Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Half-Life 2: Episode 4 (yes, four)

In case you've A) been living under a rock or B) just don't play video games, Half-Life 3 is the most anticipated video game in history. Period. Half-Life 1 was a great game. Half-Life 2 said, "Fuck being great, that ain't good enough," and melted most of our eyeballs right out of our skulls. Developer Gabe Newell is the Akira Kurosawa of video games, the Dostoevsky of video game technology. The reason I never give a scaled review of any games I write about on this blog is because Half-Life 2 is a ten and any other game ever made doesn't ever get higher than a nine—it's that good.

screenshots/test footage from Half-Life 2: Episode 4?

Soon after Half-Life 2 Gabe Newell promised us that instead of a fully fledged sequel we'd be getting episodic content. There was Half-Life 2: Episode One (I personally thought the main game was, technically, the first episode, but what do I know? I am not the genius-god known by many fans as "Gaben.") and shortly after that there was Episode Two, which ended on one hell of a cliffhanger and was no less remarkable than the gameplay before it.

Then? Nothing. And that was five years ago.

Today it's generally believed that Episode Three has been scrapped and we're going to get that full fledged sequel after all. But in case that's not the case, well, I'll refer to a possible (though unlikely) Episode 3 as Half-Life 3 for the sake of simplicity. So every other month or so I get an itch that can only be scratched by Googling the recent news for "Half-Life 3" and I leap into the usual rabbit hole of rumors and all-around made-up bullshit (the latter of which can be quite funny, actually), but today I was pleasantly surprised to find what at first seemed like a joke, but isn't...

It's concept art from Half-Life 2: Episode Four. FOUR! (See video above.) If you're wondering what happened to Episode Three bear with me. Valve always planned to make Episode Three—that part is undisputed unless you also believe the Earth is flat and aliens populated the planet. And to presumably make their episodic content come out even quicker they enlisted outside help to work on the game while they developed Episode 3 in-house.

If you want to know more then a good place to start is Half-Life Wikia. Personally, I think I need to stop searching for Half-Life 3 rumors and get a full life... or just go to bed and repeat the search in the morning. It's getting close, I tell you. I can feel it....

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