Half-Life 2: Episode 3 concept art surfaces

Four-year-old images from Valve's apparently abandoned episodic first-person shooter series surface, depict apparent return to Xen.

Valve's years of unbroken silence about Half-Life 2: Episode 3 suggest the trilogy-capping installment of the developer's experiment in episodic gaming may never see the light of day, but that apparently hasn't kept some concept art for the game from surfacing. Valvetime.net has posted dozens of pictures to its Facebook account, saying the artwork was created for Episode 3 back in 2008.

The Xen of Half-Life.

Many of the pictures appear to show Half-Life 2's Alyx Vance and a man in a variety of outfits, while others focus on downed helicopters, each with a towering structure in the distance. Still others depict floating platforms with dangling tentacles and flowing creatures floating in the air, suggesting a return to the dimension of Xen showcased at the climax of the original Half-Life.

As of press time, Valve had not responded to GameSpot's request for comment. However, multiple volunteer moderators on the official Valve forums have confirmed the pics as authentic, albeit dated, concept art from an old project.

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