Up For Debate - It's Been Too Long Since Half-Life 2, the Hype is Dead

Written by Stuart Thomas on Sun, Dec 23, 2018 10:19 AM
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It’s been 14 years 1 month since Half-Life 2 first graced our digital shelves. It introduced Steam to the world, much to the annoyance of fans at the time, and it also revolutionised first-person shooter design. We got two expansion packs and then all was quiet. The years have ticked by. Hype for Half-Life 2: Episode 3 rose and fell. Hope for Half-Life 3 pushed us to the brink of insanity for a decade. But now we’ve entered a world of acceptance. I think a lot of Half-Life fans have been forced to make peace with the fact there will probably never be another Half-Life game. And if there were, it could never hope up to expectations.

But it’s been so long now that the Half-Life franchise has fallen from grace. Adoration for the franchise has slowly ebbed away. There’s a whole generation of gamers that can only look at Half-Life and Half-Life 2 as museum pieces. Odd curios of the way games used to be. These hallowed games probably don’t even agree with modern tastes at all.

Off the back of the deeply controversial Artifact, Valve has some soul-searching to do. This was a studio that built its name on sublime craft, an element that has arguably fallen by the wayside in the pursuit of ever-deeper pools of DOTA cash. Should Valve want to win over its old-school fans once again, it’s going to need something magnificent. There’s the feeling that even Half-Life 3 wouldn’t quite cut it at this point. That Half-Life 3 couldn’t be fresh, or ambitious enough, to warrant all those years of waiting. It’s understandable, over 14 years since Half-Life 2.

This isn’t a problem exclusive to Valve though. Leave a franchise dormant for far too long and it’s in danger of being eviscerated from the public consciousness. Back in the day, the System Shock series was as highly regarded as Half-Life. Now? Somebody check System Shock 3’s pulse. Half-Life 3 won’t go quite this low, it’ll always make a splash, but the tsunami that would’ve been felt five years ago had HL3 been announced has already given way to sizeable wave.

Popular game franchises need some loving, basically. We need to be reminded of their greatness every so often or we just stop caring. Borderlands is another series that’s in massive danger of suffering such a fate. But, it can also go the other way. Ubisoft saturated the market with Assassin’s Creed, forcing a year off. Tomb Raider outstayed its welcome, then the reboot repeated the same trick. There’s a careful balancing act at play between giving us more of what we love or leaving it to die entirely.

If Valve even still cares about the Half-Life franchise, they must be careful. Half-Life is rapidly becoming the franchise that grouchy old men yell about at clouds, reminding anyone who'll care to listen how it great it used to be back in their day.

What do you think, is it now or never for Half-Life? Do you reckon the hype for Half-Life 3 has died down? Let us know what you think! 

How hyped would you be if Half-Life 3 was announced?

Our favourite comments:

I played HL2 and its episodes again a month ago and it really kicked me back in the sad mode that there is no Episode 3 or HL3. :(

Virate

I played the both games a little over 10 years ago , i hated every second of it , both games were rather dull and not interesting finishing them felt more of a burden than a satisfaction. So if they announced it today i wouldnt care

Andrej997

It's almost like RDR that we'll never see on PC ..

By the time it does, nobody will care. There are other fishes in the sea. Ugly ones, but still. Fishes.

EaglePhoenix

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11:07 Dec-28-2018

Seeing that most people make anything about HL3 nothing more than a joke now, there won't really be much hype because people just don't like waiting too long especially with how HL2 ended. I lost the anticipation long ago like everyone else but if it does come out then that's fine I guess, another "new game to play and replace with another game" :3

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11:38 Dec-27-2018

Still haven't played through the Half Life games. The original games haven't aged that well so I'm playing through the Cinematic Mod at the moment. Going to play Black Mesa after Xen has released. Not a huge excitement for HL3 so far. The boat segment is so damn boring and most of all the gun play is terrible.

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12:02 Dec-26-2018

They would break the world if they'd release hl3

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18:10 Dec-25-2018

Because loot boxes is dying? They would bother to make these games only because their main Revenue is threatned.

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19:24 Dec-25-2018

Their main revenue is Steam. I'm pretty sure lootboxes in their games are just cherries on top.

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21:59 Dec-25-2018

More life backup if anything else fails, plus further exposure to their brand on top of that a hook for people to get steam... yeah mostly a backup and marketing material.

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13:44 Dec-26-2018

I am pretty sure Valve could survive on Steam alone just fine. They keep 30% of every game sale on biggest online store out there and biggest by the large part. Lootboxes are just bonus to get them filthy rich. And they will find new ways, microtransactions aren't dead, only lootboxes.

