Half-Life 2: Episode Two delayed, final products revealed

PS3, 360, and PC Orange Box editions include original game, both expansions, Portal, Team Fortress 2; slimmer PC Black Box also unveiled; HL2: Platinum "tabled."

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Last July at Electronic Arts' summer showcase, Valve Software CEO Gabe Newell made a surprise appearance to announce that Half-Life 2 was coming to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Both versions of the game, tentatively titled Half-Life 2: Episode Two, were slated to go on sale in time for the 2006 holiday season, when the stand-alone PC expansion of the same name would also launch.

While the revelation was not particularly surprising--Newell had issued prior statements saying Valve was experimenting with the 360--the presentation did include a few stunners. Out of nowhere, a revamped version of the long-thought-dead Team Fortress 2 appeared, and a trailer for the new dimension-hopping game called Portal left the audience yearning for more.

Luckily, EA and Valve announced Team Fortress 2, Portal, and Half-Life 2: Episode One and Two would all be bundled together with original game with the 360 and PS3 releases. The stand-alone PC expansion would also have the two new games as a bonus. However, just over a month later, word came that all versions of Episode Two--including the stand-alone PC expansion--were delayed until early 2007. Then in November, reports emerged that the game wouldn't arrive on store shelves until summer.

In both cases, the delays were revealed unofficially by Valve's director of marketing Doug Lombardi to the European press. However, today came official word of Half-Life 2: Episode Two's release window from Electronic Arts. And to the surprise of virtually no one, the game has been pushed back yet again, as all three versions of the game now bear a "fall 2007" release date.

The games' new date means that there's a good chance the 2007 holiday season will look a lot like the 2004 holiday season, which saw the original Half-Life 2 compete with the latest entries in the Halo, Grand Theft Auto, and Metal Gear Solid series. If those franchises stick to their traditional October and November time slots, it would prove another pocket-book-crushing year for gamers.

EA and Valve also announced the final titles for the games formerly known as Half-Life 2: Episode 2, which the publisher will release in two "product configurations." First is the Orange Box, which will include the original Half-Life 2, Episodes One and Two, Team Fortress 2, and Portal. The Orange Box will be released for the PC, 360, and PS3, but EA confirmed to GameSpot that it will be the only Half-Life 2 product offered for the two consoles at retail.

Besides the Orange Box, PC gamers will also get the Black Box, which will include Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Team Fortress 2, and Portal. It, too, will be available this fall. Neither boxed set has "Half-Life 2" in their official title, as they are "game collections," according to EA. "The Black Box and The Orange Box represent a new approach to publishing multiple products on multiple platforms," Newell said in a statement.

In other Valve-related game-collection news, Half-Life 2: Platinum "has been tabled for now," according to Lombardi. The retail boxed set, which was to bundle Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, Episode One, Counter-Strike: Source, and Day of Defeat: Source, was set to ship this month.

Discussion

393 comments
Procheater
Procheater

"And to the surprise of virtually no one, the game has been pushed back yet again..." I certainly ain't surpirsed...

Specimen2501
Specimen2501

Wow, can't really say I'm surprised, they are so half-@ssed anyway

Glordit
Glordit

been delayed again......................

Baster
Baster

I hope all the bashers remember their comments when Valve rushes Episode 2 out the door...buggy and incomplete. Valve has been known to take their time, and the finished product is always spectacular. Yes, I'm not a big fan of the fact that three years later I'm still waiting on episode 2 of 3...but hell, I'll still play em, because they'll be great games. It's either this or wait 6 years for a finished game (1998-2004). Half Life 3 in 2010 seems like a long way away.

fishwish22
fishwish22

Fishwish Halflife in little chunky bits is not as satisfying as longer game play.I will support there efforts and love the game but I am not keen on episodes I would rather have a full finished game to play any day of the week.I hate waiting for a short ride.Rather wait for a long one.

mgu
mgu

Awww, this blows. I was hooked on Episode 1 even do it felt like i played in the darkness of an alien zombie mandness for a long time and i had more logic to how to get from point a to point b. Anyways, i am looking foward to the game portal. Something to keep me from shooting aliens for a bit. I am disapointed with episodials to, it's taking way to long. Maybe they are forgeting what have said and planned and looking at this 2nd episode like a normal game. But like Half life 2 first came out after like years! Everyone was like Wow. So giving Valve time must be good! They are not just Counter Strike: source all day =P.

