In 1998 Valve released Half-Life, an expertly-crafted triumph of first person design, revolutionizing notions of what interactive narratives were capable of. In 2004 the developer somehow topped itself, unveiling the technical marvel that was Half-Life 2 to unanimous critical and public acclaim. Next came two superb add-ons, Episode 1 and Episode 2, and then... nothing.
Eight years later, Valve has remained tight-lipped on all things Half-Life, leaving the industry frantically speculating as to where on Earth the final act to one of its most beloved franchises had got to.
From the shroud of mysterious Steam
Now, in what has to be one of the most understated reveals of all time, Half-Life 3 appears to have actually been announced... sort of.
The Steam Database, a site that keeps track of the applications and packages Valve's distribution service carries, claims to have discovered files associated to a 'newly released' game titled, you guessed it, Half-Life 3.
But before you get too excited, this is far from a confirmation. For one, Half-Life 3 isn't actually out (obviously), but this could be an indication of Valve prepping for an imminent release. The Steam Database doesn't have a perfect record when it comes to leaks, claiming to have found a Halo 3 file some months ago, though nothing has come from it.
Strangely, the Half-Life 3 file was found along with the following titles, some of which are confirmed Steam releases:
- Half-Life 3
- Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
- Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
- Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster
- Final Fantasy VI
- Bad Rats Show
- Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-
- Little King’s Story
- Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
- Sonic Boom
- Earth Defense Force 4.1
- Criminal Girls
- Stranger of Sword City
'Half-Life 3' A (Virtual) Reality?
Many have speculated that Valve is actually planning to release the long-since anticipated third act as a bundle with their upcoming virtual reality headset, developed in partnership with HTC. It would certainly be a novel way to experience G-Man's surreal antics from the eyes of Gordon Freeman, never truly possible before. Plus, what a way to build an instant VR user base!
What do you think of Half-Life 3's addition to the Steam database? Are we in for a surprise announcement?