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Old 05-24-2009, 11:34 AM  
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Half Life 2, Episode 3

I'm starting this thread now for no other reason than I'm like a crack addict in a crack house with no lighter in regards to waiting for this game. I may just go play through the Orange Box, yet again, to get my fix.

We can use this thread for updates, leaks, all that stuff until it gets here.
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Old 05-24-2009, 11:49 AM   #2
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Half-Life 2: Episode 3
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Half-Life 2: Episode Three is the third and final instalment in a series of episodes following Half-Life 2. It is currently in development and Valve have said we may see something from it at the end of this year. The project has been labelled 'highly ambitious' by Doug Lombardi, and release is still a while off. We are most likely to see something from Valve at next years E3 conference.

What we know, and what to expect?

We know the episode is going to be set in the northern reaches of the world of Half-Life, these will be cold places filled with ice and snow, oh and a Borealis.

The Borealis is that great ship that disappeared during some experimentation by the same sort of scientists that caused the Resonance Cascade from the original Half-Life. From what we have seen from Portal and the previous Episodes the Borealis is a scientific ship that was involved in teleportation tests at the Aperture Science labs. Something went wrong which led to the ship disappearing completely from its original location. It is only during the events of Episode 2 that we find out that it has returned, this time in the coldest reaches of the world.

Speculation

The question that will be answered (we hope) in Episode 3 is what happened to the ship, did it appear instantly after the experiment in the north? If that is so then why haven’t we heard about it until now? Is it simply down to the fact that the resistance couldn’t detect it?

We also know the scientists on the Borealis performed their experiments and the ship got sent somewhere, maybe Xen? Or maybe it just disappeared out of the time loop? We know that during the course of Half-Life 2 Gordon takes seven days to travel from Nova Prospekt back to City 17, a 'slow teleport' according to Dr Kleiner.

The Borealis contains something that Eli wishes Gordon to destroy for fear of a repeat of the events at Black Mesa, Dr Kleiner feels it is destined to be a useful asset in the future. The differing views between these two eminent scientists is intriguing. Is caution the best bet, or should Gordon use whatever he can find on the ship to aid in the destruction of the Combine once and for all?

Flora, Fauna and Everything Else

Enough of this speculation, Episode 3 will be set in an area of snow and ice, this is going to pose some new gameplay challenges and maybe even some new aliens. Who knows whether Ant-lions can survive in the cold? Headcrabs and Zombies are a given, but many other creatures may be different.

How will the death of such a key character as Eli impact on the story, and more importantly for some, on the relationship between Gordon and Alyx. What role is the G-Man going to play, he seems to be getting a bit impatient with things not progressing as he wants them to. His message he gives to Alyx, the same message he gave to Eli back in Black Mesa may be a sign that he foresees grave peril in the future, or maybe he is just toying with Alyx.

How things are likely to develop...

When we find out about the Borealis in Episode 2 this is from the transmission Alyx intercepted from the Combine. Therefore we know the Combine have located the vessel. They were extremely aggressive and put a lot of resources into attempting to prevent this transmission getting back to the resistance and have hunted Alyx desperately since the interception. We can assume the combine want to use the Borealis and Aperture Science's possible developments in teleportation / portal technology to bring extra troops to Earth to recapture it or evacuate. The latter...seems unlikely!

We have been promised the first concrete details on Episode 3 sometime towards the end of the year, however we have already seen some early concept art for the game. The image from the ‘Into The Pixel’ exhibition shows Gordon challenging a Combine Advisor in a heavily industrialised environment and earlier concept art from PC Gamer US shows further Advisors around the Borealis. So expect a hugely exciting episode 3 with the same fantastic Half-life formula with a mighty cold twist.

http://www.halflife2.net/half-life-2-episode-3
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Old 05-24-2009, 12:36 PM   #3
Count Zarth Count Zarth is offline
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It's gonna be ****ing awesome.

The nice thing is that I love the HL2 engine. There's zero need to update the technology. To me it has everything needed for great gameplay. **** Crysis.

Also, the setting lends itself to a "The Thing" type atmosphere. I want to be stumbling through frozen industrial complexes with headcrab zombies popping out of the woodwork.
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Old 05-24-2009, 12:50 PM   #4
Count Zarth Count Zarth is offline
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BTW, final episode of Full-Life Consequences is out!

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Old 05-24-2009, 01:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Claythan View Post
It's gonna be ****ing awesome.

