Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed?

In a surprise move, a post on Marclaidlaw.com from former Valve writer Marc Laidlaw offers long-suffering Half-Life fans some closure with a general story outline of Half-Life 2: Episode 3, giving a sense for how the unfinished DLC trilogy was supposed to conclude (thanks MeanJim). It's not clear if this is authorized, as the names of the characters are all changed, presumably to protect the guilty (the post is written from the PoV of Gertrude Fremont, Ph.D). Further, the site is now returning "connection refused" errors, but this may simply be due the server being overwhelmed by demand, but the Internet Wayback Machine has a cached copy. Also, addressing both the site's difficulties and the name alterations, the article is now also preserved on GitHub with all the names properly replaced with Valve's IP, which possibly puts the post in more jeopardy of being shut down. Thanks Valve News Network.
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27.
 
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed?
Aug 25, 2017, 14:44
27.
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed? Aug 25, 2017, 14:44
Aug 25, 2017, 14:44
 
From marc's twtter
Marc Laidlaw @marc_laidlaw
·
12h
My website's down for now. I guess fanfic is popular, even a genderswapped snapshot of a dream I had many years ago.

He tweets later that he is now just a fan of the series, nothing more.
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26.
 
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed?
Aug 25, 2017, 14:42
26.
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed? Aug 25, 2017, 14:42
Aug 25, 2017, 14:42
 
there's been leak after leak over the years with anonymous employees all telling the same story - gabe newell doesn't want half life 3 made, despite the fairy tale "valve is a totally flat structure!!!" thing that always gets parroted.

the last one i saw by the funhaus guys a year or two back expanded on it further by saying a half life 3 project started to gel around 2010 but apparently the rabid over-reaction to the mass effect 3 ending caused gabe newell to declare it was too risky, among other factors. seeing a fan-base completely turn on a franchise and devalue the property, etc etc.

he probably feels pretty comfortable in that assessment now after seeing the mass effect franchise completely destroyed and 'retired' after the complete fucking hysterics people were in over andromeda.
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25.
 
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed?
Aug 25, 2017, 14:01
25.
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed? Aug 25, 2017, 14:01
Aug 25, 2017, 14:01
 
Half-Life was the game that showed me video games could be just as powerful a medium as a book or a movie, and this is how it ends.

I'm actually appreciative of this leak. At least it's some form of closure for the series (haven't read it yet, will have to do so later).
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24.
 
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed?
Aug 25, 2017, 13:56
24.
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed? Aug 25, 2017, 13:56
Aug 25, 2017, 13:56
 
I would say HL3 confirmed, but we all know that's never going to happen. There's just no ROI in single player campaigns. Valve is sadly now all about franchises it can milk forever.
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23.
 
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed?
Aug 25, 2017, 13:42
23.
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed? Aug 25, 2017, 13:42
Aug 25, 2017, 13:42
 
Citizen P wrote on Aug 25, 2017, 13:28:
I think Valve's opinion on HL has been stated a few times, in as much if the technology allows them to bring about a new experience they would release the game. As I recall the "technology" in HL1 was access to environment audio (Creative Labs EAX, I believe it was?) and some video card features that didn't exist before, and HL2 was released on their new Source engine and include physics gameplay. HL3? Probably existed to a point with 3D - and was decided that wasn't the right path. I'm okay with an unfinished story, at this point it's been so long.

Agreed but it just sucks because THIS is the IP that made me a died-in-the-wool PC gamer. Thanks to Marc Laidlaw this IP had a story like none other. It was true new wave science fiction without cornball dialogue that slammed you over the head to get its point across.

Heart = Broken
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22.
 
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed?
Aug 25, 2017, 13:40
22.
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed? Aug 25, 2017, 13:40
Aug 25, 2017, 13:40
 
Beamer wrote on Aug 25, 2017, 13:27:
CJ_Parker wrote on Aug 25, 2017, 12:00:
Valve has no respect for the HL franchise so why should I? Fuck that game.

I was going to comment that duh, you have no respect for anything, but realized that's wrong. You have enormous respect for intangible, pointless things (i.e., your own opinion of what something should be), and absolutely zero respect for actual products and, more importantly, the people that made them.

Were HL3 to come out, you'd inevitably make a thousand posts about how terrible it was from the moment it was announced, and how stupid the people making it are and the people anticipating it or enjoying it are.