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21:20 Dec-24-2018

I dont care about HL3 anymore, because even if it releases, i think it wont be that good, happened to many game franchises this year, those games looks empty, some are just cashgrabs, full of MTX and lootboxes, broken and unoptimized games.

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07:51 Dec-24-2018

I'd go with Average... and a good (or maybe not..) example would be the 'Medal of Honor' franchise. No one cared when it returned. And I don't think anyone will in the future either, if it ever make a comeback that is.

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06:52 Dec-24-2018

Half-Life (2 specially) game (whole series really) will always be in my heart and in my top 10 of all time no matter what happens with HL2-Ep3 or HL3... hope will never die for me tbh! It's one of those special games that you either love or hate, there is no in between. I have to say this tho, it is really sad this has happened to Half-Life series... it's tragic :[


Also i virtually never go with the hype of any kind, i go with my heart and mind specially in this time we live!

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23:00 Dec-23-2018

Valve is an idiotic company when it comes to producing singleplayer games

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08:44 Dec-24-2018

They just make money from Steam and don't care for games at all.

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16:53 Dec-23-2018

I would be extremely hyped just as everyone who played it probably, but in all seriousness most people on the internet are just embracing the meme and probably never played any HL so the result isn't that suprising. In the end it's still a series that ends on a massive cliffhanger that should've been ended long ago.

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16:10 Dec-23-2018

They could do at least a webcomic, light novel, extended script, short movie, we don't need a game. We need a good story.

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14:32 Dec-23-2018

I played HL2 and its episodes again a month ago and it really kicked me back in the sad mode that there is no Episode 3 or HL3. :(

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14:28 Dec-23-2018

I can honestly say that I don't get hyped. Perhaps it's due to the years that have gone by, but I look for substance more than graphics.


On the subject of Half Life. I've played all Half Life games and they were good fun games for the time, but there was never that OH MY GOD moment for me. I had the same experience with Halo. Also I consider Half Life to be better than Halo (talking about past titles here, not modern ones).

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13:33 Dec-23-2018

I played the both games a little over 10 years ago , i hated every second of it , both games were rather dull and not interesting finishing them felt more of a burden than a satisfaction. So if they announced it today i wouldnt care

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12:47 Dec-23-2018

If HL3 got announced, as much as I want to say I wouldn't be hyped at all, I know myself better than that and I would be hyped. That is IF it got announced. As it stands, chances of that are pretty much at 0. I mean HL is dead in all means, except Valve officially acknowledging it.

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12:49 Dec-23-2018

The only way I see HL3 to happen is because Valve wants to sell us new platform. I mean HL2 got us to use Steam, despite people at the time hating the fact that you need Steam to run HL2. So unless some similar situation pops up, HL3 is pretty much not happening.

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12:50 Dec-23-2018

Also many times I see people citing reason of it "never living up to hype", which I don't believe is the case. First because Valve at least wasn't company that would shy away from challenge. And two, HL2 also "couldn't live up to hype", yet it did. Valve can pull it off if they want to.

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12:52 Dec-23-2018

But they don't. Even Gabe himself on Reddit AMA said how he doesn't like Half-Life do to hard decisions that had to be made. And as much as Valve tries to give developers freedom, you can't go against what your boss wants and doesn't want, it will effect it. Shame, but then again you can do nothing about it.

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12:47 Dec-23-2018

It's almost like RDR that we'll never see on PC ..


By the time it does, nobody will care. There are other fishes in the sea.
Ugly ones, but still. Fishes.

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11:44 Dec-23-2018

K

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11:35 Dec-23-2018

The only way I would be hyped was if it was announced. (and that'd be maximum hype)
Otherwise, I'll consider it a dead franchise.

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10:58 Dec-23-2018

Hype has been dead for a while, but due to the meme the game effectively became, if Valve were to announce HL3 the hype train would start in full swing immediately.

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10:26 Dec-23-2018

I think it's pretty safe to say the franchise is dead. The original writing team and devs are all but gone, the HL3 script leak didn't help matters and really, the most incriminating thing, is the fact they didn't even acknowledge Half Life's 20th anniversary when it happened.

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16:47 Dec-23-2018

Ah.. that's right, 1998, November 19 to be exact (in North America anyway). Valve didn't do a damned thing to celebrate the game that put them on everyone's radar :( It just came and went... that's it.

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10:22 Dec-23-2018

I was never hyped to begin with, after the huge hype for half life 2 when I was a kid and the disappointment it was when it came out and I played it, haven't even thought there would be a third one due to how crap hl2 is/was, but apparently most people liked it...

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10:39 Dec-23-2018

I don't know how game was back then, but I played it few years back and quit it half way because I just couldn't get into it. It felt like playing a mod.

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10:57 Dec-23-2018

It was the same then as now, just meh, mediocre in everything.

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