What Titanfall Means For Half-Life 3


Respawn’s new IP Titanfall may or may not be an interesting game. It’s online, it’s multiplayer, it’s by the guys who originally made Call Of Duty famous. Whatever. What I’m more interested in is the engine it’s using – namely, a modified version of Valve’s Source engine.

We know Source 2 has been in development for some time now. We got our first taste back in August when some clever code monkeys found reference to the tech within Source Filmmaker. Gabe Newell himself confirmed the existence of Source 2 in November, stating that “We’ve just been waiting for a game to roll it out with.”

Now, nowhere has stated whether Titanfall will use Source 2 or not – the summary of the extract of the article states that it uses a “[m]odified” version of Source, directly quoting “Rewriting major portions of it“. If it is West and Zampella’s work, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are using the original source engine as a basis, considering how long they flogged the Quake 3 engine for. However, if Respawn are using Source 2, even as a basis for their engine, this could have some interesting implications for Valve and, by extension, everybody who is waiting for news regarding Half-Life 3 (so, everyone).

Don’t forget that Valve have a history of letting second parties use their incomplete engines to create games. Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines (oh dang, Bloodlines, I’ll never get these reviews done now that I have to reinstall and replay it) was built using a pre-Half-Life 2 version of the original Source engine. Who’s to say Titanfall isn’t the equivalent title for Half-Life 3? Respawn get to release their game using the almost final product, and Valve come in and release Half-Life 3 with the final build.

Could this be the title that brings Source 2 to the world? Will it be the precursor to a new age of digital entertainment, heralded by Gordon Freeman riding a flying Headcrab and wielding a flaming red crowbar? Or is it just some developers being time-efficient by scavenging someone else’s tech, ultimately meaning nothing?

We’ll just have to wait to hear more from Valve (yeah right) or Respawn/EA (more probably) at E3 next week. Who knows, maybe Valve will drop the bomb this year.

(image credit http://darrengeers.deviantart.com/?rnrd=2957)

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