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.