Having waited more than four years, and being teased by fake release posters, a group of fans are taking it on their own shoulders to create Episode 3 of Half-Life 2.
Just as a brief reminder, Episode 2 left off on the usual Half-Life hanger, when Freeman was just about to head to the Borealis research vessel, said to contain “cargo” from Aperture Science, which Freeman is warned about. I’m sure I’m not the only one hoping it’s a portal gun. And so we’ve waited and waited to find out, and still no word of Episode 3. Thus we come to the fan-made project.
The project was posted on ModDB by ChromeAngel, calling for a team of modders to start development of Half-Life 2, Episode 3 Community Edition.
ChromeAngel states, “The basic idea is to find enough enthusiastic modders to put together our own version of Episode 3.” He posted the idea in a few places, with mixed responses (including quite a few from people extremely unhappy with the idea). It seems most fans would support the idea more if it didn’t carry the “Episode 3” label, so we’ll see where this one goes.
In a more detailed post on Interlopers.net, ChromeAngel outlines the general idea (SPOILER WARNING), stating:
Pick up where ep2 left off, Eli’s dead, Mossman is in the Arctic, presumed captured, along with the Borealis.
Going to need a pilot to fly us North and cold weather survival gear. Knowing Gorden’s luck neither of these will be in the base, so an NPC (Magnusson?) will send Gorden to go and get them. (Would Gorden just up and leave Alyx at a time like this? …maybe if Kliner were keeping her company and Magnusson was being an ass).
En route Gorden catches up with the Advisor that killed Eli using the Jalopy and blows it to smithereens with an RPG launcher.
The Pilot and the Gear both have mini side quests at there locations so you get some varying combat (Leon_K suggested a tension building, horror section would be a refreshing change of pace), so maybe a Ravenholm type chapter?
Act 1 ends back at the launch facility, boarding the helicopter, with pilot & survival gear.
Train ride type sequence of arriving in the arctic, overflying the complex, giving the player a good feel for the layout of the base, followed by a rail shooter style air to air combat with combine fliers, climaxing with a crash into the sea.
The splashdown would be a good excuse to strip the player of most of his weapons, so he has to evade capture and build up his armory before infiltrate the site and rescue Mossman from the Combine. Somewhere in this chapter might be a nice excuse to have Icepicks and Skidos (any vehicle coders want to comment on how practical that would be?)
MW2 had a scripted scene where the player uses ice axes to climb a frozen waterfall. I totally want to steal that idea/mechanic for puzzle solving. After a weapons-strip seems like a good time to introduce a new toy like this.[/edit]
While Mossman does something technical (sabotage the combine tech?) Freeman infiltrates the combine infested glacier where the Borealis is trapped and gets on board. Big freaking boss fight RPGs vs Advisors on the deck of the Borealis while chucks of glacial ice the size of cars rain down.
Gorden enters the ship and fights his way through the claustrophobic hull until he finds the Aperture labs gizmo that teleported the ship there originally (featuring a yellow crystal supplied by our mysterious friend the GMan?).
4 possible endings (please vote in the poll):
A) Gorden sacrifices himself to save the Earth/Alyx
B) GMan offers to save Eli/Alyx/Earth from the combine if Gorden agrees to do another “tour”
C) Gorden uses the gizmo to launch an attack the Combine home world/dimension (dare we risk a visit to another Xen-like dimension?), presumably strands the player in combine territory, but saving the Earth.
D) Gorden destroys the gizmo (as Eli wanted), but humanity still has the combine remnants to deal with and the possibility of Combine counter attacking from their home dimension.
— credits roll —
This leaves a few things Valve set up that I think need payoffs in this episode:
* The GMan’s “we’ll see about that” line when the Vorts rescue freeman and the start of Episode 1.
* Freeman is not the GMans only agent, where is Shepard all this time?
* Combine sniper rifles with the cool, blue, laser sights that you see but never got to fire.
OK time to end the long rambling post, with ambitious project idea.