Escape the confines of City 17 and strike a blow for the resistance!

As Dr. Gordon Freeman, you were last seen exiting City 17 with Alyx Vance as the Citadel erupted amidst a storm of unknown proportions. Now, in Episode Two, you must battle and race against Combine forces as you traverse the White Forest to deliver a crucial information packet stolen from the Citadel to an enclave of fellow resistance scientists.

Episode Two is the second of a planned trilogy of games that extends the award-winning and best-selling Half-Life adventure. Unique weapons, vehicles, and new creatures, friends, and enemies all make an appearance.

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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: November Newsletter

About Above the Catacombs with 5 comments by EyesShut on Nov 20th, 2014

Sometime every month starting this November, a newsletter will be posted that will provide an update on the project’s development. By posting monthly newsletters, it is the hope that communication between the developer and the project’s trackers will be kept fairly regular and will hopefully help avoid periods of silence.

Short history on the project

Development for this project began roughly sometime in April, 2014 (creation date for one of the first VMF files made was on April 13, 2014). So, technically the project has been in development for about 8 months – which may seem like quite a long time, but the “concept stage” that is usually given to Freedom4Gamers’ other projects was actually never given to this project. The first map builds were merely prototypes and an outline of the modification’s chapters did not even exist at the time. Not to mention, several design changes have been made since then. Retextured versions of male citizens and Civil Protection officers were scrapped and then started being recreated. The “Niagara Apartments” (seen in the screenshots uploaded) has had several revisions, mostly involving lighting changes and texture swaps. Custom decals and other small visual details have been gradually added to the area. The beginning of the project’s development was mostly hindered by our organization’s shift to singleplayer content – which required a set of extensive revisions in the organization.

Since then, an outline of both the project’s features and planned chapters has been made. Feedback from fans that causes some form of a design change is recorded and tracked. Being that this is technically the first modification that Freedom4Gamers has ever developed, a lot of the development has been a learning experience. I hope to continue to take the development nice and slow - doing just a few additions and or changes each day (over time, development will become a lot more efficient once more assets are made).

Expansion of the FAQ

Before I get into what progress has been made recently, I will expand on some of the questions answered in the “General FAQ” which can be read on the project’s Mod DB forums

When and how will this project be released?

It would be unwise to predict an estimated release date for the final version of the project. I plan on releasing an alpha version of the project and a beta version of the project before it is officially released. Both of these versions would be released publicly in order to maximize the amount of testers to help ensure quality assurance by the final release. Keep in mind, the beta will only include half the amount of chapters that will be playable in the final version. Bug fixes and patches can be made following the release.

The modification will be distributed on Mod DB.

Is this modification based in the “leak universe”?

Maybe inspired by the “leaked universe” of Half-Life 2. The modification is set in an alternate canon that tries to take a more humanistic approach to the universe while still trying to preserve the neutral dystopian atmosphere of the retail version of Half-Life 2.
You can read more about the canon for the modification here (unless you believe in plot spoilers)

Will you require any help in the future for the project?

Since this is technically my first modification, I would prefer to be the sole developer to help learn and develop my abilities in game design. I will be trying my best to use the assets that Valve has created for the Half-Life 2 games to the fullest possible use. I may possibly be looking for voice work and or music composition in the future, but that is uncertain.

Providing feedback is still considered help in my book and I am quite fanatic about crediting any form of help that leads to a change or an improvement in the project. In regards to feedback, just because this is my first modification does not mean people have to censor themselves to avoid offending the “new guy”. My eyes cannot see everything and I could easily overlook a potential issue. I am not afraid of receiving criticism or being told that this modification is an utter waste of time and that I should just design snowmen in the Canadian winter outside instead.

There is an advantage of this project still being in pre-alpha and that is the ability to make design changes, sometimes even drastic ones. So, if you do see something you do not like or that just looks out of place, be sure to let me know. There’s no harm in telling your opinion here and if I end up seeing what you see or just “sense” that something does not fit well, I will do my best to make changes where necessary. You will absolutely be featured in the credits if your feedback does lead to a change or an improvement, no matter how small.

