Before the E3 game conference each year, the Half-Life 3 rumour mill cranks into gear, only to be destroyed by the crowbar of history. Let’s just let sleeping headcrabs lie

Every spring as the E3 video game exhibition rears up on the horizon like a vast dying sun, the rumour mill cranks into motion. Could this be the year? Could developer Valve Corp make the announcement we’ve all hoped for? Might we at last see Half-Life 3? Or Portal 3? But no. Every year those fragile hopes are dashed against the rocks of the Seattle company’s seeming indifference.

Of course, there have been signs of movement over the years. In 2012, concept art showing Half-Life 2 character Alyx Vance emerged, apparently leaked from within the studio and showing the beloved fighter dressed for a frozen environment. Half-Life 2: Episode 2 ended on a cliffhanger after all. Gordon Freeman and Vance were just about to destroy the Borealis research vessel when Combine Advisors turned up and killed her father, leaving her hugging his corpse. It was like the Star Wars saga ending with Empire Strikes Back. It clearly wasn’t the intended conclusion. So people have always talked, and waited and theorised. Then earlier this year, Valve chief Gabe Newell told fans on a Reddit QA session that the company was still working on single-player titles and may even be returning to the Half-Life or Portal universes.

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