News outlet Planet Half-Life has gotten their hands on the latest issue of Game Informer, and according to the magazine, there will be no Half-Life installments released in 2010. This means that, in its current form, the long awaited Half-Life 2: Episode 3 will not be delivered over the course of this year. Sources suggest that Episode 3’s release plans are unclear at the moment, and there is speculation that rather than it being the third and final episodic piece to 2004’s Half-Life 2, Episode 3 may be pushed to a full-blown sequel.
It has been almost three years since the release of Half-Life 2: Episode 2 within The Orange Box, and nearly four years since the release of Episode 1. Many fans have called into question the ‘episodic nature’ of the Half-Life 2 episodes as they have failed to be delivered on a timely basis. While fans have eagerly awaited the release of Episode 3, they’ve watched Valve take on projects like Left 4 Dead and its sequel, while enduring continual delays for the third and final chapter to Half-Life 2.
The prospect of turning Episode 3 into an actual sequel is very interesting. Given the amount of development time that Valve has had with Episode 3, it is entirely possible that the project became too big to be considered episodic. Also considering that the Source Engine is now six years old and counting, Valve could be working toward some sort of engine switch. Despite their efforts to keep Source modernized, after such a long time the engine can’t help but show its age.
Valve certainly has very high expectations following the spectacular Orange Box, and especially the outstanding Episode 2. Standalone sequel or not, Valve will take their time to ensure the Half-Life saga is wrapped up in the best possible product they can produce. In the mean time, continue to be patient, as we probably won’t see the anticipated finale anytime soon.