Half Life is one of those games, along with Doom and Castle Wolfenstein, which helped define an entire genre of games. It gave us a new type of hero as well, the crowbar toting MIT PHD Gordon Freeman. Since the games introduction fans have waited for each new chapter in the life of Dr. Freeman. Sadly we have never really gotten the “third” chapter in Freeman’s life, but there has always been the modding community to help keep u going. Back in 2012 a group called Black Mesa Source revamped the game from beginning to the Lambda Core level to the delight of many fans.
The days of the long campaign game are almost dead and gone. Since Half Life 2 we have not really seen a game with the same sprawl even with its linear path. The reason for this is that game developers are under increased pressure to get the title out. They do not have the time to create the massive world that we saw in Half Life and Half Life 2. To combat this game have been turning to the idea of the side quest. These are little mini games inside the world of the larger game that provide opportunities to explore the world further. Of course games have moved away from the end to end style of games like Half Life, Modern Warfare etc. The need to allow for player development has moved games in a new, and needed, direction.
In 2004 Valve released the follow on to their wildly popular Half Life series in the form of Half Life2. They followed this up with an attempt at spacing out the next few games as chapters. This was supposed to benefit fans of the game by giving them a new “game” on a much faster schedule. Sadly for fans of Half Life this plan did not go well and the episodes dried up after getting only two out to the masses. This was despite the fact that three full episodes were planned. Since the release of Half Life 2: Episode 2 fans have been waiting for something, anything from Valve that features their favorite PHD hero, Dr. Gordon Freeman.
Valve's designer John Guthrie has confirmed that the Half Life: Episode 3 is in the early phase of making, and it's release is planned for 2014, according to Portal NSS. The game will appear in versions for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3, as well as for next-generation consoles (PS4 and Xbox One).
The saga of Gordon Freeman is one that is legendary in the gaming world. The original Half Life represented a significant shift in the way that games were designed. Valve put an enormous amount of thought and time into the development of Half Life and then did it all again with Half Life 2. Fans ate up the new set and characters hungrily and once they were done with that helping they sat at the table waiting for more. Sadly, after a few mini-games called episodes Gordon Freeman has dropped off the face of the Earth. We have not heard anything about him and his famous crowbar in a number of years.
In 1998 a new company crated from former Microsoft employees launched a game that would change the way we played first person shooters forever. The game was Half Life and although it followed games like Castle Wolfenstien and Doom it brought something new to the genre, thinking and puzzle solving. Instead of just walking into a room and killing all the bad guys you had to solve puzzles and interact with the environment to make it through the game. The enemies you faced were also smarter than what was present in Doom or Wolfenstien. Half Life also introduced one of the iconic characters in gaming: Dr. Gordon Freeman and his trusty crowbar. Now a group called Black Mesa Source has brought the original Half Life to a new generation of gamers. They have taken the original game (up to the Lambda Core) and refreshed it with new graphics and a few surprises for those of us that have played before. So let’s see if this new release of the classic Half Life can recreate the magic that the Valve brought to us with our first meeting with Gordon Freeman and the anomalous materials lab at Black Mesa.
Almost 14 years ago the gaming world was introduced to a new hero. He was not a former covert agent, Special Forces operative or even an ex-cop with an attitude. Instead he was a Doctor of Theoretical Physics from MIT who was in the probationary period of this job. This hero’s name was Gordon Freeman. Freeman had just been hired at a highly secret government research facility called Black Mesa and despite his advanced degree was only being used to perform menial tasks. After surviving an catastrophic accident (the resonance cascade) he has to put his brains to use in not only finding a way out the quickly deteriorating Black Mesa, but in closing a portal that he helped to open which was allowing alien monsters to spill out onto earth. This sums up the amazing game that we all know as Half Life.
There is a new and exciting rumor that Valve might make some sort of announcement about Half Life 3. This is possibly one of the most anticipated sequels there is. The franchise that was kicked off by the little known Valve and published by Sierra Games quickly won fame for its game play, graphics, immersive storyline and unforgettable characters. Not the least of these characters is the hero Gordon Freeman. Half Life sparked multiple spin-offs and mods including Portal which features rival Aperture Science.
If earnings calls or the fate of Apple post-Steve Jobs is not your thing then the following bit of news might be up your alley. It seems that Valve will be releasing a new map editor for the amazingly popular puzzle game Portal 2. The free downloadable content add-on will be called the Perpetual Testing Initiative and will hit Steam in early May (some are claiming May 8th).
Valve is one of those companies that just seems to work. They have a leadership and management style that supports creativity and free thinking. In fact during a recent interview Gabe Newell stated that they let people work on the things they feel are important and that is how new projects are created (it was funny to hear him say he often rolls his desk into the elevator to work with others).