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By Dimitri Vujicic

HL2: Episode Three Concept Art Leaked [UPDATED]

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[UPDATE 2: The Picasa portfolio has apparently been taken down, but we've still got all of the original images, right here. Check them out below.]

[UPDATE: We've managed to track down the original images to Valve artist Andrea Wicklund's Picasa portfolio. The images are real, and they were all uploaded in mid-March 2008.

We have now uploaded high-quality, watermark-free renditions of the concept art, including their original, unmodified filenames, given by Andrea herself. Check them out below!]

Well, isn’t this turning out to be an eventful week.

HL2: Episode Three Concept Art Leaked [UPDATED]

Another chapter in the dark history of the missing Half-Life threequel was written today, as our brothers-in-arms over at ValveTime have managed to get a hold of some pretty monumental stuff: 33 concept art images for Half-Life 2: Episode Three, dating from March 2008 (before EP3 was presumably cancelled, and then restarted development as Half-Life 3).

These concept drawings depict a variety of ideas and locations:

- a redesigned Alyx Vance, now wearing her deceased father’s clothes, as well as a variety of different outfits suitable for Arctic temperatures.

- the Xen borderworld, completely re-imagined, ten years after Xen was first envisioned for Half-Life 1. Somewhere in Xen, Gordon is depicted confronting a strange portal entity, as well as a Combine Advisor

- the crashed Resistance helicopter in the Arctic landscape, surrounded by all-new Combine structures similar in aspect to the Citadel, and similar in scale to the Depot.

- Gordon Freeman, now wearing a hooded winter parka. Even as early as Half-Life 1, it was established that the HEV suit couldn’t handle low temperatures, and in the chapter “Apprehension”, even the background temperature of an industrial Black Mesa freezer was able to sap the HEV’s energy reserves dry in mere moments. It would also seem that Gordon might be wearing something new underneath this parka, as one concept art piece where his hood is off, shows him wearing some sort of white headgear with a mysterious symbol printed on it.

- all-new characters: including the refugee inhabitants of the Arctic, and possibly a new Combine creature.

I have been able to independently verify the status of these images, and it does seem as though they are, in fact, real, possibly created by Valve’s own Andrea Wicklund.

Well… without further ado, here is what the newest entry in the Half-Life franchise looked like, as of March 2008. Beware, as these art pieces may represent game spoilers:

I must say, this is some pretty impressive stuff. While there are, of course, some possible spoilers for the game (a return to Xen, of course, was something very few of us thought would ever happen), it is some really jaw-dropping art overall. I just hope this stuff remains in the game.

Source: ValveTime.

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59 Comments

  1. Seems legit. Most of these are actually fake ones, that they taunt people with on Steam XD The three after the NPC models were actually made into several Hammer editor scenes that they used on April first to make people think 3 was coming out, which of course it wasn’t. Anyway, there are some awesome pics here!

  2. To close with GOLDEN KEY

  3. I think this stuff actually looks really good! I’m what that weird flower/tentacle creature is…

  4. Does not look like half life,and realistic Alyx looks bad :/
    hl2 episode two was epic,but as i see ep3 or hl3 will not be very nice :(
    anyway,half life is best game since first half life part…

  5. That symbol on his head is actually not a symbol so far as I can tell. It’s just some little dude, when you zoom in. It looks kinda like a Master Chief cartoon, with a bow on his head.

    The one on the wrist also appears to be a strange, mask-like face with ‘X’s for eyes.

    • The one on the wrist might be too tiny for us to tell what it is, but I did know the one on his head depicted a little dude. Still, no idea what it all means.

  6. also because he wears glasses

  7. I dont think gordon is in any of the pictures without his face covered because I remember him having a beard

  8. looks nice…I can imagine the plot…they go to the borealis, crash down with the chopper, fights a few advisors, then uses the ship to transfer to xen and kill some aliens, hoping to find shephard that is being kept by g-man and then they all togheter kill the boss…the end

  9. Freeman without HEV suit? HECK NO! Maybe the suit cant work in cold, but they should ,,invent,, a coldproof one.

  10. Wow it is awesome to finally see some art for this game, and to see what kind of stuff they might do. I wanted so badly for this game to go back to Xen, and I’m so happy to see that it will! Ah the new Xen looks amazing, and I bet they can make it super cool with new technology. I can’t wait.

