Half Life Blows Out

Some BIG Half Life announcments madeYesterday, Valve Software delivered a number of surprising announcements at an EA press event, and Gamespot was on hand for it. First and foremost was the news that Half Life 2 would be coming to the PS3 and Xbox 360, most likely before the end of the year. Given the game came out on the XBox, that might sound like a rather small piece of news.

However, beyond the next gen consoles’ ability to run the game much better than the Xbox did, console owners are getting more than just Half Life 2. Episode 1 and Episode 2 will also be part of the deal, perhaps suggesting that the main game will see the graphical improvements of the episodes.

Furthermore, Valve are planning for the game to debut at the same time as the PC version of Half Life 2: Episode 2.

Given that the Xbox couldn’t quite do the game justice, and given these two rather substantial extras the game is looking like a bargain, even at the slightly pricier cost of next gen games. If it turns out that they’re throwing in Half Life 2: Deathmatch, and or other extras, there’ll be plenty of reasons for even those that already grabbed the game last generation, to get the new version.

The good news wasn’t just for console owners either. Included with Episode 2 on PC will be two rather major bonuses. First up, we have Portal. Set in the Half Life 2 universe, the player will be given a gun that shoots portals, similar to the ones seen in Prey but under the player’s full control. You’ll basically be able to shoot an exit portal and an entry portal. Got a chasm to cross? Shoot a portal into the wall next to you, shoot one into the wall on the opposite side, and stroll through it.

There’s no word on how big Portal is going to be, though I wouldn’t expect it to be longer than a couple of hours, but all the same it sounds like an interesting little extra.

Finally, and not strictly horror related, is the news that Team Fortress 2 is going to be included with episode 2. Team Fortress was a very popular multiplayer mod for the original Half Life, and Team Fortress 2 has been in development for many years. It’s one of those games you never expect to see come out, and for a long time was thought to be a stand alone game.

Still, those that felt $20 was too much for what you got with Episode 1, will probably be a bit happier about that price point, given these two new promising extras... and if Episode 2 is anything like as scary as the first one, it’ll be one not to miss.

The only question that remains is how Valve plan to release Episode 3 for console, something which seems necessary as it completes the story of episode 1 and 2. Presumably they’ll put it out through Xbox Live Marketplace and whatever equivalent Sony have cooking for the PS3, but once we have confirmation you’ll hear it here.

- Plagiarize

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