What Happened To 'Half Life 3'? Archived Prototypes Featured RTS And Adventure Game With 'Actual Actors'

Will 'Half Life 2: Episode Two' finally get a sequel thanks to J.J. Abrams? Valve

The Half Life franchise holds a special place in my heart. After almost a decade since Half Life 2 Episode 2, many gamers are still holding their breaths for Episode 3 or Half Life 3. The possibility of a sequel gets slimmer with every passing year.

But this isn't to say Valve didn't at least try to make the game. Via a video podcast on Game Informer, executive editor Andrew Reiner shared some insight he received when he investigated what happened to Half Life 3:

"I was actually chasing a story on Half Life 3, trying to figure out what happened. I talked to one developer who actually gave me legitimate information and told me it was a hot mess. There were so many different prototypes that were small teams – four or five people working on them – that just never got off the ground.

"They said two of the directions they were going in... one was going to be an RTS [real-time strategy] game for Half Life 3 or Episode Three, whatever they were going to call it. The other one involved live actors, and it was going to be a new kind of adventure action game with actual actors... Apparently they were working on these things."

It sounds like Valve was open to new ideas and eager to create something truly innovative for HL3. According to Reiner, by "actual actors," he meant Night Trap but far more advanced. However, it would also be interesting to imagine Valve working with actors in motion capture suits to add realism to the game. If that was also an idea, then Half Life 3 and Naughty Dog's original Uncharted: Drake's Fortune could have been pioneering similar technologies at the same time. 

With the success of Dota 2 and its Steam digital sales platform, Valve no longer needs to develop a single-player game like Half Life anymore.

"I reached out to ten to fifteen people who worked for the company and they just didn't want to talk about it all," Reiner added. "Dead end after dead end after dead end."

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