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A recent interview by IGN interviewing Gabe Newell from Valve is released. It contains interesting information about the upcoming Half-Life 2: Episode Two, and the bundled Team Fortress 2 and Portal.
Gabe Newell gave some hints about the next installment of the Episodic series.
"In Episode 2 we're taking the player out City 17 and into new areas. We've also developed the player's relationship with the Vortagons and how they become a companion to you. You also start to see the consequences of what you've done in previous episodes: Gordon isn't necessarily always an allied force for good and the fall of the citadel has had pluses and minuses. He's now coming to the attention of other parts of the Combine, who so far have had their way with the Earth. Now they're surprised that a single person can have such a disruptive effect on their plans."
On Portal, Gabe said, "If we were working episodically around the time of Half-Life 2 we could have released a small game based around the gravity gun and learned from feedback before including it in the game. Instead we had to wait for the whole game to ship. There's no doubt Half-Life 2 would've been a better game if we'd been able to get the feedback along the way. With Portal we're able to get that feedback much sooner and we can then incorporate that into the next episode."
Maybe we will have chance of the Portal gun existing in HL2 or sequels?
On TF2, Gabe said that TF2 won't be a remake of the game that people already have, and they "made the focus of the game the different classes of the soldiers, so each troop type has a different role that is complementary to the next. What's clever is that if a player learns one role as well as how other people play their roles they become much better player. That's because the game is completely dependent on teamwork."Source:IGN interviewing Gabe