Thursday, January 21, 2010

Unknown releases and fake betas

Understanding it shouldn't have come as any big surprise, the news that it is very unlikely we will see Half Life Episode 3 in 2010 is incredibly disappointing.

According to the latest issue of Game Informer magazine, not only are there no plans for the next episode but no one at Valve is even confirming whether they'll continue with the mini-releases.

Why care what type of Half-Life comes out?

When Valve went from full-blown games to the buzz of 'episodic-gaming' that was supposedly the new direction of game development in 2006 promises were made. With many FPS fans upset at the five years between the genre-changing Half-Life and Half-Life 2, Valve promised shorter development periods with smaller, episode type releases. True to their word, Half-Life 2 Episode One was produced and distributed in less than two years and Episode Two one year later in 2007.

But three years will have gone by and still no Episode Three. Valve haven't been quiet though, the studios have had incredible hits such as Team Fortress Two, Left 4 Dead as well as an underappreciated but incredibly original Portal.

Whether its a true sequel or not creates some heated conversation, but Valve have even manage to release a follow up to Left 4 Dead (with such an original title - Left 4 Dead 2), leaving Half Life fans asking for T-L-C from G-A-B-E.

Aside from the guaranteed clever gameplay, Valve created this anxious gameplaying fanbase because they are so efficient creating characters gamers start to care for at levels normally onlu found for movie and television character. Barney, Alex and of course Gordon Freeman are all written about across cyberspace if they were real people.

And it seems these 'real' people are ambivilent with excuses about not coming around for a visit.

Faked Beta's
When discussing the lack of computer game magazines on the store shelves, many past readers will point to the endless 'exclusives' and hype without any solid foundation for the loss in readers. So the new medium of online magazines would look to more solid reporting, yes?

Evidently not. At the time of posting, 1UP is featuring a supposed leaked beta of Halo Reach. Something doesn't quite ring true with the beta. There is no actual gameplay footage, just the intro screens with the player making such a pained effort to bring the XBox controller into camera view as they make their way through the menus. Why would they do that?

Personal opinion. Video footage compiled to look like the beat of the next release in the Halo series with the controller thrust into the picture to convince the viewer they are clicking through the options. In reality they are merely following a script.

How this merits front page material at 1UP is beyond me and several people who have left a comment on the website saying so.

And before you ask, would news of a fake XBox beta make it into a PC Gaming blog? Halo is one of those titles along with Gears of War that PC gamers would love to have released for the computer.

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