Opinion: Do We Really Need a Half Life 3?

Half Life 3 is probably the longest anticipated game since Duke Nukem Forever. The internets are constantly ablaze with people asking when Valve is going to get off their asses and make Half Life 3 already.

But I’m gonna be honest here…

I’m not sure I really care.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Half Life and Half Life 2. I think they’re great games. But…really… do we need another? I mean… Every big AAA release is basically Half Life now. You know, the Narrative Shooter with first-person story segments broken up by gunfights and set-pieces which combine scripted events with AI enemies. That’s basically what a AAA game is now. Halo is Half Life, Mass Effect is Half Life, Bioshock Infinite is Half Life, The Last of Us looks like Half Life, all the Call of Duties are dumber Half Lifes, Spec Ops: The Line is a Half Life that makes fun of dumber Half Lives. Everything that made the original Half Life such a revolution at the time is now pretty standard. Everything that made Half Life 2 revolutionary at the time is now cliché (and those physics puzzles are practically quaint and goofy now).

And look at what Valve has been doing instead. Revolutionizing team based multipayer dynamics in Team Fortress 2, crafting elegant co-op experiences with Left 4 Dead, fuckin’ Portal. And who can blame them? They created the template for modern shooter games. Why would they want to rehash that when everyone else is already doing it for them.

The only reason I can think of to want a Half Life 3 is to find out what the G Man is. But, you know what? Whatever it is is going to be a disappointment. He’s going to be an alien, or a time traveler, or your father, or you from an alternate dimension. Whatever it is, the mystery will have been better.

Maybe it’s a good thing that Valve never seems to release anything with a 3 in the name. We should be glad there’s a company that’s more interested in making new and interesting games rather than making fan-service sequels. I’d love to see a world where the majority of games don’t have numbers in the titles.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be over here waiting for any word on Beyond Good and Evil 2.

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2 Responses to Opinion: Do We Really Need a Half Life 3?

  1. SomeNerd says:

    That’s why we want Half Life 3 though. You have to consider the transition both Half Lifes and the episodes meant at the time. Valve brought something new and amazing to the table through it’s technical innovations straight to the gameplay and expertly integrated into the story. Similarly like you said about the Left4Dead experience to multiplayer, that’s what Half Life 3 should be to single player again.

    We want Half Life 3 because for the last 7 years we’ve had Half Life 2 DX, just as you said. And someone’s got to make it, and traditionally the one to build the mold and break it has been Valve. But now that Valve is making pointless sequels (L4D2 and Portal2) and Dota/Team Fortress, we may have to start looking somewhere else for the next leap in character interaction, environmental manipulation or seamless storytelling.

    • admin says:

      Personally, I’d prefer seeing Valve make a brand new single player experience rather than make the next generation of Narrative Shooter. Like with Portal and the First Person Puzzler. No matter what, the new Half Life would have to be some sort of Narrative Shooter (just like Portal 2 was another First Person Puzzler and L4D2 was another co-op shooter) because that’s what the series is. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the reason there’s no word of Half Life 2 is no one at Valve has any particularly interesting ways to be both revolutionary and also work within the sub-genre of Narrative Shooter. It’s like the problem Nintendo has with Zelda: Change too little and it’s derivative, change too much and it ceases to be Zelda. Better to start fresh with a new series, or, even better, a new standalone title which will never get a sequel.

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