The mysteries of Half-Life 3 and episode three of Half-Life 2 may never officially be resolved. Extensive, investigative work has resulted in little to no revelation, and whenever information does crop up, it’s delivered at the most unexpected times in the most roundabout manners.

Valve may have abandoned its silent theoretical physicist, but other developers have brought him into all sorts of video games over time. Freeman has received plenty of subtle textual and visual nods in titles like Call of Duty: United Offensive or Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, so we’ve limited our list to actual sightings of Dr. Freeman’s likeness. Let’s see what other worlds the scientist has explored over the years.

The Punisher (2005)
Loosely inspired by the 2004 movie starring Thomas Jane, The Punisher is a third-person shooter where Frank Castle takes on a load of gangs with plenty of guilty-pleasure cameos from Iron Man, Wilson Fisk, and more. However, the cameo we’re interested in happens during the introduction of the Stark Towers level. A tour guide shows Castle all of the scientists working on projects when the facility goes on lockdown. One of the scientists asks “Dr. Freeman” what’s going on, to which he replies, “Maybe the quantum physics group finally opened that extra-dimensional portal!” Sadly, the enthusiast scientist perishes when an Eternal Sun gang member breaks into his lab, so you’re unable to save him. Although Portal wasn’t released yet, this version of Dr. Freeman seemed to be working on a device that looks awfully similar to Chell’s Portal gun, too.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl (2007)
If you look to your left next to a fallen helicopter in Wild Territory, you’ll see an underground tunnel filled with electro anomalies, which plays a key role in the “Find the Family Rifle” side mission. If you carefully navigate the area using bolts or your detector, you’ll find a deceased Gordon Freeman with his signature glasses. Looting his body will uncover his PDA, where he chronicles being sent to Chernobyl (possibly by the G-Man) following the Black Mesa Incident. Apparently, he didn’t fare well in the radioactive landscape, but you can benefit from the fallen scientist by taking a Black Kite pistol off his body and a modified version called the Big Ben in a box lying next to him. GSC Game World planned to add a mission where Barkeep gives you a mission to recover the Black Kite pistol, but the quest was scrapped from the game.

Penumbra (2007)
In Chapter 4 of Penumbra, you encounter a locked door that blocks your way to the incinerator room. The only way to get through is to carefully venture across a frozen lake to retrieve a crowbar, which must be sawed from the previous owner’s cold, dead hand. Should you inspect the item’s description, it reveals that “There’s a name scratched into the metal: ‘Freeman.’” The scientist can’t seem to catch a break from harsh landscapes, whether it be frozen tundras or radiation wastelands.

Metro 2033 (2010)
After Rangers Pavel and Ulman save Artyom from two Nazis in the Trolley Combat mission, you’ll notice a bloodied door down the hallway as soon as you assume control of Artyom. The Rangers head left, but if you open the door and turn on your flashlight in the pitch-black room, you’ll find a Gordon Freeman who’s been long dead. There’s no way to tell on appearance alone since he’s a skeleton, but a pair of glasses and red crowbar leave no doubt. The similarities between this and the Shadow of Chernobyl Easter egg are likely not coincidence. Metro 2033’s developer, 4A Games, was founded by former S.T.A.L.K.E.R. developers.

Renegade Ops (2011)
Your car is your weapon in this interesting take on the twin-stick shooter. You upgrade your arsenal and tour different locations as you blow up all sorts of different vehicles. The Steam version of Renegade Ops comes with a Half-Life-themed buggy that Gordon Freeman himself drives. His unique ability allows him to send out giant Antlions to destroy enemies.

Shoot Many Robots (2012)
It’s hard to say whether this counts as an appearance or not, but it’s close enough to warrant our list. This side-scrolling shooter features customizable clothing with varying stats, and one of these outfits is the Steam exclusive HEV Suit with Gordon Freeman’s glasses. These items were available for anyone who pre-purchased the game, which interestingly increased the likelihood of encountering a Portal turret in-game. Unfortunately, Shoot Many Robots was removed by Ubisoft from the Steam store, so this is an appearance that’s disappeared into the nether.

McPixel (2012)
The eponymous character of McPixel is put through dozens of rapid-fire situations where you interact with his environments to figure out how to prevent explosions from going off. In one of the downloadable content scenarios, the hapless guy finds himself at Black Mesa Research Facility, where Gordon Freeman and Gabe Newell are roasting hot dogs over a fire. Saving the facility entails kicking Newell into the fire, eating his hot dog, and vomiting on Freeman, which will cause him to vomit rainbows that put out their campfire. We can’t help but think there’s some metaphor behind all of this.

