Ten years ago today, Valve released Half-Life 2: Episode Two. It was the second of three announced games that directly continued the story that started in 2004's heavily lauded Half-Life 2. Episode One and Episode Two were released in 2006 and 2007, respectively, with the second ending on a major cliffhanger. Unfortunately, this is where the Half-Life universe ends.
The first Half-Life and its sequel had endings that wrapped up the main story in each game, though both games left players with plenty of unanswered questions. Episode Two, on the other hand, had a very Empire Strikes Back ending that begged for resolution. Throughout one full game and two episodes, protagonist Gordon Freeman is accompanied by scientist and all-around badass Alyx Vance, who has worked with her father, Eli, to help humanity resist the aliens that have enslaved the species. At the end of Episode Two, Freeman, Alyx and Eli experience a temporary victory, closing a portal that traps the Combine aliens on Earth and giving humanity a last shot at freedom. The success is short-lived, however -- two nightmarish aliens capture and kill Eli and are about to kill Freeman and Alyx until a last-minute rescue leaves them safe but devastated as the game fades to black.
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