When "How to make the internet hate you in one click" is as much of a fitting headline for a piece, it's worth asking whether you should even write it. But hear me out.
Half-Life and Half-Life 2 were a big deal in their own ways, and I, along with hoards of others, thoroughly enjoyed blasting my way through both. And yes, Half-Life 2 was also crucial for being one of Valve's first titles to run on the Source engine.
But that was ten years ago. And in that time, Half-Life 3 has gone from "highly-anticipated" to "God-status" on the hype-o-meter. Almost as if its arrival will mark gaming's Judgement Day itself - redemption for a decade of annual refreshes and dance franchises.
Fueled by hypers from all corners of the internet, particularly 4chan and Reddit, the title has been held up as leviathan of proportions it could never possibly live up to. It's because of this that the recent discovery that Valve has filed a trademark for Half-Life 3 has sent the web berserkers.
But Half-Life 3 has made no promises. Heck, Half-Life 3 may not even exist, and there's a good chance it won't even be the face to launch the Source 2 engine. We're all in store for a big disappointment and we've only got ourselves to blame.
Ten years is a long time but it's even longer in gaming time. And take into consideration that the original Half-Life launched in 1998, this means that the new generation of gamers will have never experienced a Gordon Freeman adventure fresh from the oven.
A lot of them will never have even heard of (or, more importantly, care about) Freeman, Alyx Vance or G-Man, meaning the game risks falling into a big generational gap.
But worst of all, Half-Life 3 risks coming down with a nasty case of Godfather Part III syndrome: a whole lot of waiting for one crushing anticlimax. Or if you will, this could be Valve's Chinese Democracy.
I'm not saying I think the game is going to be bad per se (though Valve's surely overdue a dud by now, right?) but it's never going to reach this mind-boggling target that gamers have set for it. Because really, none of us even know what that entails. And therefore it feels like it can only be a letdown.
As great as I think Half-Life 2 was, I do wonder if a lot of us peer back at it through our nostalgia glasses. Distance makes the heart grow fonder and all that.
And the harsh truth of the matter is that without pulling some sort "second coming of gaming", Valve has let too much time pass to deliver the Half-Life 3 miracle we're expecting.
Just ask Francis Ford Coppola about that one.
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