Half-Life 2 going gold in August...probably

Valve head honcho Gabe Newell tentatively sets the PC shooter's production start date, divulges some details.

In addition to revealing the Half-Life 2 voice cast yesterday, Gabe Newell has also narrowed the window for the notoriously postponed PC shooter's production start. "I said we were planning on delivering the game to Sierra in August...to the best of our admittedly weak planning abilities, we are looking at August," said the Valve CEO in posts on the hl2fallout.com forums. However, there is still no official release date.

Besides mildly raising the hopes of PC gamers, Newell also divulged some details about Half-Life 2. "Half-Life 2 is about 3.5GB uncompressed and about 2GB compressed," he said. "This doesn't include CS:Source, HL-1:Source, DoD:Source, the SDK, or whatever. It's just the straight HL-2 sizes."

However, Newell did say the Source engine would be available at the same time as Half-Life 2--maybe. "That is the plan," he said before quickly qualifying himself with this statement: "It is more a question of how many bells and whistles they add than whether it will be done in time."

Another statement by Newell seemed to indicate that the source-based version of Counter-Strike being released with Half-Life 2 would be a reworking of the original game, not a sequel. "Counter-Strike: Source isn't Counter-Strike 2, at least if you're trying to be consistent with our nomenclature," he clarified.

Among the other nuggets of knowledge Newell revealed: Striders, the towering Tripods-esque aliens, can be killed; more than 200 people auditioned to voice Alyx; the game's violence will be toned down for the German censors; and Half-Life will be available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Thai.

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