Valve has been too busy printing money with Steam and making other classic games to talk much about its plans for the beloved Half-Life franchise. But Valve being Valve, we know they’ve been working on it for a while. Now there are hints that are finally starting to leak that something is going to happen.
Or so the fans like to think. It says something the Valve doesn’t even have to screw with its fans anymore; they’ll do the job quite nicely themselves. Still, something is up.
For starters, a discussion of the latest update for Half-Life 2 included some gratuitous Korean:
WARNING: The most recent HL2 update has some issues. We're working to fix this, you can pause the update for now. 예측하지 못한 결과에 대비하라…
— Steam Support (@Steam_Support) June 25, 2013
What does that translate out to? “Prepare for unexpected results”. Granted, this was apparently about the Korean language pack overwriting every other language in the game, so it could just be Steam’s elves having a laugh.
Unfortunately, this happened right around the time the Internet discovered the last page of this month’s PC Gamer features a joking look at Valve’s elevator. PC Gamer had to confirm they didn’t have anything in the pipe about Half-Life 3.
And that would have been the end of it, except a game called Surgeon Simulator 2013 got some Team Fortress 2 DLC, and apparently one of the features of the DLC is this:
This has some weight, because it’s tied directly to Valve, and Valve doesn’t tend to toss things in, especially puzzles, for no reason. But they’ve also got gamers completely baffled as to what this is. Adding fuel to the flames:
So, we hear there's some puzzle you're trying to figure out…
— SurgeonSimulator2013 (@SurgeonSim2013) June 27, 2013
In the corner of that object in the center of the frame, you might notice some Korean, which supposedly translates out to “The Time Is…” As for the graphic… good question! Some claim it’s the Sun and the planets, which makes sense. That would make the planet with the arrow coming out of it Saturn, which fits into the six letters, but why, precisely it’s pointing in between Mercury and Venus is unclear.
Of course, this is more likely a Team Fortress 2 update, or something similar, but hey, it’s fun to imagine. Realistically, though, keep your eyes peeled for news about Source 2 arriving: It’s widely believed Half-Life 3 will be a showcase for that engine.