BDANick
BDANick

Some of you are trying to say that we the paying customers are being irresponsible in our impatience. Im sorry, the whole point behind episodic releases, was to ease the pressure on these teams in the first place. By releasing what are in my opinion inferior games, not because of their snazzy graphics but simply because they are not a full gaming experience, releasing products like this behind schedule is simply counter productive. You then ask the fans to buy other games with it? bundled packs, black and orange. Im sorry what happened to the good old days when you could buy a FULL GAME on its own in the store. Another problem i find is these episodes are being used less to complete the gaming experience and more to further exploit the technology available. This is not the experience i want. I appreciate the effort Valve, i really do, unfortunately these delays come across only as a cause of extreme frustration. I believe this is a result of newer formats, technology giving designers too much to fill. I am certain that this sort of trend will continue unless teams such as valve find methods of increasing efficiency. Whether that means hiring new programmers or simply sticking to this paradigm for a while, this sort of trend HAS ALREADY lost them customers.

klingons76
klingons76

Once again Valve has disappointed its fans by delaying another episode. Episodes were originally meant to be released every 6 months, not once every Christmas season. The cause, making the game for 3 platforms (PC,Xbox360, PS3) and trying to to keep the date releases all fairly close together, as to not show favoritism for one platform over the other. But the question is, is it worth waiting 12 months for 4-10hrs. of game play. I admit, I have personally been a fan of Half-Life since Oct. of 1998, when Half-Life came out on PC. I have been patiently waiting for each expansion since then, but there comes a time when you are no longer willing to wait and you find yourself looking at other shooters worth 10-30+hrs. of game play. Now as a side note. I believe Valve did a well based consideration to the fans by creating Team Fortress 2 and Portal, to be released with Episode 2. To keep the fans busy playing puzzles and capture the flag, which will provide hours of frustration, challenges, and perhaps a feel to climb the ladders of success to be the best. Now we can whine and mumble about the dates being delayed - once again - or we can wait for Value to show us, the dedicated fans, their product and why the wait was - or wasn't - worth it.

Haklin
Haklin

gameinformer.com have 3 great new articles on tf2...i hope the gamespot guys get some hand on play time for us to read about!

DMShadows
DMShadows

While I am a big fan of HL and HL2... I was disappointed when they announced that the next parts of the story would be done in Episode format. I was hoping for a HL3... not EP1, & 2 etc etc. But, I simply decided at the time... I will wait for a box set... let them release all the episodes they want... box them together and buy them at once... And here's HL3... Unfortunately it seems that the time between Episodes is getting longer and longer... and with the sudden end of the SiN episodes (or so it seems, I hope I am wrong)... And with things like ET:QW, Crysis, UT3, and Halo2: Vista on the horizon, I just don't think I personally am willing to wait for "Episode" type games... give me the full game in one package for one price.... I'd rather not buy each episode with such a long wait time inbetween and only get 4 to 10 hours of gaming out of each package... just my humble opinion.

neo16161616
neo16161616

NOOOO!!!! I CANT WAIT ANY LONGER!!!!

iliasark
iliasark

I've played all HL series and it would be without sense to just abandon the game right now.Using the logic seems pathetic to wait for so long a game, further more when its all about an expansion/episode.Though,I think on the other side that games sometimes take a lot of effort to come considered ''gold'' as the Half Life is for us. I'd rather prefer to play a PERFECT game delayed, than to play a mediocre and buggy one on time lets say.(with the assumption that will delaying,Valve improves the game itself).Well, time to install something else to play till that mmt comes :-P

flankenstein
flankenstein

I was over my ears back in November when the Gameplay Movies were released, now I'm not that interrested anymore. btw. IGN said it would cost $39,00

doktron
doktron

I thought episodic gaming was supposed to shorten wait times between games(6 mo. to 1 yr.) for a shorter game experience(5 to 10 hrs.) instead of waiting 1 to 3 years for a full expansion game with 20 to 30 hrs. of gameplay. I believe HF2: episode1 and episode2 probably could have been made as a single full expansion to HF2 and would have been released by now!

jsloane
jsloane

crossing fingers for a x360 and PS3 version of the Counter-Strike: Source pack (which includes Day of Defeat: Source and HL2: Deathmatch) that they have at retail for PC. Maybe we'll get HL1: Source too....probably not. Damn I wish my PC didn't suck so bad

GrrrboyMC
GrrrboyMC

Valve do produce some excellent stuff - I think we all agree with that. I just don't like the way they are treating their customers. There is little excuse for them keep pushing the release date back. It won't stop me buying the game, of course. Not sure what I think about this 'black box' / 'orange box' business. I'm not that interested in team fortress, why should I pay for it? I assume you'll be able to download HL2 Ep2 through steam without the others...???

