Post feature Report RSS Here Is Every Mod That Attempts To Make Half-Life 2: Episode Three

With the sense that Valve will never continue the Half-Life 2 story, the modding community has picked up where the developer left off. We've prepared a roundup of some of those attempts.

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It’s been just over ten years since Half-Life 2: Episode Two released, and the sense that its cliffhanger ending will be resolved with the release Episode Three – or even a full-fledged Half-Life 3 – is close to zero. However, that hasn’t stopped enterprising mod teams from filling the previous decade with their own attempts at providing closure to the Half-Life 2 story with a plethora of Source mods that provide their own interpretations of what Episode Three could be.

Although those mod teams have been working away separately for years, the recent departure of Half-Life series writer Marc Laidlaw from Valve and his cheeky leak of the official Half-Life 2: Episode Three plot has prompted a resurgence of interest in the Half-Life story. A game jam themed around this leak, the Epistle 3 Game Jam, was recently held – resulting in over 30 new continuations of the Half-Life story; some comedic, some dramatic, and many in between.

epistle


Consider this a collection of all the available directions that the community has taken the Half-Life story. These efforts are spurred by a strange combination of Valve fostering a dedicated community of modders with strong tools and assets, as well as by Valve’s own lack of motivation to continue the series of games itself.

Half Life 2: Episode 3 may never come out. And now, with these mods and game jam entries, there is no one single version of the story’s continuation. The game will remain an abstract possibility, and if it continues to sprout creative works such as these, that might not be such a bad thing after all.


ep2 outland 10 remix dark

This mod pulls together content that was previously leaked in 2007. This includes multiple Valve-created levels that were used as testbeds for new gameplay ideas, new weapons, a few new enemies, and more. It’s not an entire story continuation, but it’s a glimpse at what Valve actually had in the works for Half-Life 2: Episode 3.


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Though no playable releases exist yet, this Russian-created mod attempts to recreate the snow-covered areas and enemies that were hinted at being included in Half-Life 2: Episode 3


22 spymap ep3

One of the most complete attempts at recreating Half-Life 2: Episode 3 so far, The Closure plays it straight down the middle and attempts to stick to Half-Life 2’s tone and world, despite some inconsistencies with the established story methods – such as seeing Gordon Freeman in cutscenes.


Though this mod gives just a taste of the arctic locations from Half-Life 2: Episode 3, it features exploration and scripted sequences that continue the Half-Life vibe and hint at the kind of action that would take place when exploring the locations around the Borealis.


With easily the most authentic Half-Life style intro yet, which sees Alyx and Gordon’s helicopter crash into the snow as the G-Man appears, Half-Life: Interlude already features some high quality environmental design and scripting.


Continue the incredible Half-Life 2 Storyline somewhere in the antarctic through ice landscapes and underground bases inspired by Half-Life and conspiracy theories like the "Dulce Underground Bases" and the "Nightmare Hall" all in the comfort of a new MKVII HEV Suit.

It remains to be seen if Half-Life 3 will see the light of day, but no doubt the modding community will continue to work on filling the gaps...

Comments
xdiesp_
xdiesp_

As I was reading the leaked synopsis for EP3, I couldn't help but think that the levels themselves were all something that had already been done in some mod. Someone would just need to handle some voicework and patch them together.

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GLaDOS77
GLaDOS77

That EP3 map pack was definitely a nice attempt to see what an actual EP3 would have been like, though taking in context of Epistle 3's plot, it's much too short and has no surprise twists or plot developments other than find Borealis and destroy it. They did try though.

I think EP3 would be some inter-mixing of Half-Life and Portal's worlds and elements, a lot of mind boggling and eerie parts of Aperture that would seem like some kind of insanity inducing reality defying maze of madness, though Portal 2's tone is way too campy for Half-Life's existentialism and Lovecraft themes, if done correctly, it could be something really interesting. I could imagine hidden backstory for Aperture like stumbling upon Xen teleportation experiments and the Combine having an alliance with Aperture Science. hints towards GLaDOS being a feminine and inorganic parallel to the Breen Slug from Epistle 3... Caroline and Dr Breen seem to share some similarities with each other, huh? Would put a more creepy twist on the wacky and quirkiness of Portal 2.