The nice thing is that I love the HL2 engine. There's zero need to update the technology. To me it has everything needed for great gameplay. **** Crysis.

Also, the setting lends itself to a "The Thing" type atmosphere. I want to be stumbling through frozen industrial complexes with headcrab zombies popping out of the woodwork.
Agree with the engine. The gameplay it provides is perfect for the Half Life storyline. With the third episode being arctic bound, maybe they had to make adjustments here and there to compensate. And I know nothing of what this game is going to be, but I'm willing to bet that the Combine have taken that Portal gun and expanded it, thus ensuring Gordon is going to end up in different locales, if not planets. It's gonna be great.

Hell, for as long as it has taken them to get this thing out, it BETTER be great.
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Old 05-24-2009, 02:20 PM   #6
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Trust in Valve. I don't know if there is a more reliable developer/publisher for PC.
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Old 05-25-2009, 01:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Claythan View Post
BTW, final episode of Full-Life Consequences is out!

LOL
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:07 AM   #8
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Wasn't sure exactly which HL2/Portal thread to put this in, but this is as good as any.

Quote:
You might have noticed Steam downloading an update for Portal and HL2 Episode 2 earlier. Just a routine patch, you probably thought. You’re wrong, stupid! Learn to be more paranoid, why don’t you? Important secrets are being revealed…

The update details said, simply, “Changed radio transmission frequency to comply with federal and state spectrum management regulations”, which sounded like some obscure audio fix to kowtow to some obscure health and safety law. It’s not. In fact, it’s a series of secret messages, which are activated by carrying an in-game radio to several in-game locations. Which is in itself a compelling and playful mystery, especially as the sounds played at those locations wibbled on about transmissions and data dumps – y’know, computery talk. Like, say, from a murderous AI that’s awakening again. Maybe. That’s only the half of it, though.

Terrifyingly industrious members of the Steam forum have ascertained that some of the sound files contain hidden images, visible when run through a Slow Scan Television (SSTV) application. There’s a growing list of links to the revealed images here – but all they serve to do is further the mystery. Equations, skulls, keyboard buttons – and, most tellingly, the Aperture Science logo. Expect further developments as this ingenious ARG continues to run its strange course, which is being documented in realtime here. Oh, that Valve lot really are clever bastards.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010...on/#more-26233
And a general summary of what has been found:

Quote:
So let me see if I have this straight:

Valve does a stealth update to portal with patch notes mentioning something about transmissions. There are now radios throughout the game that, when taken past certain points, send out a transmission containing morse code messages, which appear to involve usernames and passwords etc.

In addition, the sound files contain embedded images including numbers that make up an md5 sum, which resolves to a phone number that connects to a "GlaDOS" BBS which asks for a username and password. when you put in "backup" for both, the thing goes crazy with garbled text from "C. Johnson" from aperture science and some old school ANSI images of portal and possibly half-life related business.

Is that about right?

Oh and the GlaDOS version from the BBS is 3.11 which possibly corresponds to announcement Valve could make at GDC on March 11. Anything else?
INCREDIBLE
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:00 AM   #9
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Heh, very well done.
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:05 AM   #10
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Valve FTMFW.

Jesus.
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:06 AM   #11
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Valve, BioWare, Blizzard... all paragons of brilliant game development. Too bad the former and the latter take for #&%@ing EVAR to develop a new title!
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:09 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by HC_Chief View Post
Valve, BioWare, Blizzard... all paragons of brilliant game development. Too bad the former and the latter take for #&%@ing EVAR to develop a new title!
They all do. And they're never pressured by the publishers because the publishers know that you don't **** with the golden goose about to lay a golden egg, even if takes 8 ****ing years to lay it.
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:11 AM   #13
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They all do. And they're never pressured by the publishers because the publishers know that you don't **** with the golden goose about to lay a golden egg, even if takes 8 ****ing years to lay it.
that may change now that "we suck all that is good out of everything we touch" EA bought BioWare.
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:15 AM   #14
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that may change now that "we suck all that is good out of everything we touch" EA bought BioWare.
Activision and EA will not **** with Blizzard and BioWare respectively. Pretty sure those 2 studios can still do whatever they deem is necessary and the umbrellas are there just to give them funds and market the product.

Valve can live off their golden egg (STEAM) without ever worrying about anything ever again, I imagine.
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Old 03-02-2010, 01:57 PM   #15
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