Posts Tagged ‘Half Life 2: Episode 2’

Making The Orange Box: how 3 Valve games became 1

orangeboxhead

The Orange Box is one of the strangest quirks of gaming history. Never before had a developer released three brand new, entirely separate games at the same time in one package, and thanks to digital distribution, it probably won’t happen again. What makes The Orange Box truly remarkable though is that it contained two of the most-anticipated games of 2007, and what proved to be the biggest surprise hit of the year (some might argue ever).

The company was Valve and the games were Half Life 2: Episode 2, Team Fortress 2 and Portal.

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Er… so Half-Life’s writer maybe just revealed the complete plot of HL2: Episode 3

hl3

The lesson here is “never go to sleep.” All sorts of things happen while people sleep. Cats go on adventures, presidents threaten nuclear war and, well, ex-Valve writers post thinly-disguised plot summaries of the unreleased and, so far as best guesses go, long-cancelled Half-Life 2: Episode 3. Long time Half-Life scribe, the excellent Marc Laidlaw (who left Valve last year), casually tossed out a link to his website last night, which led to a short story about Gertie Fremont, Alex Vaunt and their climactic battle against evil alien invaders the Disparate. (The site’s having a wobble, but the page is archived right here).

While that might sound like satirical tomfoolery, the actual story very much sounds like how the final chapter of Half-Life 3 could have played out. It involves time-travelling cruise liners, resurrected overlords, the heart of the Combine and the fate of one Doctor Gordon Freeman.

This is really happening.
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Zombined Arms: HL2 Mod Modular Combat On Steam

Modular Combat screenshot

Modular Combat [official site], a Half-Life 2-based multiplayer RPG-FPS, has been released on Steam. You don’t need to own HL2 to play. Players take the role of Combine, Resistance or Aperture characters and fight to the death against other factions, in free for all deathmatches, or against a variety of Half-Life monstrosities. I’m not sure why Combine Hunters and Manhacks are fighting Combine footsoldiers, but hush Shaun, it doesn’t matter when it’s fun.

There’s more information on the various game modes summed up in this handy trailer, which also goes into a little detail on the various upgrades available to players.

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You Should Improbably Play This: Mission Improbable


There are a few Half-Life 2 mods that basically constitute The Further Adventures of Gordon Freeman. Sometimes these isolated chapters make me want to dive headfirst back into the unfinished trilogy, and sometimes they’re just a reminder of what Source did well. Other times, though, they manage to articulate More Half-Life 2 while at the same time having a strong whiff of first-order originality, served with their own own flourishes of design brilliance. Minerva was one such outing, and Mission Improbable is another.
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