Upcoming Half-Life Novel Brings City 17 Back to Life

Last Updated on August 13, 2023

If you’re desperate for more Half-Life , a new fan-written novel might ease your urges to shoot Combine forces and fantasise about punching Dr Breen…

Phase Transition is the title of a 600-page book by Ross Joseph Gardner and Michael Pelletier which tells the story of characters in Half-Life 2‘s City 17, but set before the return of Gordon Freeman. It also serves as a prequel to a comic, A Place in the West, which is already available on Steam.

Accordig to PCGamesN (carrying a sample of the novel), the story focuses on new characters and includes the G-Man; it commences during the so-called “Black Mesa incident.”

Gardner states: “One thing I was very conscious of doing was trying to tell an original story,… I wanted it to feel like it was part of the games, that readers could imagine it fitting in, but I took many, many liberties with the source material. My initial instinct was to stay away from the G-Man altogether, but his relationship to one of the characters is so vital I ended up weaving him in in a fairly big way. Hopefully fans like it.”

While Phase Transistion is not an official Valve release, the company is “aware” of the project. It is expected to be released in the final quarter of 2024.


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Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine, TechRadar.com, and other publications.

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