Steamworld Dig (2013)
In the Old World section of this adventure mining title, the second upgrade cave houses an ancient store you can visit if you venture to the upper-left portion of this area. Once you steam jump across a chasm after blowing up a wall, you encounter a GameGo store with a row of people who died waiting for Half-Life 3. Advertisement posters and a billboard are all over the place, and one of the fans is wearing a HEV suit. We wouldn’t count this as a Freeman appearance, but his likeness (with appropriately graying hair) can be seen on one of the store’s posters.

Mad Max (2015)
If you move south from the center of the Grit Canyons area, there’s a cliffside with an opening below. Entering this well-hidden haven will lead you to a pile of boxes, but you’ll notice that a bigger wooden crate has an orange “3” blazoned on the side. A severed arm with a crowbar rests on top of it and, lo and behold, a rotting corpse with glasses lying next to it. You can collect some scrap and eat some maggots straight out of Freeman’s corpse while you’re there, too … appetizing, right? In addition, Avalanche Studios developed this game as well as Renegade Ops; the team clearly has an affinity for Half-Life.

Final Fantasy XV (2015)
The latest in the strange world of Gordon Freeman appearances comes from Square Enix’s partnership with Valve to deliver Final Fantasy XV on Steam. Players can wear Gordon Freeman’s HEV Suit, glasses, and use a crowbar with their own customizable characters, but can play as the man himself if they so choose. The extra content is exclusive to anyone who purchases the game on Steam before May 1. As a side note, Final Fantasy XV creative director Hajime Tabata said that “The Half-Life team at Valve” sent him a headcrab hat to wear while announcing the DLC … the wording is a bit curious, wouldn’t you say?

 

What are some of your favorite appearances of Half-Life’s star character? Are there any games you’d like to see him appear in? Let us know in the comments below. You can also check out our thoughts on the canned script for Half-Life 2: Episode 3 by clicking here.

At the end of our Replay Civil War, it all came down to you to choose the next Super Replay! Our Overblood Facebook group ended up choosing two games through a tie: Killer7 and Godhand.

You chose well. Killer7 is my favorite game of all time, for reasons I will fully elaborate on in the near future. The short version, however, it’s that it’s the closest video games have gotten to being a David Lynch film. It benefits from being played alone in near silence, so you can fully process its wild, surreal moments, cool characters, and ambiguous plot.

In fitting with its themes, we decided to take Killer7 very seriously, as Andrew Reiner, Joe Juba, Leo Vader, and I focus only an the artistry of Killer7 and never talk about anything else and make absolutely zero jokes. Enjoy!

(Please visit the site to view this media) 

With a little ingenuity and £350 (or about $482), YouTuber
My Mate Vince created a “portable” Switch XL.

Using a 15.5 inch, 1080p monitor powered via USB cables,
Vince attached the components to the back with velcro. Portable batteries power
both the monitor and the third-party FastSnail Switch dock, which run off 12
and 5 volts, respectively. He even managed to make the Joy-Cons detachable by taking
the rails off a controller grip and screwing and gluing them into the sides. The
entire device weighs about 2.5 kilograms (or 5.5 pounds), he says.

Vince says in the video’s description that if the video
becomes popular enough he will invest in a set up that “will look much better and thinner and be more
portable with a kickstand with different levels.”

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Check out one of Vince’s
other videos that shows games
looking wonderful on a ’70s TV
.

The Land of the Rising Sun is fortunate to have some of the greatest cafés known to mankind, ranging from Monster Hunter to Kirby-themed settings with adorable dishes in tow. It was only a matter of time before Game Freak joined in with the craze with its adorable Pocket Monsters with the Pokémon Café in Tokyo.

Reservations will be opening on March 5 at 6 pm and are set between March 14 and April 5. After then, the schedule will be updated and subject to change, but the only way to get in is through reservations. Every customer will need to order two items, but if you’re looking to go all in, you can do special reservations where you can get exclusive merchandise like mugs, plushies, and more.

Pikachu is all over most of the menu items, which range from soups to fruit dishes. There are plenty of colorful drinks and deserts as well, which are upwards $15 on average. You can check out the full menu by clicking here. We imagine it’ll take quite some time for the craze around the café to die down, so if you don’t see yourself going, at least there are appealing, digital alternatives in the near future.

