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Half Life 3, Portal 3, or Left 4 Dead 3: Gabe Newell’s Cryptic Message

Now that Duke Nukem Forever has been released (remember that?), and with Max Payne 3’s launch nearing, it would seem that Half-Life 3 is due for a release…right?  A group of users from 4chan sent a (very NSFW) email to the face of Valve, Gabe Newell; as Newell always says in his games’ developer commentary, while he reads every email that is sent to him, he doesn’t respond to all of them.  Yet, the Gaben responded to this email with: “I don’t suppose it would ease your wrath if I told you we’re announcing all your favorite things at E3 2012?”

The people at reddit sent an email to Newell, asking him to elaborate. His response?
“I can see how the wording caused some confusion there. Yes, we are announcing something with a three in it.”  
We all know that Valve loves to tease their fans, but this is just too much. So many questions can be asked from this statement, and it could apply to so many games: Half Life 3, Portal 3, Left 4 Dead 3, even Team Fortress 3. But does this statement mean only one “three”-related game?

Two websites have emerged: atramental-plateau.com, and black-aperture.com. The “Atramental-plateau” website shows Half Life’s Black Mesa logo on a black background, and highlighting the black text underneath the logo reveals “E3 2012.” The “black-aperture” website shows only “…/3.”

These websites narrow down the list of possible games to two: Half Life 3 and Portal 3. Black Mesa is not only a Half Life reference, but it is mentioned in Portal as well. “Black-aperture” seems to be a reference to Portal’s Aperture Science, but merged with Black Mesa, hence “Black Aperture.”

The fanboy in me says that Half Life 3 will be the game announced at E3 2012, but I can’t deny the possibility of a Portal 3 announcement either. Granted, Portal 2 was just released last year, and Portal 3 would be too soon, but Valve can’t ignore the popularity that the Portal franchise is experiencing right now.

It’s been five years since Half Life 2: Episode 2 was released. That should be reason enough to announce the next installment. The cliffhanger that the game ended on made it necessary to have a sequel, and it would be criminal if the third installment were never to be released. The least Valve could do is to acknowledge Half Life 3’s existence, and that would be enough for the starving fans.

Valve knows that Half Life fans have been waiting way too long. Expectations are soaring for this game, but the wait is getting to the point where fans will be setting themselves up for disappointment. Remember Duke Nukem Forever?  Valve is listed as an exhibitor for E3 2012, and you can bet all eyes will be on them. Anything less than a Half Life 3 announcement might be seen as a failure.


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