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VaTTeRGeR
VaTTeRGeR

I'm sure that eventually a high quality implementation of the EP3 storyline will rise from the cesspool of quickly made ep3 mods, it's like making a game with an inbuilt rocket powered hype-train: It just needs the right quality and HL-fans plus whoever gets carried along with them will pile up around it.

And I'm sitting here, waiting for it to happen :)

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SabreXT
SabreXT

I've considered making my own Episode 3 mod, if my current mod is reasonably well received. Though I would make it in Half-Life 1 for various reasons I won't get in to here.

There are 2 problems with Episode 3 mod. One is doing the material justice. It would have to something of the scale and quality of Black Mesa, and I don't see that happening in a reasonable time frame. Black Mesa still isn't done after almost a decade.

The other is that the Half-Life 2 community tends to be picky when it comes to their head canon, as you and the maker of Cinematic Mod found out. I think that if an Episode 3 mod was released, there'd be backlash from the community for not conforming to their particular head canon.

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INtense! Staff
INtense!

Valve does has a history of allowing and supporting fan made creations, like Black Mesa so I wonder if a team like that can mobilize to make something semi un-official. I guess it be too big of a risk incase they screw it up.

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SabreXT
SabreXT

Valve has canonised mods before, but I think creative differences would get in the way first. Black Mesa, Guard Duty, and the other mods that set out to remake an old game have not only taken years, but some people aren't happy with this or that minor change.

Having to make tough calls on what stuff to keep or cut (the leaked resource collecting, randomised spawns, etc), as well as the specifics of how the story would play out. I can't realistically see how they would do it.

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INtense! Staff
INtense!

You cannot please everyone - it would cause much discussion with people both sides.

and to do the project justice it would probably take 4+ years as has typically been the norm. There are people probably quietly attempting this right now.

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Gamegod27
Gamegod27

There is too many people making promises on this forum. Im going to go make this Im going to make that but they never happen,or they get cancelled half way through.People dont make promises you cant keep,other wise it gets hard to look at a mod and get excited knowing that in 5 months time it will get cancelled.

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Guest
Guest

This makes me wish for a valve fully developed episode 3 sure the leaked story was bad but at least it was actually a conclusion

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SPY-maps
SPY-maps

Thanks Daniel Hindes, for adding this article to my Ep3 mods page.
I for one was for many, many years very sure that Valve would one day at a E3 surprice friend and foe with a soon to be released Half Life 3.
But, now, after soooooo many years i to see and feel that Valve will simply not do so anymore. And it is a real shame. Ofcourse they don't ow us anything, still, when it comes to Valve and HL3 i think it comes very, very close to that they ow it to us to simply develop and release it.
But, Valve is not about game dev anymore. It was, ones, long ago. But for the last decade Valve is all about Steam and money. A real shame. But, we live in a free world and they can do what they like. Still, should my name be Gabe Newell then i simply wouldn't rest before HL3 would have seen the day of light,( i would then have more then enough money and time to simply make it happen.)
But then, i am no Gabe Newell.

Leon

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Gamegod27
Gamegod27

Well atleast the game went out on a high instead of becoming stale and be on the hundredth version like assasins creed or halo.

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SPY-maps
SPY-maps

The game didn't went out on us at a high, that is the whole point. It ended with episode 2 promising us all kind of things in episode 3. Then the developer (Valve) said it wouldn't make a ep3 but instead a full HL3. And then nothing happened after that, for about 10 years. So, they went out on us half way, with a lot of promising....

Leon

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Gamegod27
Gamegod27

Let me explain more what I meant.Yes it was abandond apparantly half way and thats a real shame but I meant atleast it was ended with people really wanting more and being remembered as a great game and not one that became stale with yet another unwanted sequel.Id rather it be like that than have half life 6 but yes I would have liked episode 3.

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JuleRose
JuleRose

What about this Mod? Moddb.com

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Guest
Guest

Looks interesting let me know when it's done so I can play it.

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INtense! Staff
INtense!

Good catch, I have added it

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Lazarhead
Lazarhead

If a few of these modders that released full almost Valve like quality stories on Steam join forces EP 3 is as good as done.

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Blue199
Blue199

I'm a bit surprised to see I'm subscribed to all of them already, lol

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