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.