Rank Speculation: Will Valve Unveil Half-Life/Portal Crossover?
This morning, Mike Sharkey wrote a piece discussing what Valve might have left to reveal tomorrow in their final big announcement at 10am PT. He mentions Half-Life 3, Left 4 Dead 3, a gamepad with swappable pieces and some other input device that collects biometric feedback from the player.
Coincidentally, this morning Game Front Managing Editor Ron Whitaker and I were chatting on Twitter about what we think Valve is saving for tomorrow. That conversation went like this:
Me: So, hey, what will you break if the inaugural Source 2 game is L4D3?
Ron: I expect it to be L4D3.
Me: I do too, so I’m trying to figure out what I should break.
L4D3 seems like a smart bet, but something kept nagging at the back of my mind all day. Quite frankly, if you want to make a splash with the announcement of Source 2, you need to go big. Would Left 4 Dead 3 count as such? Maybe. But at least we allegedly know Left 4 Dead 3 is a thing, while Half-Life 3 may well be nonexistent at this point. Nearly the same amount of time has passed since Half-Life 2 Episode 2 as came between the original Half-Life and Half-Life 2 (six years), and there’s been not really a peep about it.
But there’s another possibility, one that I imagine would really send Lucas Molyneux (pictured above) into a tizzy: A Portal/Half-Life crossover event.
Remember, when last we saw Gordon Freeman and Alyx Vance, they were about to exit White Forest and head out into the colder regions of the world in search of an Aperture Science research ship called the Borealis. Meanwhile, by the end of Portal 2, Chell has been forced out of the Aperture Labs and out into the world. Valve has never been clear about precisely where in the timeline the Portal games fit, but they have confirmed that Portal 2 takes place some time after the events of Half-Life 2. It wouldn’t really take any work at all to line the series up next to Gordon’s adventures upon returning from the G-man’s slow teleport.
So what would Valve be doing exactly? I would think the crossover would be three separate games, bundled together a la the Orange Box. Remember, this has to be big — One game would be about Chell and ATLAS or P-body (rebuilt in the Peer Review DLC), and one would be about Gordon and Alyx, with both featuring co-op because “Portal 2 will probably be Valve’s last game with an isolated single-player experience.” These two games could show how the stories converge, while the third could have them adventure together in a four-player experience.
OK, fine, this is speculation. But I’m calling the concept now. Half-Life and Portal will finally crossover on Steam and that team-up will come free with a Steam Machine purchase or something. This is happening. I guarantee it.