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Valve - Hell freezes over - Valve announce Half Life: Alyx VR

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I'd argue that the Grunts, Elites, Hunters (and even to a lesser extent the Flood with their crazy vertical leaps and tendency to lose arms) all had a genuine physical presence in the weight of their animation and their behaviour in combat that was lacking in PC FPS before that. Also there was unscripted enemy vehicles compared to the scripted helicopters and tanks that rolled on a set path swivelling their turret round I'd seen in Half Life and Hidden and Dangerous.

I agree 100%.

Pretty sure you edited the post I quoted, because I don't remember any of that combat/gameplay stuff being there.

No, I didn't.

:P

ANYWAY,

HALF

LIFE

THREE

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Only for Crysis 2 to 'prawn' them both :P

CHOO FACKING PRAWNS!

Sorry, I should stop using injokes between friends in casual conversation. Owned and pwned have long been replaced by 'facking prawned' between me and some friends, since we saw district 9 and made lots of jokes about Wiikus facking prawning everyone. You should use it, its satisfying to say.

Ok, so. There was a big leap in setting from HL1 to HL2, which jumped around quite a lot and continued to do so in the episodes. If we do see HL3, do you think we'll see a similar jump to another location? The episodes were heading towards an aperture laboratories owned tanker stuck in some ice somewhere if I remember correctly, perhaps that'll be the jumping off point? Or will it jump another few years into the future and fill you in with environmental exposition as HL2 did?

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I know Halo's combat pisses all over Half Life 2's, but I'll admit I've always found single-player Halo quite boring. I'm not sure what it is exactly: it just doesn't feel like you're really in an adventure, whereas Half Life 2 mostly has a great sense of surprise and variation. In Halo, it can feel like you might as well be playing a combat simulator in whatever environment, because the rest somehow feels unimportant or arbitrary. But then I play games to be immersed in a virtual world for a period - I'm not really so interested in mastering certain mechanics or in displaying some sort of gaming athleticism.

I think both games are flawed, though. I hope Half Life 3 manages to be less of a linear experience without simply becoming a sandbox game or without loosing that tightness that Half Life games have. But perhaps I'm asking the impossible there...

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Someone should set up a Half Life vs Halo Combat thread so we don't have to read through all this rubbish!

Why is that getting dragged up and chewed up again in here?

Anyway that 'freeman' image in the first post looks decidedly un-valve to me.

Are there any reliable sources suggesting this HL3 speculation has any meat to it?

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Are there any reliable sources suggesting this HL3 speculation has any meat to it?

No, the image in the first post has been debunked as a fake.

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Only by equally likely to be fake images of mailings from Gabe to fan sites - even though he usually takes weeks to respond to anything.

It's gonna be Half Life 3, I can feel it in my waters. There has to be a reason why they teased a bit of episode 3 and then it went completely off the radar for two years. Maybe they just can't be assed? :P

I'm gonna mail Gabe and sort this out once and for all. Me and him go way back

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Only by equally likely to be fake images of mailings from Gabe to fan sites - even though he usually takes weeks to respond to anything.

Man, Eurogamer are slow on the uptake :P

Besides, he said it isn't episode 3.

Which is fine, because we're in the Half Life 3 thread.

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Take it to the Half Life 2: Episode 3 thread

I've updated my avatar in readiness for the announcement.

Got my reply from Gabe - told you go way back:

yodog.jpg

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So what would be the neat idea that made a brand new Half Life a necessity.

For Half Life 2 it was facial animation and gravity gun physics....

Can't even guess at a gameplay concept that would be beyond source.

I hope it has an open world design rather than standard levels, and combines adventure elements with combat in a way being expereimented with by Rockstar for LA Noire. In fact, I hope gun combat is far far less prevalent as it was the one thing Half Life 2 didn't manage too well.

A repressed city that wasn't apocalyptic - something with crowd AI more sophisticated than Assassins Creed - where Gordon Freeman was a kind of non-punk Neo heading a real revolution. That would be nice.

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As far as technology goes, I think it's pretty safe to assume particle effects will be a big addition. Not entirely sure how that would translate into gameplay, but perhaps you could have things like areas swathed in poisonous fog that you could clear a path through using grenades and other methods of displacing the air. I suppose it depends how efficiently they can realise such things and the minimum spec they're targeting; I can't say I follow the Steam hardware surveys, but Valve must pay attention when it comes to gauging the viability of raising the technical bar.

In a similar vein perhaps they could have singularities/anomalies that affected gravity, with the player having to curve projectiles around corners to blow up ubiquitous explosive barrels to break down doors, that sort of thing. Physics isn't just about boxes falling over realistically.