You're likely a big reason why there is no HL3. The original team got paid enough that they didn't need the trouble of angry fans telling them how awful their game is. The new people at Valve don't need anyone telling them they ruined the legacy. So it's better to let HL2 stay as it is, fondly remembered (though there are some that still say it was far inferior to HL), especially when it isn't needed for the good of the company.
It's not all his fault, millions of other clueless entitled whiny man-babies are also to blame.
A mask is not a political statement.
It's an IQ test. It's a compassion test. It's a decency test. It's a social responsibility test.
Cover Your Eyes for even more protection.
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21.
 
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed?
Aug 25, 2017, 13:35
21.
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed? Aug 25, 2017, 13:35
Aug 25, 2017, 13:35
 
Dear folks at Valve... you got the date wrong. This isn't 2007, it's twenty-seventeen already.
Anytime. Anywhere. Anyone.
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20.
 
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed?
Aug 25, 2017, 13:28
20.
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed? Aug 25, 2017, 13:28
Aug 25, 2017, 13:28
 
I think Valve's opinion on HL has been stated a few times, in as much if the technology allows them to bring about a new experience they would release the game. As I recall the "technology" in HL1 was access to environment audio (Creative Labs EAX, I believe it was?) and some video card features that didn't exist before, and HL2 was released on their new Source engine and include physics gameplay. HL3? Probably existed to a point with 3D - and was decided that wasn't the right path. I'm okay with an unfinished story, at this point it's been so long.
19.
 
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed?
Aug 25, 2017, 13:27
Beamer
 
19.
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed? Aug 25, 2017, 13:27
Aug 25, 2017, 13:27
 Beamer
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Aug 25, 2017, 12:00:
Valve has no respect for the HL franchise so why should I? Fuck that game.

I was going to comment that duh, you have no respect for anything, but realized that's wrong. You have enormous respect for intangible, pointless things (i.e., your own opinion of what something should be), and absolutely zero respect for actual products and, more importantly, the people that made them.

Were HL3 to come out, you'd inevitably make a thousand posts about how terrible it was from the moment it was announced, and how stupid the people making it are and the people anticipating it or enjoying it are.

You're likely a big reason why there is no HL3. The original team got paid enough that they didn't need the trouble of angry fans telling them how awful their game is. The new people at Valve don't need anyone telling them they ruined the legacy. So it's better to let HL2 stay as it is, fondly remembered (though there are some that still say it was far inferior to HL), especially when it isn't needed for the good of the company.
18.
 
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed?
Aug 25, 2017, 12:53
18.
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed? Aug 25, 2017, 12:53
Aug 25, 2017, 12:53
 
So much lost fun in this. How were they going to integrate the portal gun? What was the story with the ship and the time travel and who is Gordan Freeman? Damn it all to hell!
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17.
 
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed?
Aug 25, 2017, 12:42
17.
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed? Aug 25, 2017, 12:42
Aug 25, 2017, 12:42
 
Beamer wrote on Aug 25, 2017, 11:23:
Yup, the final paragraph is clearly about valve.

Good supposition, Beamer; I agree. I think Laidlaw posting this is a goodbye F.U. to Valve. He's obviously proud of his writing and is disappointed the game wasn't made. I think the posting is a childish, unprofessional act, but the old Valve team certainly has cause to be frustrated. Laidlaw needs to put Valve behind him and move on. Hopefully for him, this post makes it possible. (This, and the dumptrucks full of money he likely made.)

There are only two substantial locations in this story: 1) the Arctic Combine base, and 2) onboard the Borealis ship bouncing around time from which the three characters cannot disembark. It doesn't seem like much of a setting for a full-fledged game. It looks like this was intended as another five-hour episode rather than a HL3.
Victory needs no explanation; defeat allows none.
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16.
 
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed?
Aug 25, 2017, 12:41
16.
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed? Aug 25, 2017, 12:41
Aug 25, 2017, 12:41
 
Tipsy McStagger wrote on Aug 25, 2017, 12:34:
The problem with more half-life is it'll never live up to the expectations and hype.

And they don't need the money so why bother shooting yourself in the foot?

In addition to this, maybe there isn't enough of a team at Valve who is interested in doing this project. Not only that, but the team has to be of high enough calibre that the game they produce is as good as HL2, preferably better. Since HL2 was already a high point in FPS gaming, coupled with extreme fan demand and speculation, I think it would be quite difficult to get the quality of the game high enough that people would be satisfied with it.
15.
 
