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Next Half-Life Won't Change Gordon Freeman

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 41 comments
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Valve has no plans to update Gordon Freeman.

Valve Software's Gabe Newell recently told EDGE Magazine (via CVG) that the company has no inclination to update the personality of Half-Life's protagonist Gordon Freeman to match other modern FPS game protagonists on the market. Newell said that he wants Freeman to remain as "an arm and a crowbar," and apparently isn't in any rush to provide Freeman with a voice.

"We're not philosophically opposed to this, but we don't have any good reasons to do it," he said, referring to Freeman's lack of a voice. "Right now making your companions more interesting and compelling seems a more fruitful avenue to explore."

Prior to that comment, Newell was asked if he wanted to give Freeman a greater sense of embodiment in future Half-Life games. "We haven't had a reason to change that," he answered. "Most of what I've seen to date has been gimmicky and is entertaining for just a minute or so."

Currently there's no indication of when Half-Life 2: Episode Three will finally see a release. As of January, it was believed that the latest edition won't be available in 2010 despite Valve's development schedule with the earlier installments. It may be that Valve is steering for a full-blown release of Half-Life 3 instead.

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  • 30 Hide
    bogcotton , April 6, 2010 1:41 AM
    You can't change Gordon Freeman ever!

    I'm Gordon Freeman.

    There is a part of anyone who has played the entire half life series who is Gordon Freeman.

  • 21 Hide
    yannifb , April 6, 2010 1:47 AM
    Eh it would be weird if they all of a sudden gave him a voice
  • 15 Hide
    brother shrike , April 6, 2010 1:46 AM
    The problem with giving Freeman a personality is that it takes the player out of Freeman's shoes. Right now, Freeman can be whoever the player wants him to be, he's a blank slate so to speak. While Duke is pretty badass, and I've always enjoyed chewing bubblegum and kicking ass, I've never felt as immersed as I have in Half-Life.
Other Comments
  • 30 Hide
    bogcotton , April 6, 2010 1:41 AM
    You can't change Gordon Freeman ever!

    I'm Gordon Freeman.

    There is a part of anyone who has played the entire half life series who is Gordon Freeman.

  • 13 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , April 6, 2010 1:43 AM
    bogcottonYou can't change Gordon Freeman ever!I'm Gordon Freeman.There is a part of anyone who has played the entire half life series who is Gordon Freeman.
    That almost sounds like it could be a new "Chuck Norris" fad... :) 
  • 15 Hide
    brother shrike , April 6, 2010 1:46 AM
    The problem with giving Freeman a personality is that it takes the player out of Freeman's shoes. Right now, Freeman can be whoever the player wants him to be, he's a blank slate so to speak. While Duke is pretty badass, and I've always enjoyed chewing bubblegum and kicking ass, I've never felt as immersed as I have in Half-Life.
  • 21 Hide
    yannifb , April 6, 2010 1:47 AM
    Eh it would be weird if they all of a sudden gave him a voice
  • 5 Hide
    False_Dmitry_II , April 6, 2010 1:51 AM
    It would be odd if they did change that; but at the same time when people start just talking to him he doesn't really respond at all.
  • 1 Hide
    liquidsnake718 , April 6, 2010 1:57 AM
    He looks like Mr Smith in the Matrix series. I can imagine him as being the instagator rather than saviour in the 3rd installment of the series... Never finished HL2 though so I dont know how it plays out
  • -3 Hide
    aethm , April 6, 2010 1:58 AM
    I usually don't like it when they give protagonists voices. How about a silent, but choice based communication system, like Dragon Age.
  • 5 Hide
    thegreathuntingdolphin , April 6, 2010 2:03 AM
    yannifb is right, it would be weird to give him a voice all of a sudden.

    Speaking of Half-Life, where is Black Mesa Source?!
  • 1 Hide
    B16CXHatch , April 6, 2010 2:05 AM
    I think it's a good thing to leave him the way he is. It leaves you feeling more like you are Gordon and that the characters are talkin directly to you and not to another character.
  • 7 Hide
    nukemaster , April 6, 2010 2:07 AM
    Black Mesa Source is NOT a valve project.
  • 0 Hide
    matt87_50 , April 6, 2010 2:22 AM
    omfg thank you! I wouldn't have thought anyone would even consider changing him! let alone into one of the generic Hollywood style ****s that most dumb ass publishers think is cool these days!

    I thought this would go without saying. as valve is one of the few developers still to have a brain between them.
  • 11 Hide
    Alex Jordan , April 6, 2010 2:34 AM
    False_Dmitry_IIIt would be odd if they did change that; but at the same time when people start just talking to him he doesn't really respond at all.


    As Alyx puts it, Gordon is a man of few words
  • 14 Hide
    doc70 , April 6, 2010 2:36 AM
    leave Freeman alone; he's perfect as he is.
  • 2 Hide
    one-shot , April 6, 2010 2:54 AM
    I'm actually downloading HL2 to play for the millionth time. Best PC game..EVER! If you disagree, you're wrong.
  • 9 Hide
    Silicon Jesus , April 6, 2010 2:56 AM
    I think they should give him the voice of Gilbert Gottfried.
  • 0 Hide
    7amood , April 6, 2010 3:14 AM
    I don't want them to change Gordon...
    keep him as is... if possible give him his dark toned skin again... it makes him look more fierce.
    keep the crowbar
    keep the NO-VOICE... he doesn't need it... he is a winner without it
    long lives the-freeman
  • 3 Hide
    husker , April 6, 2010 3:36 AM
    bogcottonYou can't change Gordon Freeman ever!I'm Gordon Freeman..

    No you're not! I am!
  • 1 Hide
    henrystrawn , April 6, 2010 3:54 AM
    The only developers I haven't given up on are Valve and Bioware. I'm about half way through HL2 and looking forward to episode one and two. It has been just long enough to rediscover them. They are still gorgeous graphics. I don't look forward to any changes in the "first person" attributes. Hopefully they will stick with what works.
  • 3 Hide
    bison88 , April 6, 2010 4:41 AM
    Sometimes you don't need the guy you are controller to voice his opinion. Gathering the story from a second and third person perspective I think is one of the reasons it made Half-Life so successful in the first place. I can't think of many games that constantly left me questioning the possibilities and outcomes as each user can draw himself to his or her own conclusions.

    Just keep doing what your doing Valve
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