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What Happened to Half Life

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What Happened to Half Life?

We are bringing to the table a franchise so popular, 
it’s on the borderline of having a cult following: Half Life.

One word can describe the magnitude of the game’s impact on the gaming industry: Revolutionary. 

At the time 
most games focused on killing the bad guys, 
finding a key of some sort,
and then heading towards the exit, onto the next level.
Half-life, on the other hand had,
 at its heart,
 a core of subtle storytelling,
 using the environment and an amazing implementation of physics 
to really capture the player’s attention.

You play the game as the always silent Gordon Freeman.
 You’re late to work
 and on a long tram ride to your job location deep within the Black Mesa facility.

 Once there, you equip your HEV suit to run an experiment,
 which goes horribly wrong and creates a portal to another dimension called “Xen”.
 You then fight your way through both aliens and humans alike,
navigating your way through the story.

In many ways, 
the (Half-life) franchise has inspired many games to follow along a similar path. 
Interaction with the environment for example:
in most games you'll find a clutter of objects you can bash and throw around.

The dialogue of the game is also unique, 
as Gordon Freeman himself says nothing while NPCs interact in conversation with you and others.

Probing further, there are no cut scenes to leave you sitting still while waiting for whatever is on screen to resolve. 

The game is not told to you as the player with cutscenes and alike, 
but you as the player are living the story that unfolds before your very eyes, able to still move around and interact with the environment.
Though the game does lock you into some locations while key moments happen,
it's still interesting to be able to interact with the environment during these key moments as if you were living through the action that unfolds.

As you play through the game, you can also interact with NPCs that can talk to you about what is happening, 
which is a real marvel, because you gain small bits of unique story details along the way as everything changes around you.

Looking to its origins, 
it’s very fitting we are uploading this video just 20 years after the release of this amazing game series.

 The very first half life debuted on November of 1998,
 and according the Gabe Newell became a surprise hit.
 The original budget only expected 180,000 in sales, 
but due to popularity spreading rapidly, it sold over 8 million copies by 2004.
This game even made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for being the Best Selling First Person Shooter of All Time for PC.

Half-life 2 followed five years later with Valve publishing a locked 1GB preload version on Steam in August of 2004.
Once the entire game was released in November, the game sold 680,000 copies over the course of a single year and continued to sell over 12 million copies WORLDWIDE by 2011.
As great a hit as its predecessor, 
Maximum PC awarded it an exaggerated, unprecedented 11 out of the normal 10. 
They praised Half Life 2 as "The Best game ever made!"

The game mixed physics puzzles,
survival horror, 
and even some platforming!
There is just an enormous amount of variety in the game.

We were also introduced to a new and loving friend: 
The Gravity Gun. 
With it, you could manipulate many objects in the game.
The gravity gun was so well received, that other games
such as Doom 3,
and Dead Space
integrated their own versions of the dynamic tool.

An enormous success in many aspects from start to finish,
but everyone has asked and continues to ask the question: 
"Where is Half life 3?" 
or even
"Where is Half life 2: Episode 3?". 

The lack of a follow-up stems from the fact that the game idea itself has been over-hyped.
The problem with such a successful game series taking its time,
means the probability of leaving fans extremely disappointed for the end result.

Valve has had a habit of teasing this game throughout the years,
through a 2012 interview mentioning Ricochet 2, a suspected code name for Halfe Life 3,
some leaked Calve mailing list information containing a group name for Half Life 3
and hidden dll files in DoTa 2 mentioning the game.

Valve does have a habit of never releasing a full 3rd installement for any game so far.
Team Fortress, Portal, DoTa, and Left For Dead, for example, have never seen 3rd installments.

Does this mean we will never see a Half life 3?

Not entirely,

Valve has been awfully silent lately, with no word about a new game release, or any work on an older series.

Maybe Valve has been lying in wait for physics engines and gaming hardware to catch up to their concepts of what they belive Half Life 3 should be. 

Maybe the issue is hardware and they’re waiting for improvements in VR equipment?

Gabe Newell has suggested that they have been seaking a way to make the Half Life series scarrier,
and maybe the perfection of VR is what they have been waiting on for this series to hit its final, perfect conclusion.
We may never know until they break that coded silence. 

And yet, perhaps the cries from the community are just what Valve wants to perfect the long awaited conclusion to the saga.

Questions have been left unanswered, 
characters are abandoned to the mercy of theory.
Will the millions of screaming fans get the answer they desire? 
Or will the curtain be dropped, 
only for dedicated gamers to resolve the most dull and predictable end?
Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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