Ever since Half-Life series writer Marc Laidlaw spilled the beans on the plot of Half-Life 2: Episode 3 in a thinly veiled piece of “fan fiction,” we’ve been slowly working through the five stages of grief. We’d already moved past anger (GABE NEWELL IS A LITERAL SNAKE) and bargaining (I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL PLAY ARTIFACT IF THEY JUST MAKE HALF-LIFE 3), and were well on our way to acceptance.
That is, until we saw this amazing fan-film, created in Source Filmmaker by YouTube channel Anomalous Materials. Now we’re just stuck in depression, and we probably will be forever.
Titled “Epistle” in a nod to Laidlaw’s story, the animation shows what the one-time ending of Episode 3 might have looked like. It’s short, clocking in at just over a minute, but it’s pretty excellent work that conveys a lot in that meager runtime. If you’re willing to be sad for the rest of the day because we’ll almost certainly never get to play out these scenes in a real game made by Valve, you should definitely give it a watch.
A quick note, though. If you haven’t yet read Laidlaw’s summary of the plot, you’ll definitely want to do that first to get the most out of what you see here.
Half-Life 2: Episode 3 will be released never, on no platforms, because Gordon Freeman is dead and everything is terrible.