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.
Laidlaw’s site, understandably, crashed under the weight of thousands of people attempting to view the post but thankfully backups have been saved around the web for viewing.
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.