Half-Life 2: Episode 3, the long-awaited sequel to Valve’s definitive FPS game, has finally been “released”, offering fans of the Steam classic closure on the story of Gordon Freeman, Alyx Vance, and G-Man, and bridging the gap between Half-Life 2 and Half-Life 3. The only issue is that Episode 3 has been developed and launched in the worst form possible.
half-life 2: episode three minimalist (the missing capital letters are intentional, and vital for communicating the nature of this game) is a mod for Half-Life 2 which aims to deliver, in the words of creator sciencedude, “half-life 2: episode three but garbage”. On the surface, it follows the story that fans imagined they would see in Episode 3. Having located the lost research ship Borealis, Gordon and Alyx head to the arctic to rescue Judith Mossman, all while dealing with the fallout following the death of Eli Vance. There, however, the comparisons to any official Valve game end.
This is Half-Life 2: Episode 3 if it were built by your little brother after he just discovered Garry’s Mod. The levels are largely empty, enemies stand in groups, not moving, and most of the assets are just plonked anywhere, with only some terribly (read: superbly) written on-screen dialogue telling you where to go.
“I was unaware of the brutal murder of eli,” explains Mossman. “I need to convince you that eli had been aware of his cooperation n [sic] with the combine all along i’ve been using them to gain an advantage against the dominating alien force.” This is the exactly the kind of high drama and emotional storytelling that once made Half-Life the darling of the gaming industry. If you need to see more (and trust me, you do), half-life 2: episode three minimalist is available now from Mod DB. It’s a beautiful glimpse at what might have been as we continue to wonder whatever happened to Half-Life 3.