As part of their GDC Afterparty event, Valve head Gabe Newell had a big announcement. The long-awaited next Half-Life is finally here, hitting the Epic Games Store at the end of 2019. Valve’s Half-Life 3 will be the first major release to use Source 2.0, their next-generation game engine. Picking up right where Episode 2 left off, Gordan and Alyx board the recently rediscovered Borealis. Gordon aims to take down a Combine base while fighting icy head crabs and soldiers along the way.
When asked after the presentation why Valve chose Epic over Steam, their own distribution platform, Gabe had this to say:
Details about our deal with Epic Games are confidential. What we can say is that Half-Life 3 will live on the Epic Games storefront for a year after release. We just want to ensure that players have the best experience with our new game. Discovery can be hard, and Epic will be able to push the Valve name to a whole new audience.
While players still have a bit of a wait for more crowbar action, Valve also has a few more Half-Life treats in store for 2019. Half-Life 2: Episode 3 will be a fifteen minute VR experience that bridges the gap between Half-Life 2 and Half-Life 3. Using Valve’s newly unveiled Knux controllers, the game will allow you to swing a crowbar one to one in the Half-Life world.
When asked if the stories of Half-Life 2: Episode 3 and Half-Life 3 would overlap, Gabe Newell said he “wasn’t sure yet.”
We believe the VR experience will sufficiently transform how players experience the Half-Life story, even in 15 minute intervals. Any narrative issues should sort themselves out once they’ve seen the new version of the Barnacle we’ve been working on since 2008.
Valve hasn’t announced a timetable for the release of the Knux controllers and Episode 3, but they promise that they will make “a reasonable effort” to release before Half-Life 3‘s debut.
Over on the Epic Store, Valve has allowed Gordan Freeman to join the fight in Fortnite Battle Royale. Gordon will be the Level 100 reward in the “Season 9/3” Battle Pass. To get him, you’ll need to complete Half-Life challenges like racking up melee kills and building tall structures. After you finish, you’ll be able to jump into the HEV suit and thank the jumpmaster at your leisure. Gordan’s Crowbar is also coming to Fortnite as an Epic weapon. You can inflict a Head Crab on any opponent unlucky enough to feel its wrath. Only one will spawn per game, and each crowbar only carries three “ammo” before breaking.
Finally, during the presentation, Gabe announced that Ricochet Remastered would come to the Epic Store for free next week alongside a paid Steam release.
Half-Life is obviously a must-have for a lot of fans. We’re happy we can fulfill those wishes, but we here at Valve are just psyched about Ricochet. We truly believe that our multiplayer baby will finally find the audience it so rightfully deserves with the help of Epic Games.
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