  11. Wow, picasa page down, says it wasn’t found. MAN!

  12. The building far away from the pic above the title looks like it’s that building from th video released by that guy that quit Valve, the Building wuth the Bats chasing the man hacks

  13. Has VlaveTime been taken down, i can’t go on to it? Is it because of this leak?

  14. This is HISTORY. I am extremely happy to see something HL 3 related vissualy. It’s been too long.

  15. Incredible!

  16. The 11th pic is my favourite in terms of a new style for Alyx, it’s awesome. As for one of the concepts where she’s wearing Eli’s jacket, that is actually awesome too. This is exciting stuff, really. Maybe this will all be worth the wait, hopefully.

  17. I hope they don’t change Alyx’s model TOO much, it’ll feel like having an entirely different companion. It’s not like huge amounts of time have passed. I mean, isn’t Episode/Half-Life 3 supposed to pick up right where Episode 2 left off? That’s been the case for the previous three games.

    Besides that, these concept images look AMAZING. PLEASE let Half-Life 3 come soon!

  18. one of the man looks like he has alient arms its one like from the sob characters

  19. very good art it seems all SOB files are hl3 so you will be in space and hmm pyromania day 3 its not there hmmm

  20. Is… is this actually happening? I’m not still asleep, am I…?

  21. Even if it’s just from one artist, the mere fact alone that these are real legit pix from valve makes my jaw drop. Holy moley.

    Also, dat distinct combine arctic architecture. City 17 should’ve been like a walk in the park compared to these monstrous castle-thingys.

    And how did they get a hold on all this neat stuff anyway? Maybe it wasn’t exactly coincidental… ;)

  22. I think the last part images its actually Gordons mind, he is fighting over the control of an advisor thats messing with his brain.

  23. Saw these at 5:30 this morning and could’t believe it. Even waited a few hours for a tweet to confirm that these were a hoax. Didn’t expect to see the exact opposite confirmation. Excitement doesn’t even cover 10% of the emotion here… Now if only my site would open up so we could write this up! *frustrations with technology*

  24. Holly crap! Those are some fantastic images! Thanks Vic 07

  25. Smash (one of the mods on the official forums) claims that these indeed are was concept art for Ep3 :D

    Interesting stuff (post #28): http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2770048&page=2

  26. Looks like Alyx got turned white on the way there.

  27. Man, her outfit in the tenth pic is awesomely sexy.

  28. Hey, Look at Pics 27,28,29,30 and the last one. Do any of you think it could be a space ship? It seems to be flying in some kind of “space” In the last shot, and its resisting some force in the 30th one. Pics 28, 29, and 30 remind me of an object being taken into a Black hole, where things are usually stretched by alot.

    • I think this is some sort of strange portal entity floating around through either the Xen borderworld, or a dimensional nexus or pocket-dimension of some sort.

  29. I swear we’ve seen that squid type creature before. Does any recognise it from somewhere?

  30. I have this feeling the last pictures of this ‘thing’ are major spoilers. Plus, I find it strange Gordon is not recognizable in any of the pictures.

    • Gordon is in many of the images – he’s just wearing a hooded winter parka.

      • Yes, I know. We assume it’s him. It even seems he has different pants looking at the size of it.

        • One of the images (the one showing him on Xen, with an Advisor behind him) clearly shows that there’s some sort of white cowl on his head – it doesn’t seem to be his parka’s hood, and it has some sort of weird symbol printed on it.

          • At least it’s safe to assume the Borealis is in a VERY COLD place. Wasn’t there a discussion about the exact location of the Borealis, whether the artic or a location more near White Forest?

            • Yeah, there’s been a lot of speculation on that topic.
              I don’t think the concept art really settles that debate though… what we see here could be mountainous areas towards the north of the White Forest, but they definitely look a lot like the Arctic too. Who knows?

  31. Whoa… just whoa, some of these pics are gorgeous to look at!
    I seriously like the new arctic outfits they’ve been making for Alyx, even I have a hard time choosing which one would look the best.
    I’m glad they didn’t completely reuse the one of Alyx in HL2 when it was in beta stages, these look much better!
    I just hope they aren’t going to change the skin and model that much, I mean she looks even great there but I hope these were just artistic concepts and not real game decisions, I don’t know.
    I think ones where she’s wearing Eli’s jacket was a great idea!

  32. Guess my personal “predictions” about the fate of that helicopter was pretty damn accurate. I mean, really, who didn’t think that that helicopter would end up as a wreck?

  33. Commenter AvatarNewgoodsdeliveryJune 27th 2012 at 2:30pm

    Now that Xen looks super trippy. I wonder if Wicklund ever passed through Amsterdam.

  34. The 10th picture look like the HL2 beta of alix.
    http://combineoverwiki.net/w/images/c/cc/Alyx_goggles_concept.jpg

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