PC Gamer

When IGN pressed for a status update on the rumoured Half-Life and Portal movies, JJ Abrams responded, "Not yet, but they're in development, and we've got writers, and we're working on both those stories. But nothing that would be an exciting update." Au contraire, Mr Abrams; confirmation of their existence is more exciting than you think.

If the concept of a Half-Life or Portal movie is all news to you, I'm not surprised—there was a brief flurry of activity on the subject in 2013, when Abrams and Gaben got together at the DICE summit to talk about cross-platform storytelling. Newell suggested that "either a Portal movie or a Half-Life movie" could work, while Abrams said he'd like to make a game with Valve.

Even further back, in 2010 Newell lamented the quality of pitches he'd received from a litany of Hollywood production companies for a movie based on the Half-Life franchise.

"Their stories were just so bad. I mean, brutally, the worst. Not understanding what made the game a good game, or what made the property an interesting thing for people to be a fan of."

Evidently he found common ground with Abrams, because it seems the collaboration has the green light.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

Half-Life and Portal movies are “in development”, according to JJ Abrams. The director told IGN that “We’ve got writers, and we’re working on both those stories. But nothing that would be an exciting update.” Which means clearly Abrams isn’t familiar with Half-Life fans, who can see excitement in a cloud shaped like Gordon Freeman’s face.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

We live in complex times. When I was a youngster, it was perfectly reasonable to buy a game simply because it had more monsters than the other games. Playing through shooters, RPGs and platformers alike, I’d be tempted to give up when I reached the point where no new enemy types were appearing. The very idea of a game with only one type of enemy, no matter how intelligent and believable, was poison. Give me all of your mutants, demons and aliens>, I cried, give them to me now>.

Here are a few of my favourites, ranging from the first-person shooters of my teenage years to the surreal horrors of my childhood.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Hayden Dingman)

Here’s a bit of nostalgia for you: Sven Co-op [official site] is now on Steam. The seventeen-year-old Half-Life mod is available as a free standalone game, and thanks to a fair bit of generosity on Valve’s part includes all of the Half-Life campaign maps. For free.

That means you can head to Steam, download the game, and start playing co-op Half-Life right now. Again, for free. No need for you or anyone you’re playing with to own Half-Life proper.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

Sven Co-op is, as the title suggests (the Co-op part, not the Sven part) a cooperative multiplayer game based on Valve's mega-hit FPS Half-Life. It actually began development as a Half-Life mod more than 15 years ago, but in the summer of 2013 Valve gave the team permission to release it as a standalone game on Steam. And today, it's finally happening

To celebrate the release, the developers are holding a release party on the Gamesurge IRC server—another testament to its aged roots. A guide detailing the capabilities of the new Angelscript plugins is also now available.

Sven Co-op was originally based on Half-Life and retains similar weapons, monsters, and characters, but the difficultly has been ramped up to support cooperative play. Sven Co-op's levels are set as missions and are generally separate from each other. Many missions span several maps and some are collected together in a series," the game description states. "The aim of most levels is to reach the end or to achieve an objective—obtaining a high score is not essential to beat a level, it's just part of the fun.

And it looks like a ton of fun. Sven Co-op is available now—for free, by the way—on Steam.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

After 18 years at Valve, working on everything from Half-Life to Dota 2, writer Marc Laidlaw has confirmed that he’s retired from the company. That’s an eternity for the games industry! He wrote novels before getting into video games, and it sounds like he’s getting back to writing for himself.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>

Science & Industry was a mod for Half-Life in which two team did battle for control of a limited pool of scientists. Capture one and bring them back to your base and you could put them to work on researching new technologies, which would both aid your team in the fight and earn you money which would ultimately decide the match’s victor.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

An envelope arrived in the post this morning. Thick, stuffed with books. Diaries, in fact. Someone has sent me Gordon Freeman’s diaries from the last eight years. I don’t really know what to do about this. I mean, this is obviously big news, but this is also someone’s private life. But what if it was Gordon himself who sent them? What if he wants the… the misery therein to be exposed?

I’ve decided on a compromise. I’m going to publish some extracts, picked almost at random from the lot. If Freeman wants them taken down, he can get in touch and we’ll honour that right away.>

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (RPS)

Expansion packs were once a core part of playing PC games, but they can often feel less essential in a world of constant updates and microtransactions. Original game Alec, expansions Adam and Graham, and brief DLC Alice gathered to discuss their favourite game expansions and why they still think the model works.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

We know virtually nothing about Half-Life 3. We don't know if it exists in any kind of incomplete state, or if not, if it will exist at all at any point in the near or distant future. We don't even know if Valve wants to make it exist at this point. But we do know, thanks to Valve's Chet Faliszek, that it will not be a VR game.

As reported by VG247, Faliszek was asked following his talk about VR at EGX if Half-Life 3 would be a virtual reality game. "No," he replied, before moving on to discuss how the bandwidth requirements of VR headsets mean they won't be going wireless anytime soon. But the Half-Life inquisitor wasn't ready to give up quite so easily, so he asked again.

"I said no," Faliszek answered again. And that, apparently, was that.

So, Half-Life 3 isn't being developed for VR? Or Half-Life 3 isn't being developed at all? For such a succinct answer, it sure leaves a lot of room for interpretation. On the other hand, he didn't deny that it's being made. Half-Life 3 not VR confirmed.

...

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