JaketheFool
JaketheFool

I agree with fire_hunter. Ive been with the series from the beggining, and im not abou to give up on it now.

ponyboy33_99
ponyboy33_99

LOL!!! I dont know what these game companies are thinking this game will be outdated by the fall I highly doubt I'll be buying it. This is just like Stalker that game would have been cool 2 years ago. LOL!!!

Tainar2001
Tainar2001

You know what, everyone just shut up and wait. Jesus, its like your just whining and whining about how long its going to take, as if you have no other games to play. HL2 was amazing, and yes, it took a long time to make. But stop whining about the wait. Play some other games while you wait, like I dunno, CS:S or something.

fire_hunter
fire_hunter

for 5 hours of gaming we have to wait a year.... I Agree!! This is just stupid. And EA has it hands on the game too.... Thats even worse... Im giving up on this one....

smghottie
smghottie

You are a fool if you give on the half life series. It is possibly the greatest game of all time, and when the end of it all draws near you'll just forget about it? Your pathetic. These final episodes will hold the answer to a few of the biggest game questions ever, mainly, who is g-man. How can you walk away from such compelling work. I will never abandon half life, or Valve. Chief Freeman is a fool.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

Episodic content = failure. Valve = liars I've lost interest in the Half Life episodes due to all this B.S. There jsut comes a time when you say "enough", and this is it for me. I wish I could switch my screenname. Goodbye Gordon Freeman, nice knowing ya.

Rigges
Rigges

Hey, I like vavle and everything they've done with half-life and half-life 2, not to mention their respect for the mod community and helping out IGD's a little bit on steam. They have never once hit a release date on time, but they always deliver good stuff so I hope they keep it up. (I'd rather wait for quality than get crap early)

smghottie
smghottie

This is taking longer than we all want. This is clear. The only upside to these pushbacks, is that no either way, they will come out faster than if they were to combine it to create HL3. I'm sure all of you waiting for these games are well aware that the 3 episodes combined, are HL3, and there will not be any HL continuation after the 3 episodes. So even if one episode comes out per year, that still only means 3 years, vs. the 6 years it took to develop HL2. These episodes, don't forget, are some of the best games ever, and are well worth the wait. If you are a true HL fan, you would have been expecting delays as I was.

Mono
Mono

This is getting a bit stupid now. The episodic content was supposed to have a quicker development time due to the shorter length and now we're waiting for one year or more for each episode? Just cut out the stupid TF2 and bundle it with episode 3 because I can only assume that's what's really holding this up. HL2 kind of killed my love of the franchise but I got episode 1 anyway and absolutely loved it so lets just get the second episode finished and released already Valve.

CloudStrifeIXI
CloudStrifeIXI

Guys, why don't you try making this game? Do you think you can do better? If it wasn't episodic, then it would probably take twice to three times as long as episode two. They probably know they are a little bad at accurate release dates, but it could be worse, there could be NO Half-life, Half-life 2, Ep. One, Counter-Strike, CS:S, TFC, TF2, Portal.... Just because you guys are impatient, doesn't mean they should go out of their way to give you an unfinished version of a great game. I don't care what you say, it just pisses me off to see people whine about something that they could never do in their lifetime, let alone a year and a half. Also, just remember that they are releasing this along with TWO other games, so naturally it is going to take long to work out bugs and finish up the games, it's not like they are miracle workers, just shut up and wait.

Zonelezz
Zonelezz

man even more wait for a half finished game?? this is gonna take forever

unreal6666
unreal6666

Valve should just forget the episodic content promise....they simply can't deliver on time! for 5 hours of gaming we have to wait a year....not really good...same thing with s.i.n we were promised episodes...where are they? Instead of all that undelivereable B$ i would like to see valve do a complete game then do a full release....with the episode system they are just killing their rep as they can't deliver on their promises..that is why not a lot of companies are not getting into this...it is now evident that the production cycle is too much to handle...i fi was valve i would reevaluate this system...and either cancel it out or hire enough people to push out stuff on time...otherwise valve look like fools...plus people are just plain forgetting about them and moving to other games...and the gaming industry is very unforgiving...you mess up your chance...you don't get a second one!!! peace!

andrew_ribbons
andrew_ribbons

Well this is annoying. I was hoping for for this game this Spring at the latest :( I'm sure they'll release it excellent in the end, the same with Portal which i also would like. All games seem to keep getting pushed back. I had about 5 titles i wanted to get in the near future. Only 2 are actually coming out as planned this Spring >

Crimson-_-Tears
Crimson-_-Tears

Ihave yet to purchase Half Life 2 for my PC as well.

