HL2: Ep 3 won't feature City 17

Written by Joe Martin

May 18, 2007 // 10:05 a.m.

Tags: #3 #alyx #city-17 #episodes #episodic #freeman #gabe-newell #gman #half-life #hl #physics-gun #sequel #steam #valve #vivendi

We know, we know, Half-Life 2: Episode Two is taking forever, but it finally seems as if an end is within sight. Valve's Doug Lombardi recently confirmed to Eurogamer that not only is Half-Life 2: Episode Two ahead of its (delayed) schedule, but that Episode Three will not feature City 17 as a setting.

"Pre-production is definitely going, and it'll be ramping up rather quickly now that they're ramping down on Episode Two," Lombard revealed, "There's a "skeleton crew" doing the work."

Although Lombardi didn't want to spoil the ending, there are numerous rumours that Episode Three will finish with a climatic battle in the Artic station where Dr. Judith Mossman was spotted in the first episode.

Which would make sense given that the behind-the-scenes book, Raising The Bar, shows that the original plan for the Half-Life 2 storyline was much more epic and had the silent protagonist hopping to battles in numerous locations. It was just one part of the numerous cuts made in the game, which included enemies, characters, plotlines and an over all darker theme.

One of the planned areas mentioned in the book was at an Arctic research station and aboard a stranded icebreaker ship. Interestingly, a character named Odell was originally supposed to appear in the Arctic section, but when his character was cut the model was recycled and appears as Colonel Cubbage, the English commander who first gives Gordon his first rocket launcher in the game.

"I don't think you'll head back to City 17, for sure," Lombardi said in response to questions, adding dramatically; "Not in Episode Three, anyway."

Truly hardcore Half-Life fans may want to look up the Missing Information mod that regenerates much of the deleted content based on information from the various pre-release leaks of the game, though Valve don't approve of the attempts and deem it to be illegal content.

Looking forward to the continuing adventures of Gordon Freeman, or annoyed about continual delays? Maybe you've got a rumour to share or some missing information of your own? Whatever the case, get to the forums and let the speculation begin!

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