Following the successful launch of Half-Life: Alyx, Valve has opened up about why it abandoned the third installment so many years ago.
We’ve been waiting for Valve to address the iconic cliffhanger from Half-Life 2: Episode Two since 2007, with the developer’s third episode vanishing from existence after a number of production troubles.
So, the series sat in limbo, with no conclusion to its narrative in sight. Now, the record has finally been set straight in a new interview with IGN. Level designer Dario Casali dives into why exactly a sequel in the series never materialised over all those years.
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It seems reasoning primarily stemmed from technical issues, with Valve believing that each Half-Life title should push the medium forward in some way. In 2007, this simply wasn’t the case with the arguably outdated source engine: “I think our main takeaway from that is, ‘Get some stable technology and then build a game on top of it’,” Casali said in reference to the Source Engine.
Ambition was also a huge obstacle, with “feature creep” setting in as Valve implemented more and more new features into the experience. While experimental, it never resulted in a full product they were satisfied with. However, such a long absence shouldn’t happen going forward.
Prior to the release of Half-Life: Alyx, Valve’s Robin Walker said the prequel would be the company’s “return to this world, not the end of it.” Taking the ending of Alyx into account, it’s more than likely we’ll see plenty of the dystopian world in the years to come.
Earning 4.5/5 in our review, Half-Life: Alyx sets a new benchmark for narrative experiences in virtual reality, transporting players to a living, breathing world they won’t want to leave: “Valve has surpassed impossible expectations with Half-Life: Alyx, bringing a series long thought buried back into the limelight with extraordinary impact.”