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed?
Aug 25, 2017, 12:41
15.
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed? Aug 25, 2017, 12:41
Aug 25, 2017, 12:41
 
This feels to me at least, like some closure. Its at least something. Cause we know we will never get Half-Life 2 Episode 3, or Half-Life 3.

I don't think Valve will do anything, he has the argument that its fan-fiction, even though its from the former lead writer.
14.
 
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed?
Aug 25, 2017, 12:34
14.
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed? Aug 25, 2017, 12:34
Aug 25, 2017, 12:34
 
The problem with more half-life is it'll never live up to the expectations and hype.

And they don't need the money so why bother shooting yourself in the foot?
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13.
 
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed?
Aug 25, 2017, 12:17
13.
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed? Aug 25, 2017, 12:17
Aug 25, 2017, 12:17
 
ViRGE wrote on Aug 25, 2017, 11:23:
In practice, I don't expect the final game would go like this, because rarely does a game stick exactly to the script. But I could easily see this being a Half-Life game, and a fun one at that.

Knowing Valve, something would have happened near the original release and they'd scrap it and start over, eventually releasing something better 2 years later.

Since Valve has no interest in Half-Life anymore, I wish they'd give Laidlaw the go-ahead to write it and let the team behind Black Mesa make it. At least they run on time similar Valve time, so it could work.
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12.
 
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed?
Aug 25, 2017, 12:16
12.
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed? Aug 25, 2017, 12:16
Aug 25, 2017, 12:16
 

These leaks are totally unacceptable, heads will roll.
A mask is not a political statement.
It's an IQ test. It's a compassion test. It's a decency test. It's a social responsibility test.
Cover Your Eyes for even more protection.
Avatar 58135
11.
 
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed?
Aug 25, 2017, 12:11
11.
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed? Aug 25, 2017, 12:11
Aug 25, 2017, 12:11
 
Awesome. It's basically an outline of the story and locations, but with a little imagination you can totally see the flow of gameplay would work. From slower exploration parts to more dynamic cutsceney sections and various combat scenarios in between. It is completely believable to me, which makes it all the more bittersweet.
10.
 
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed?
Aug 25, 2017, 12:00
10.
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed? Aug 25, 2017, 12:00
Aug 25, 2017, 12:00
 
Capella wrote on Aug 25, 2017, 10:58:
Why can't they just make the damn episode already? I have never understood what the hell happened for them not to finish this.

It is much too late now, of course, but it is definitely puzzling why the fuck they did not simply wrap it up back then especially with that major cliffhanger at the end of episode 2.

Episode 1 + 2 were pretty short and just more of the same so they should have been able to crank out a third episode with (relatively speaking) minimal effort.

Even if the sales of episode 1 and 2 were way down from the original game to the point that the episodic format would have to be considered a "failure", I doubt that it would have ruined Valve if they would have made a third episode for closure.

Besides, they could have cashed in on more complete versions (the now even more orange box or something).

I have long stopped giving a fuck. Valve has no respect for the HL franchise so why should I? Fuck that game.
There have been many more, better story-driven FPS in the meantime. HL was special back then because it was more than just run&gun but it has long since lost that USP.

There are so many great gaming universes and stories to explore nowadays. I don't need to know how the (getting lamer with each iteration anyway) story of Gertrude vs. the aliens would continue. Yawn.
9.
 
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed?
Aug 25, 2017, 11:55
9.
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed? Aug 25, 2017, 11:55
Aug 25, 2017, 11:55
 
Marc Laidlaw, the hero we need.
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8.
 
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed?
Aug 25, 2017, 11:23
Beamer
 
8.
Re: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Story Revealed? Aug 25, 2017, 11:23
Aug 25, 2017, 11:23
 Beamer
 
Nailbender wrote on Aug 25, 2017, 10:14:
OK people, this is all the HL3 we're going to get.

Yup, the final paragraph is clearly about valve.

Given how well Dota and cs do, along with Steam, and how the response to nearly any game with higher than modest expectations is immediate and vulgar backlash, I get why they wouldn't want to return. They don't need the money, they can't live up to expectations, and there'd likely only be misery. Nothing could live up to the expectations. Maybe a decade ago, not now.
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