Half-life 2: Episode 3 Watch

This is a political cartoon.  The CPs are Valve, and we're the ones getting the shit kicked out of us.

Many of the Half-Life acolytes  have been driven underground in the past year or two, and the  lack of information regarding the game is almost completely to blame.  Insult was added to injury when Left 4 Dead 2 was released in November 2009, a day short of a year after the original L4D.

A quick Google search painted a pretty depressing picture about the unreleased game.  A 2008 Ars Technica post regretfully revealed that there would be no HL2ep3 in 2010.  A little higher up the page is an early 2010 GameInformer/Joystiq rumormill report that there would be no HL2ep3 in 2010.  The top post?  Halflife2.net speculative fanboy wanking.

What we do know for sure: It will be released eventually, and  there might be a Half Life 3.

Eh, you guys do what you gotta do.  I’ll stick around and keep watch.

Bleed Out Mutation hits L4D2

The Left 4 Dead blog just recently dropped a couple new things on us online-cooperative-zombie-killing fans.  The first is a brand new game changing “mutation” for the campaign mode, which substitutes health packs for your character’s slow and inevitable death.  Says the blog:

With constant mobs chasing you, there’s no time for standing around. You have no permanent health, only temporary health that is continuously ticking away. You won’t find any health packs to restore your health, only pills and adrenaline. This mutation is for Campaign mode.

This makes me a little leery.  My fondest memories of the first game in the series involved me sitting in a room with three other friends on a LAN connection.  It was night, the lights were off, and we were tiptoeing through corridors in the most tactical fashion possible; methodically working our way from cover to cover while hugging walls and crouch-firing.  It was an extremely fun and sometimes even frightening experience.

My online multiplayer experience, however, was less satisfying. Nine times out of ten, one guy would run through the level haphazardly while the other three would be stuck chasing him down and covering his ass.  And for some reason, the three people in back would be bombarded with Smokers and Hunters while the guy in front would invariably be left unscathed.  It almost felt like the game was punishing me for the usage of proper tactics.

I’m probably making myself seem like an old guy yelling at kids to get off my lawn right now, so I’ll end the rant there while I wait for an online-cooperative-slower-and-more-methodicalzombie-killing game.  Left 4 Dead 2 is meant to be a fast-paced run-and-gun with lots of bullets and lots of explosions, so this update makes sense.  It adds an unnerving, clock-is-ticking element to the game that should make the veteran players start sweating again.

In other L4D2 news, there are Boomer plushies now and they are adorable.  Also, there’s an in-game poll to see if Realism Versus mode should be made permanent.