[Source: Pokémon Café via ResetEra]

P.T. was a teaser for the canceled Silent Hills game that never came to fruition, but it’s left quite an impact in its wake. Modders have tried to recreate the game on PC, and games like Layers of Fear have cited taking inspiration from it. The latest developer/artist to be inspired by the demo has decided to “demake” the game, and it’s a sight to behold.

Youtube channel 98Demake has turn the PS4 game into something out of the late PlayStation era, complete with some nostalgic aliasing and and simple lighting. Although the graphics quality isn’t the highest, you can still recognize it as P.T. and it’s still really dark, ominous, and scary. Take a look below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

If you’re interested in playing this for yourself, you can download it here.

If you subscribe to the computer, tablet, or mobile edition of Game Informer magazine, you can now read our 300th issue celebrating the top 300 games of all time! Following today’s cover reveal, our digital issue is now live on web browsers and will be coming to iPad/iPhone later in the day. You can download the apps to view the issue by following this link. All of these digital options are included in a standard subscription.

The issue launches later this week on our third-party subscription apps including Google Play, Kindle, and Nook.

Not a digital subscriber yet? Convert your existing print subscription here or start a new subscription here.

Be sure to visit GameInformer.com throughout the month as we expand on our Top 300 Games of All Time through various online features.

For those of us with large game collections, shelves are a pretty common way to store all of the game boxes we accumulate. For others, though, the floor might be a better fit.

Resetera user Squarehard was challenged to cover their entire floor with DS game boxes to show off their massive collection of them, so they did. While we can’t imagine it’d be comfortable to walk on, what better way to show off a game collection than for visitors to see literally every game you’ve collected when they visit. Also, it looks kind of incredible. Take a look.

(Images used with permission from Resetera user Squarehard.)

You can check out more pictures of this fantastic floor in this thread. If Vita games are more your style, Squarehard did a similar thing with them in another thread.

In Fortnite, you have to be prepared to face threats from all directions. I have no earthly idea how you can prepare for a sniper blasting across the map on top of a rocket, though.

As a squad battle came down to one final kill, BullNizzle kindly asked his teammate to shoot a rocket at him. As the rocket approached, BullNizzle hopped on top and took a ride towards the enemy encampment. He zeroed in on his target and with one quick-scope shot, it was Victory Royale for him and his squad. It’s truly a sight to behold. Check out the clip here.

BullNizzle plays Fortnite as part of Avant Gaming, an Austrailian esports organization, so clearly he’s had a lot of practice for this specific scenario, right?

27 years is a long time. For nearly three decades, Game Informer has made it its mission to inform the public about this thriving medium and the complex industry it’s housed in. For our 300th issue, we sat down as a group for the sake of a massive undertaking: ranking the 300 greatest games of all time. We argued for weeks on the basis on historical significance, enjoyability, and of course that je ne sais quoi that just makes some games better than others to put together this list. The process was brutal, with passionate pleas for many of our favorite titles failing to make the cut, but in the end we emerged with what we feel as a group is the definitive list.

Besides celebrating this achievement with a party we’ve put on with Fulton brewery, we also commissioned five beautiful covers that celebrate some of gaming’s finest works and eras by artist Greg Semkov. We chose our covers on a number of factors, including giving classics that we never did a cover story on a chance to grace the cover of Game Informer as well as picking genre-diverse titles in order to present the rich breadth of gaming. The four games chosen four special covers are Red Dead Redemption, Minecraft, Metroid, and World Of Warcraft. The fifth cover is a both a callback to the original magazine design from 1991 as well as a thematic piece of art intended to capture the enthralling experience of falling in love with the world of video games for the first time.

 You can view all the covers here:

In addition to our massive declaration of gaming’s greatest, this issues features a piece on the dangers of crowdfunding by Jeff Marchiafava, as well as our reviews of an indie triple threat: Celeste, Crossing Souls, and Iconoclasts.

Print subscribers can expect their issues to begin arriving in the next few days. Can’t wait that long? The digital edition of the issue is available later today on PC/MaciOSAndroid, and Google Play. You can also get the latest issue through third-party apps on NookKindle, and Zinio starting tomorrow. To switch your print subscription to digital, click here, or to create a new subscription to the digital edition, click here.

