Half-Life 2, the rumors that have been going on for the past week and I have been following it closely. They are not rumors, it is true that Half-Life 2 will be out by the end of this year, rejoice guys. Here are some points taken from Planet Hal-Life & CS Nation:

» Half-Life 2 is scheduled for a September 30th release.
» Yes, you’re still Gordon Freeman, and yes, the story assumes you went to work for the G-Man.
» Half-Life 2 takes place in a European city called “City 17.”
» Headcrabs will be back! Although some of the Xen aliens will be your friends?
» Barney is back. And so is Half-Life’s original writer, Marc Laidlaw.
» While the new engine has all sorts of fancy features, it’s still designed to work on lower-end machines. Apparently a 700mhz processor and a video card capable of running DX6 is enough, although a 2ghz with a GeForce4 is recommended.
» The girl in the promo art is named Alyx, a daughter of a scientist who factors into the story somehow. She’s not playable.
» Scripted Sequences will be more interactive.
» Half-Life 3 is planned, so expect another cliffhanger ending.
»The eyes of players are dynamic, and accurately track objects in the real world, jumping to various objects of interest as well when nothing is happening.
» Eyes also feature true reflections.
» While a number of “Barney” security officers will be around, one main sidekick is planned.
» Full facial animation, based off of muscle-movement studies, gives natural expressions as well as automatic lip-synching.
» Fully realistic physics engine for fluid movement, falling, and collisions.
» All players will no longer walk “through” corpses, but rather step on and over them.
» Advanced fully dynamic particle system.
» Vastly improved AI system with intelligent pathfinding, threat analysis, and multiple prioritized objectives.
» Expected to be published by Activision.

Here are some screenshots in NeoWin forums. They are all scans from PC Gamer.

It will be an interesting year for us despite the war on SARS and Iraq. And on the FPS side, it is Doom 3 vs Half-Life 2. Who will emerge the winner? I will put my vote on Half-Life 2.

I have updated the poll to reflect this. Question is Doom 3 vs Half-Life 2. Click here to vote.

*Update* Here is a link to bigger scan images of the pages from PC Gamer.