'Half-Life 3' release date update: 2018 arrival rumored

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Despite about a decade of continued absence and lack of information, the rumor mill continues to turn in regard to the next installment in Valve’s first-person shooter “Half-Life” video game series with the latest speculations claiming it might come sometime in 2018.

Reportedly, either a full version “Half-Life 3” or the next episodic installment “Half-Life 2: Episode 3” might come in 2018 as a milestone marking the series’ 20th anniversary. The original “Half-Life” title came out all the way back in 1998, releasing to universal acclaim on both the critical and market side.

“Half-Life” was so greatly received that many tout is as among the biggest influences in the first-person shooter (FPS) genre and codified many of the elements that commonly define a lot of the FPS games the industry has today. Starring Black Mesa physicist Gordon Freeman, who is one of the most famous examples of silent video game protagonists, the game told his unwitting unleashing and subsequent struggle against an invasion of extra-dimensional aliens bent on either killing or turning the whole Black Mesa staff into zombies.

“Half-Life” was followed by three expansion packs, with “Half-Life 2” following in 2004 which featured Gordon fighting against another alien invasion 20 years after the first game. This time, the Earth had been invaded by the massive trans-dimensional Universal Union, also known as the Combine, with Gordon being drawn into helping a resistance group after being displaced through time and space.

The episodic sequels to “Half-Life 2” came out in 2006 and 2007, with Valve announcing that “Half-Life 2: Episode 3” would supposedly be releasing in Christmas 2007. Come almost 10 years later, and there is still no news regarding the future of the franchise with Valve devoting fully to the service and maintenance of its Steam platform.

When asked last year by GameSlice’s Geoff Keighly, regarding the existence of “Half-Life 3,” Valve CEO Gabe Newell said that “the only reason we’d go back and do like a super classic kind of product is if a whole bunch of people just internally at Valve said they wanted to do it and had a reasonable explanation for why [they did].”

“But you know if you want to do another ‘Half-Life’ game and you want to ignore everything we’ve learned in shipping ‘Portal 2’ and in shipping all the updates on the multiplayer side, that seems like a bad choice,” Newell continued. “So we’ll keep moving forward. But that doesn’t necessarily always mean what people are worried that it might mean.”

As 2018 is still some time away, the possibility still exists that Valve might eventually decide to actually make a next “Half-Life” game. Though as rumors are simply rumors, players can only continue to hope.