To make this even clearer, posting a comment like “the lighting on this map sucks” or even something as vague as “needs more detail” still provides me some level of data that something could be wrong with the design. To me, the term “constructive criticism” is just a term used to silence any opinion deemed too offensive. It is rather easy to censor feedback when you control what is considered “legit feedback” and label anything else as “trash talk”.

Will there be any new gameplay mechanics?

Probably nothing you have not seen before. I am working on adding more “realistic” movement (I am not into extreme head bobbing effects or feeling like your character is tipping over slightly if they walk sideways), readable notes and consistent interactive entities that aim to progress a player through the level. One of the major features that I will try to develop is the player’s ability to lean to the right or left. Since the modification puts the player in a completely passive non-violent role, creativity will certainly have to be used to keep the experience interesting.

Any plans to make a series out of this?

I am really not sure about this one. If I still need more practice before I focus my work on projects in my own custom universe, I may make some form of sequel to this project. I cannot really predict something like this.

What’s the point of this modification?

That’s the question I always ask myself before I begin any project. The point of this modification is to show an alternate Half-Life universe that really tries to focus on the struggle of humans, specifically their daily life. I am absolutely tired of characters in games being assigned the most important roles all the time and or having the pressure of “saving the world”. I wanted to try something different with this modification and really attempt to still make the experience interesting while removing the “shooter” element to the game.
In this modification, you are a pretty average citizen. Your character is somewhere in his late forties to late fifties and has been living in the urban centers for so long that he has forgotten his own name. He’s everything this society hates. He is physically weak, visually unattractive, his breath and body stinks and he has remained chaste his entire life. In the story, your character awakes early in the morning on August 8, 2037 (day after female extinction) in his apartment room in City 27 to be relocated to a distant urban center. His relocation is disrupted by a surprise attack on the train by insurgents and is forced to flee into the decaying urban sprawl that surrounds the city. His only hope is to find peace in the Forbidden World, a place abandoned by both man and machine, the desert graveyard of the past.

The whole modification is really just a message on depression. Despite the world’s grim state, the main character continues walking, even if he is somewhat aware he walks above his own grave. There is something calming to an empty world, something purifying about a barren desert, the only ones that ever seem to make it through such conditions never gave up faith in themselves. It is not my intention to make it solely depressing, but to convey that there still can be meaning in a world without women and where sexuality is dead. Some may think it is being too “androcentric”, but to me once you remove sexualization from genders, you will find there is not much left to them at all and what appears as a result is the neutral figure of a man.

Recent progress

Past couple of weeks I have been working on interactive objects and readable notes. I crumpled up a blank sheet of paper and soaked it in water to give it more of a “grainy effect”; the discolouration was merely an artificial edit. I intend to use notes to help give hints to the player on what they should do and provide small details on the state of the world the character lives in. Interactive objects will be made obvious by having a brief text description that describes how you can interact with it (or using a “point_message” for those familiar with the Hammer editor).

Retextures of the citizens is also being worked on and I have already completed a retexture of the Civil Protection officer (wearing a darker uniform with a red armband). As you can see in the screenshot to the right, I intend to emphasize the depressing conditions of citizens both living inside urban centers and displaced as refugees. Since most people would not have regular access to clean water (apart from the laced reserve supply), hygiene would be particularly poor along with any availability of first aid.

Not every citizen will have the same level of trauma. Their severity of cuts, bruises, infections and acne will vary from model to model. The citizen featured on the left suffers from acne breakouts and has received some facial trauma to the nose and the left cheek.

Hopefully sometime in the future once I manage to get my chronic abdominal pain sorted out, I will be more active in the project's development.

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Steam Pipe patch + full game DVD
Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Steam Pipe patch + full game DVD

Nov 19, 2014 DangerousWorld Patch 11 comments

Hi all this is full game (DangerousWorld version 2.0 DVD) on and replace gameinfo.txt downloaded in this Patch steam pipe.