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Maybe there'll be crazy bits with the portal gun?

Edit: e.g. opening holes up under enemies, bringing them closer to you in order to kill them but risking death yourself, dumping mines on bad guys etc. Imagine if the enemy had one too, that'd be a whole new steez. Mentalness

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It wouldn't surprise me to see artificial intelligence being a big focus for Valve in something like HL3. Building upon and merging their Director AI concept in L4D with a revolutionary NPC AI system that together result in unparalleled awesome...

...or another Trespasser. Gordon Freeman's boneless noodle arm to be unveiled at E3 2010.

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It wouldn't surprise me to see artificial intelligence being a big focus for Valve in something like HL3. Building upon and merging their Director AI concept in L4D with a revolutionary NPC AI system that together result in unparalleled awesome...

...or another Trespasser. Gordon Freeman's boneless noodle arm to be unveiled at E3 2010.

That would be quite a step down from his current limited powers of telekinesis.

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voice control.

There you go I said it.

That and shit hot particle FX.

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Rolling the L4D AI director in to some degree sounds like a good idea. Enough that the player gets a decent challenge suited to their own skill. The AI needs to be better though, I think we can all agree on that. I thought the hunter AI in episode 2 was pretty good, so that's a start.

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So what would be the neat idea that made a brand new Half Life a necessity.

For Half Life 2 it was facial animation and gravity gun physics....

Can't even guess at a gameplay concept that would be beyond source.

I hope it has an open world design rather than standard levels, and combines adventure elements with combat in a way being expereimented with by Rockstar for LA Noire. In fact, I hope gun combat is far far less prevalent as it was the one thing Half Life 2 didn't manage too well.

A repressed city that wasn't apocalyptic - something with crowd AI more sophisticated than Assassins Creed - where Gordon Freeman was a kind of non-punk Neo heading a real revolution. That would be nice.

The idea for Half Life 2 was "do everything that Half Life 1 did better", animation, story, and so on. So Half Life 3 will probably be HL2++.

Really bemused at the suggestions for sandbox, procedurally generated stuff though. Valve, like Blizzard, are a company that works for years hand-sculpting a few hours of content, I mean look at this thread!

Really though, this stuff is why I don't really want a Half Life 3, and want them to wrap up the story with 2. We now that whatever they'll do it'll have a mix of different gameplay types with a focus on situational storytelling and set pieces and likely be set within industrial areas :lol: So I don't really see why they need to keep iterating on a franchise, when any new IP they make would be successful.

I mean Half Life 2 is pretty much a different setting than the first. The characters that link the two were never actual characters in the first, just generic models (and most of the characters in 2 weren't planned to be linked to 1, like Alyx or Eli), and the setting and antagonists are different. There are shared elements, but they're pretty tenuous, and the game just as easily could have been it's own IP with very little fiddling.

The story of HL2 is "the plucky little planet that could" and overthrew the pan-dimensional evil empire, and even in victory Earth is fucked, population is a fraction of what it was, the ecosystem is fucked by incredibly voracious wildlife (you can't swim in the oceans). It's like in Children of Men, "too late, the world already went to shit". Just going "the combine are back", or "the world is now even more fucked" with a third game just gets silly.

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If HL was about the G-Man and the antimass-spectrometer incident, and HL2 was about the Combine, then surely HL3 will be about something else entirely.

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Half Life 3 would be decent for me if you could just play HL2 but with decent combat, of course, and you play as the Combine.

I hated every single 'good' character in that game. Gunning them all down would be tip top.

Except the robot, maybe, that was okay.

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It definitely will be Half-Life 3 this surprise, because what else could it be? The thing I find slightly tiring is that, like many other games companies, they feel the need to announce a surprise rather than just actually surprising everyone and annoucing it without prior warning.

And Gabe didn't say Episode 3 won't be announced, he just said that's not what the surprise is.

And Half-Life 3 will silence any doubters. We've had a generation and a half of consoles since HL2 and numerous PC hardware cycles. It's gonna be fucking huge.

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According to the half-life Wiki, Newell has said he wants a greater emotional range in Episode 3, specifically to scare people.

This got me thinking two things. The horror setting expanded by L4D and its co-op nature never being attempted in Half-Life 2.

And the incredible lighting of Alan Wake.

Perhaps Halo sucessful co-op mode will influence valve. A horror story driven Half-Life with amazing lighting, eery outdoor environments, and some of the co-op mechanics perfected in L4D (sharing/healing/etc) so that Alyx is either computer or player controlled could be great.

And some really great seiges with destructable environments. And some real El Giante style monsters. Could be great.

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