Last month, former Valve writer Marc Laidlaw released what was called a “fanfiction,” but was actually the story treatment for a Half-Life 2: Episode 3 that might have been. It seemed that might be the closest we’d get to ever playing the next instalment in Valve’s genre-redefining franchise, but the Epistle 3 game jam offers more hope on that front. Even if we might never actually play a Valve game with 3 in the title, we could imagine what it would be like with the help of some rad indie developers and modders.
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The game jam’s roster includes Blendo Games, which is mostly a pseudonym for Brendon Chung, the designer of super-cool FPS narrative experiments like Gravity Bone and Thirty Flights of Loving, as well as more fully featured titles like Atom Zombie Smasher and Quadrilateral Cowboy.
Chung’s take on the Epistle 3 story is called Tiger Team and, naturally, it’s a mod for Half-Life 2. I have not yet played Tiger Team (though I’m very excited to), so I can’t confirm whether it’s a serious attempt at exploring that story or something more bizarre and abstract in mode Chung is known for. Either way, it should be quite a trip. You can grab it on itch.io, and the install process seems pretty easy.
The Epistle 3 game jam has had a few submissions, but the Blendo game is the first one with a known name behind it. Hopefully it’s the first of many. Because Valve are definitely not making Half-Life 3. Probably ever. Keep your dreams in check.