Riddle Resolutions Guide
Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Riddle Resolutions Guide

Sep 21, 2014 Steam, Tracks, Trouble & Riddles Guides 1 comment

Spoiler Alert! Be aware that this can spoil your game experience! Guide to all resolutions of the riddles. Just in case you stick in the middle of the...

Steam, Tracks, Trouble & Riddles Chapter One
Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Steam, Tracks, Trouble & Riddles Chapter One

Sep 20, 2014 Steam, Tracks, Trouble & Riddles Full Version 25 comments

This contains file contains the data of the mod. Extract it and place it in your sourcemod folder under your Steam installation. Then restart Steam. You...

S.T.T. & R. Chapter One Release Guide
Half-Life 2: Episode Two

S.T.T. & R. Chapter One Release Guide

Sep 20, 2014 Steam, Tracks, Trouble & Riddles Guides 6 comments

This guide contains • installation instructions • control hints • a brief description of the background • Youtube links of all clips • the complete credits...

Patch v1.1
Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Patch v1.1

Sep 12, 2014 Hopeless Night Patch 2 comments

This is the first patch for Hopeless Night. Changelog in the description.

The Masked Prisoner RELEASE - V1.0 installer
Half-Life 2: Episode Two

The Masked Prisoner RELEASE - V1.0 installer

Sep 4, 2014 The Masked Prisoner Full Version 4 comments

This is the full version of the mod. Installer requires a 64 bit operating system.

Post comment Comments  (30 - 40 of 101)
λpone Jan 13 2013, 4:46pm says:

I love the combine ai in this game!

+1 vote     reply to comment
PedobearNED Dec 30 2012, 10:49pm says:

Whats with all the whining about it being called HL3 or HL2 EP3?

It depends EP1 and EP2 where called that because they connected with each other and if they weren't 2 seperate things it would be you getting on the train and than crashing on that train.

If Ep3 follows with you taking off in the heli or landing somewhere with it it means it will be called Ep3 if it's later in the story it will probably be called Half-Life 3

+1 vote     reply to comment
cryoffear1 Feb 13 2013, 10:24am replied:

Well there are pictures of Valve wearing HL3 symbole shirts :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
Opinionator Dec 22 2012, 4:42pm buried:


Overated game of all time.

-11 votes     reply to comment
VeGas-_-Gh0st Jan 17 2013, 7:18pm replied:

says you women, go jack off to halo otherwise known as most generic game ever.

+4 votes     reply to comment
geotavros Sep 21 2012, 5:15pm says:

Is there a multiplayer in this EP2 ? Why moddb shows this: Players Single & Multiplayer ?

+2 votes     reply to comment
renzjericho Dec 28 2012, 12:19am replied:

Only in Mods like Synergy

+2 votes     reply to comment
kakokapolei Aug 25 2012, 6:44pm says:

There will be no HL2EP3, they started working on HL3.

-1 votes     reply to comment
wilplay Aug 25 2012, 4:37pm says:

or not ! hl2\episode two

+2 votes     reply to comment
nickfrosty47 Aug 14 2012, 12:33pm says:

i wish that someone would make a mod of what they think half-life 2 episode three will be like becuase ill take anything new from the half life series right now becuase im just bored.

+2 votes     reply to comment
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Half-Life 2: Episode Two
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Released Oct 9, 2007
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Highest Rated (6 agree) 10/10

Never gets old.

Mar 14 2012, 12:45pm by Captain_Hell_Knight

First Person Shooter
Single & Multiplayer
Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Released Oct 9, 2007
Half-Life 2: Episode One, Released May 31, 2006
Half-Life 2: Lost Coast, Released Oct 26, 2005
Half-Life 2, Released Nov 15, 2004
Half-Life: Source, Released May 31, 2004
Half-Life, Released Oct 24, 1998
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