Poshkidney
Poshkidney

i still havn't got half life 2 for my PC

goodemon
goodemon

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

sakamatana5
sakamatana5

Well i say if they are going to re-release Half Life 2 they should make the first Half Life for next-gen. It is longer and would be better to play since it hasn't been re-made EVER! True it has a good couple of mods. Oh ya I wanted Half Life 2: Episode 2 to come out by itself. Why the hell do they have to bundle every little thing they make? I mean come on. If you want to get Half Life: Blue Shift or Opposing Force you have to get it bundled with about seven games that either you already have or don't even want. Come on! Well Half Life is a great series so it should last very long in the gaming world! ^_^

PeteMad
PeteMad

If Valve needs more time to work out the technical stuff, especially for the console versions, so be it. If the final product performs at 60 frames per second, then the delay will be jusitfied. I can only hope that EA's notorious long load times will be absent . >:)

kaboombo
kaboombo

Episodic content is a failure and dissapointment, it will never last, the games are too short and time between episodes is far too long. Valve bombed that idea.

largeprint48
largeprint48

HL2 is still one of the best games out there and i would play their episodes for another 5 yrs

Nawras
Nawras

HL2E2 better NOT be a short game

xrman
xrman

I dont care how long it takes as long as they release a kick ass game

Alcotamaysees
Alcotamaysees

Geez fall 2007 is going to be kickass. Especially if metroid and super mario come out as well.

untitledcause
untitledcause

Well, it sucks that this is being pushed back, but delayed gratification is always the sweetest!

lord-azrael
lord-azrael

so they said they were doing HL in episode content so they could get content out at a faster pace and with more detail on the sections with them being smaller games.Yet both the episodes have been delayed to the point where other companys would have beenable to do a full sequel considering it uses the same engine and all that needs doing is levels and script(which lets face it,for a game takes a whole 2 mins to write the story,unless it Deus ex)

shawn28341
shawn28341

Well fellas, I believe that it's time that maybe valve makes somethingelse..You can ride but so long on basically one title..I will find it interesting to see how the ps3 version stacks up against the 360's.. Especailly after the comments that were made a few weeks back by valve very openly..And as far as the comment about the pc's version getting messed over due to the two consoles , well that's just how the gaming life goes.. Can't have the two giants spending billions in hopes of getting our money while letting the pc gaming world go untouched..This reason alone is why I bought a 360.. No pc games really of interest for a while being released, and there's the unreal 3 engine already available for the 360.. The fella that commented on not knowing which version to get of HL2, and having a 57" tv.. The pc will probably still look better.. Or atleast when compared to other games on both formats..I have a high def projector and play everything on a 11'X7' screen.. And really HL2 looked a little dated to me compared to other games..Call of duty 3 on the 360 looks and plays great on the projector.. Multi for that is the most addictive game that I play.. Gears of war too looks great on the big screen.. And awesome to go through in single player coop.. But in my opinion, COD3 beats it overall..Awesome gameplay, great maps and the best water simulation that I have ever seen in a game..So in little.. I think it's just too late for the entire HL2 series.. It would take jumping on to a new and great engine or maybe with DX10..Imagine half life with the crysis engine.. But again, as slow as valve is, it would take forever to get to play it anyways...I would suggest valve hiring more people and getting the games out as soon as possible while keeping the graphics with par with other game engines..Setting the pole height as opposed to having to go back to the drawing boards due to lates games advancements that outdue there working project..Valve is almost only one notch above being in the same ball park as duke nukem..How many times and push backs has that game had?And actually number of engines it had jumped from and yet to be released..I mean seriously, Is there anyone here under the age of 20 that actually know what duke nukem is?

nicky0915
nicky0915

Aww man i was really looking forward to this game for the summer but i guess i have to wait now.....

chadstew
chadstew

err.... should i buy for xbox360 or pc??? decisions decisions, i already have hl2 for pc, but wouldn't it be sweet to play hl2 on my 57inch hdtv??

Hairball
Hairball

Sounds like porting the games to 360 and PS3 screwed the PC crowd.

Cloud_the_pyro
Cloud_the_pyro

"Wow, I think it is time for them to drop the whole episodial game development. This is just getting crazy. They are suppose to be making the games faster this way, not slower." lol unfortunately this is faster than it was before

Xrm150
Xrm150

Does every game in the bundle have the possibility of having 1000 achievement points? Or will it be divided up? Hey...its a good question.