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Valve is taking it’s sweet time creating Half-Life 2:
Episode 3, so fans are eager for any hints
at all about when it will
come out, and what sort of experience it will impart. So when Gabe Newell, while discussing Portal
2, mentioned that Portal 2 would “probably” be the last isolate singleplayer
experience, Half Life fans became
jumpy, since Half-Life is very
story driven. When asked to clarify this statement, Newell responded:
“I think what we're trying to talk about is the fact is not that we're not thinking about single-player games. Portal 2 I think is a pretty good example of what we've learned over the years in terms of how to create those [single-player] experiences."
Newel continued "It's more that we think that we have to work harder in the future. That entertainment is inherently increased in value by having it be social, by letting you play with your friends, by recognizing that you're connected with other people. Single-player is great, but we also have to recognize that you have friends and wanted to have that connected as well. It's not about giving up on single-player at all. It's saying we actually think there are a bunch of features and capabilities that we need to add into our single-player games to recognize the socially connected gamer. Every gamer has instant messaging, every gamer has a Facebook account. If you pretend that that doesn't exist, you're ignoring the problems that you're taking on. It's single-player plus, not ‘no more single-player.'”
Portal 2 and Half-Life 2 exist in the same universe, so it makes sense that the two may cross over at some point. Gabe Newell also commented on this, "When you're thinking about games, you sort of want to think about how characters collide. In their current forms, Chell and Gordon are very similar characters. in terms of the phenomenology of their experiences. ... In terms of having these people coexist at same time and same place, that's ... part of the reason Portal and Half-Life are in the same universe."
So no, we still don’t know when Half Life 2: Episode 3 will come out, but at least we know that it may have Facebook integration. If you want to see Newell’s remarks on video, watch the video below.