Marc Laidlaw, the writer behind the immortal PC games Half-Life, Half-Life 2 and many of their expansions, appears to have provided closure one of the video game industry’s most infamous cliffhangers. A post on Laidlaw’s blog, titled “Epistle 3”, showed up earlier today and appears to describe in detail the plot for what would have been the long awaited Half-Life 3.
While names are changed in Laidlaw’s post (presumably to protect himself), it’s framed as an apologetic letter from a person believed to be Half-Life protagonist Gordon Freeman, explaining his long absence and what he has been up to in the intervening years.
It takes very little reading between the lines (and a simple search/replace on specific names) to reveal what appears to be a description of the game that might have, at one point in its life, been Half-Life 3.
Gordon Freeman was last seen in Half-Life: Episode 2 way back in 2007, an expansion to the landmark 2004 shooter by Valve Corporation. That expansion famously ends with one of the most heart-stopping cliffhangers in video game history. A planned Episode 3 was said to be in development but never materialised and the story has been left unfinished for a decade.
Laidlaw’s post provides a tantalising glimpse of a game that many now believe will never come to fruition and may, in fact, be the final nail in its storied coffin.