Possible News on Half-Life 3?

Last Friday, Seven Day Cooldown podcast interviewers Jack Inacker and Mitch Fryman got the chance to talk to Gabe Newell, co-founder of Valve.

At about 20 minutes into the interview, which concerns itself mainly with Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Jack Inacker beings asking Gabe about Half-Life 2: Episode 2, and specifically the shocking main character death that occurs at the end.  Immediately after the brief discussion, Jack follows up with “the question that everyone’s been waiting to ask you for a long time: when can we expect the release of Richochet 2?”

Without skipping a beat, Gabe talks for a couple of minutes about “Richochet 2”, which is evidently the sequel to a Half-Life 1 mod that released all the way back in 2000.  You have to do some digging to even find out what it is, especially since it’s not even listed on Valve’s website as a game it had developed, and Valve has certainly not been advertising it at all.

Along the way, Gabe talks about how Valve is reticent to talk too much about bigger projects because the writing team, for positive and negative reasons, changes the story, and Valve, above all, wants to be clear to their fans about what to expect and when to expect it.  “Ricochet 2” having, in Gabe’s words, a “massive story arc” the writing team want to be clear on which direction to take as the story changes after being worked through by the team.

Gabe also hinted at some of the reason behind the surreptitious development of – take note when you listen of the verbal air quotes and scarcely contained laughter revolving around the mention of the name – “Ricochet 2”: with the unclear direction of the story, the developers figured that posting a bunch of news items that are subject to changes, delays, and speed bumps would be more maddening to fans than a wall of mysterious silence.

So we can take at face value the fact that Gabe Newell has been bursting at the seams to give a little news about a sequel to a game that nobody cares about, or we can suspend the intrigue and figure that Gabe and co. are talking about Half-Life 3 (or Half-Life 2: Episode 3).

With that in mind, it’s apparent that the core team that’s been working on HL3/Ricochet 2 are still in place, and haven’t moved to other projects, as has been previously posited as one of the reasons for the agonizingly long wait.  It’s also clear that the project has had some frustrating development, but even Gabe perks up a bit when he talks about it, meaning that we can be pretty sure the project hasn’t been scrapped.

Given the collective freakout over the Mass Effect 3 ending and the arguable BioWare kow-tow to their over reactive fan base, the fact that Valve has kept relatively silent about the project is probably pretty wise.  It’s great to get what could be a pretty definitive – if obfuscated – idea of where the project stands is huge news.

All in all, it’s a good day to be a gamer.  Even if we’re only talking about Ricochet 2. Which is, apparently, a “fun LAN game.”

About This Post

April 23, 2012 - 7:16 pm

Gaming, News