Tomb Raider is set to hit theaters on March 16 and aims to portray Lara Croft with a similar survivalist style that we’ve seen in the most recent Tomb Raider games. However, this isn’t the first time that Lara Croft has come to the big screen. Angelina Jolie assumed the role in 2001’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and its 2003 sequel Lara Croft: The Cradle of Life, which still stand as the first and sixth highest-grossing video game adaptations, respectively. To help prepare us for Tomb Raider, we looked back at Jolie’s take on Lara Croft to see how they lived up to one of gaming’s most famous characters.

Right – Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft
You can debate whether or not the Lara Croft movies are any good, but there is no arguing that Angelina Jolie had the Lara Croft look nailed down. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone else who better represented what we thought the pixelated heroine would look like in real life. Jolie as Lara Croft may go down as the best casting for a video game character in a movie.

Wrong – Lara Croft: Archaeologist/Hammer Smasher
During one scene in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Lara recovers an artifact and brings it back to her mansion for further study. She has a hunch that the real artifact is within the casing that Bryce, her tech engineer, is meticulously taking apart. So, what does a self-respecting archaeologist do when such a hunch arises? Simple! Smash it with a hammer. Granted, the Lara Croft in the games is encouraged to smash ancient pots to find collectibles, but at least she had more respect for the artifacts she’d pursue.

Right – Female Protagonists in Male-Dominated Mediums
When Lara Croft was first introduced in 1996’s Tomb Raider, she was catapulted towards the top of the very short list of female video game protagonists, including names like Samus Aran and Ms. Pacman. Even with her, uh, disproportionate dimensions, video games had scarcely seen any strong female lead characters before she came along. The same can be said for movies when Jolie first stepped into Croft’s shoes for 2001’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Action movies were (and largely still are) a male-dominated genre, but she harnessed her inner Lara Croft and showed early on that any person with two guns can kick some serious ass.

Wrong – Love Interests
We get it, it’s Hollywood, so there are bound to be some love interests thrown our way. And to be fair, the casting of Daniel Craig and Gerard Butler as each movie’s charming and sarcastic hunk of man meat were both apt. But the Lara Croft we know never needed a man to help her find artifacts. She alone could handle any enemies and obstacles that stood in her way from uncovering hidden treasures. She only needed two guns for shooting and two hands for climbing through ancient ruins (and for holding the guns).

Right – Over-The-Top Action Sequences
The Lara Croft movies have plenty of gun-blazing action. Whether she’s wielding her signature dual hand cannons or bringing an unloaded rifle to a swordfight, the Lara Croft movies feel most like the games when Lara has her guns out. The action scenes in both movies are easily some of their greatest highlights, and it’s that action that helped make Lara Croft into a gaming icon.

Wrong – Brushing Off The Mystical And Puzzles
Along with her dual-wielding pistols, Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider games was known for fighting off mystical enemies and solving ancient puzzles. From undead soldiers to demonic monsters to freaking dinosaurs, she fought them all and continued on to explore and solve complex labyrinths on the way to treasure. In the movies, the mystical enemies are replaced with the Illuminati and gangsters, while the closest thing Lara comes to solving a puzzle is a scavenger hunt for a hidden letter from her father.

Right – Following In Her Father’s Footsteps
It’s loosely touched on in Tomb Raider lore, but Lara was not the first archaeologist in the Croft family. Richard Croft, the heir to the Croft family fortune, was a famous archaeologist in his own right. The movies rightly expand on the history between her and her father, showing him as a devoted father as he teaches young Lara all the history he’s uncovered. Upon his passing, she inherits her father’s estate, using it as a base of operations as she continues down the path that Richard started as an archaeologist.

Wrong – The Unrelatable Hero
While the relationship with her father tries to ground her, she still comes across as a spoiled snob who shows little gratitude to the people closest to her. It’s near impossible to relate to a character who wakes up in her mansion with a gourmet meal catered to her by her live-in butler, then goes to fight a robot programed by her live-in tech wizard, then unwinds with a spin on her trapeze harness, all without so much as a thank you. Clearly, Pappa Croft forgot to teach young Lara basic manners.

How will a modern take on Lara Croft play out on the big screen? Check out our interview with Alicia Vikander, the star of Tomb Raider, to see how her take on the character showcases the evolution of Lara Croft. Tomb Raider is coming to a theater near you on March 16.