“Half-Life 3” is still one of the biggest mysteries of the gaming industry, and people will most likely not stop speculating about the game until it has actually been released. On the other hand, Valve have been relatively quiet on that subject and they refuse to reveal any information about the game, other than to occasionally remind people to not get their hopes up. But in the meantime, fans of the franchise can at least have some fun with projects made by the community. In some cases, those can even enjoy the same levels of success as the original games, or at least get close to that as “Black Mesa” showed us.
Now, we have just seen an official confirmation that “Prospekt”, another fan project, is headed to Steam next month. The game is designed in a style similar to “Half-Life 2”, and continues the story of Adrian Shephard, the protagonist of “Opposing Force”. The original game was a third-party sequel to “Half-Life”, developed by Gearbox. It told the same story as the original game, but through a new perspective – we saw things through the eyes of one of the soldiers who were sent to silence the project after the major incident.
At the end of the original “Opposing Force”, Shephard met a similar fate like Gordon Freeman at the end of “Half-Life” – he was put in stasis indefinitely, presumably until the G-Man could benefit from his services again. However, “Half-Life 2” came out and was followed by several shorter sequels, none of which acknowledged Shephard’s side of the story or even his existence. In the end, fans accepted the idea that Valve are not going to focus on these branches of the story for the moment, and remained hopeful that the situation will get some conclusion when “Half-Life 3” comes out. However, right now it doesn’t look like the sequel is going to come out anytime soon, so fans have taken things in their own hands.
“Prospekt” seems to try to fill that gap, and according to the discussions that are all over the Internet right now, the game does a great job at that. The title is technically a mod based on Valve’s Source Engine, something typical for fan-made sequels and alternate stories for the company’s own franchises.
It’s good to see that the mod got greenlit on Steam too, as many gamers seem to believe that it deserves all the attention it can get right now. It’s also priced quite reasonably, so it should have no problem attracting large amounts of attention from gamers, especially those who have been actively following the developments around “Half-Life 3” and are eager for any kind of continuation at this point.
What’s the story of “Prospekt”, and just how much does it tie in with what we saw in the original “Half-Life 2”? According to previews, the mod will have players (in the role of Shephard, obviously) giving a hand to Gordon Freeman in Nova Prospekt, the notorious Combine prison from the franchise.
There, Shephard will end up fighting alongside an unsuspecting Freeman and will pull various strings behind the scenes to make sure that the scientist gets through successfully. It would be interesting to see a story that implies that Freeman owes a large part of his success to unseen assistance from people like Shephard, but there is still time to develop those alternative branches of the plot.