally mean that nobody is working on HL3 for years at a time.

      On the one hand we’d all love a job where we can be free to pursue what we want to pursue, on the other hand it can lead to an extremely long wait.

    • Umbragen
    • 7 years ago

    Valve stopped making games I want to play a long time ago. If they weren’t pimping for other companies (at ridiculously reduced prices), I’d have no use for them.

    • Ryhadar
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]According to Le Journal du Gamer, the game is "very likely" to come out after 2013.[/quote<] ... This just in: Half-Life 3 "very likely" to come out sometime in the future. You heard it here first! More news at 10...

    • Arclight
    • 7 years ago

    Well to some extent there were some missions in HL2 which were open-world-ish (like the mission when you use the car and run around and kill striders). But the world was not as vast like in Skyrim or Battlefield 3 (the big multiplayer maps that is).

    I thought that Valve hasn’t done vast open world games *yet* because the Source engine doesn’t behave too well with big environments. Matter of fact, do you guys know any open world Source based game? I think there is none and if HL3 will be open world i expect Valve to use a new engine.

    • ALiLPinkMonster
    • 7 years ago

    This could be great or it could be a total flop. As long as the story is good and the side quests don’t interfere with it, I really don’t see a problem. This is new for them though, and they’re no Bioware. Then again, they’re no Bioware…

    Anyway, somewhat on topic, check out this great pseudo-dubstep song inspired by HL : [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofoybiD_IZE&feature=youtube_gdata_player[/url<]

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxTtbHmCNiQ[/url<] Better...

        • ALiLPinkMonster
        • 7 years ago

        Haha, I thoroughly enjoyed that.

        • Grape Flavor
        • 7 years ago

        This is great. I can’t imagine how long it took to make this.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT NERD CULTURE. YOU LOSE 2 POINTS.

        • CuttinHobo
        • 7 years ago

        Better than most official music videos!

    • south side sammy
    • 7 years ago

    after FarCry2 I became spoiled. Then I tried to play COD and other “lead’em around by their nose” games………. no comparison. I never played a HalfLife game but if I can walk freely and roam the “world” it might be something I would consider.
    Besides the over bearing intrusion and control by the newer games ( COD, MOH, etc ) linear game play is another reason I just can’t seem to get into these fps games anymore.

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      what you’re hoping for is S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

        • south side sammy
        • 7 years ago

        I tried stalker. never did like it much. can’t say why. only touched the beginning of the game before i quit. Just didn’t “feel” right.

          • yogibbear
          • 7 years ago

          ZOMG. So you didn’t leave the one part of the ENTIRE FRICKING game that isn’t truly “open”…. FAIL FAIL FAIL. Farcry 2 is less open than STALKER.

            • south side sammy
            • 7 years ago

            there are different reasons why I stop playing games. the first half hour ( or less ) either work for me or they don’t. FEAR3, woke up in hospital, didn’t know where to go, no weapon…….. phooey……. Crysis 2………. no ammo……phooey………. COD 5…the one with the japs….linear……phooey…….many others…… lotsa money spent on horse manure………….. that’s why I want to see more DEMO’s and less movies…………..

          • lilbuddhaman
          • 7 years ago

          The first stalker game starts off brutally hard but once you get past the “intro” it opens up and becomes much more manageable….and fun.

            • odizzido
            • 7 years ago

            I love how hard it is at the start. Fighting off mutants with worthless rusty weapons, running when you realize that fighting them is a mistake. good times.

      • odizzido
      • 7 years ago

      I never played FC2, but stalker is the game that got me hooked with open world FPS games. Simply amazing games. I really wish TR would test STALKER:COP, possibly with mods since that’s how I play, to see if Nvidia or AMD is better with the xray engine. I know that with the version I play with I can’t even come close to maxing the graphics on my 5850+i5 750. If they were to test the game it would really help me choose my next video card.

    • lycium
    • 7 years ago

    Ohhh man, if this is true I am ALL OVER IT.

    • Pax-UX
    • 7 years ago

    Would VERY surprised given the amount of control Valve like to have over the end user experience. They also script just about everything in their games so there’s no entropy events, it’s all set pieces.

    If anything Open World style “no level loading” is the best it would get as an upgrade to there game engine.

      • entropy13
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]so there's no entropy [/quote<] You mean I can't play Valve games?

    • Omniman
    • 7 years ago

    Gotta love how developers destroy games. It’s like what happened to the Resident Evil series!

      • odizzido
      • 7 years ago

      It’s such a shame. RE started off as a primarily survival game which kicks ass, and now it’s just a regular action game…..meh. Well, at least we got a couple of good REs.

    • Krogoth
    • 7 years ago

    Half-Life => It is a just dream in Gordon Freeman’s mind.

    Gordon Freeman is actually a college undergrad who is running behind on his physics paper……

      • Eggrenade
      • 7 years ago

      That means that I am Gordon Freeman.

      Seriously though, I hate lab reports.

      • yogibbear
      • 7 years ago

      Isn’t there some kid in some TV show that imagined everything including the universe we live in?

        • lilbuddhaman
        • 7 years ago

        Life Goes On

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      That explains the part where Gordon wakes up in the Citadel naked.

    • Sahrin
    • 7 years ago

    Steam for Mac *was* Half-Life 3.

    • alienstorexxx
    • 7 years ago

    c’mon, rpg elements? this is not darksiders, you can’t just add quests and npc’s because you think is a great idea (feels very trite these days)

    what’s the problem of game industry, 1 guy decides to put rol elements on a game and sudenly every game has to have an rpg side. first borderlands did it very well and innovative. now, little by little, that trend is being followed by more developers.

      • Rand
      • 7 years ago

      Ironically the fans of classic RPG’s are thinking much the same from the opposite perspective, that all RPG’s today seemingly need to be action games with a stronger then usual story.

    • shaurz
    • 7 years ago

    I hope not.

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    H.A.L.F.L.I.F.E

    • kvndoom
    • 7 years ago

    The Freeman Scrolls III: Ravenholm

      • FubbHead
      • 7 years ago

      No,we don’t go to Ravenholm.

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      An entire game based on Ravenholm I would preorder yesterday.

    • bowman
    • 7 years ago

    Well, one thing sure seems plausible – restarting work on it several times. This I would bet my life on, they have certainly done that. :p

    I wouldn’t discount this rumor — Valve is so late to the game with this sequel that they need to think new. No matter how pretty a version of the Source engine they come up with, the market has left linear games with mute protagonists behind. Sure, I would still love it. The other old HL fans would still love it. But they need a massive hit, not retro fan service.

      • Sargent Duck
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah and neah. The thing that always drove Half-Life was the story and in HL2, the characters. I think most gamers wouldn’t mind a linear gameplay if we finally found out what the g-man is all about. Of if we got to see more of Alex kicking arse with a shotty.

      CoD and BF have linear gameplay as well and although they’re driven by co-op, I don’t hear people complaining about that. And *if* the portal gun were to make an appearance (which isn’t that far-fetched), it’d have to be a linear game. I just can’t see being able to portal all over an open map as the amount of bugs and clipping that would happen from that would be huge.

      My two favorite (and most played games) are Fallout 3 and Half-Life. I just can’t see Half-Life in an open world environment. I could be wrong.

      • squeeb
      • 7 years ago

      Source physics blew me away in HL2, they’ll definitely have to add newer features to the game play to keep it relevant. That said, I’m having a ton of fun playing through Black Mesa Source.

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