Episode 2 is scheduled for a fall release and will feature higher production values than its predecessor, Valve says.
In an interview with Gamespot, Valve employee Erik Johnson revealed some intriguing details about the next installment in his company's vaunted Half Life gaming series.
Episode 2, slated for release sometime this fall on the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3, will be the second "episodic" release following the debut of Half Life 2 itself in December 2004.
Johnson said gameplay for the Episode Two storyline clocks in at around eight hours, or two hours longer than Episode One.
It will also take the player through a wider variety of environments, as evidenced by some of the recent video clips and screenshots depicting leafy outdoor terrain. Episode One, in contrast, started out in a very polished-looking indoor setting, but later returned to the more familiar territory of zombies, buildings and streets.
Johnson also noted that Gordon Freeman will be traveling in style:
There will be a new vehicle in Episode Two. The buggy from Half-Life 2 was built by a group of rebels that was clearly skilled at welding together a tube frame but was a bit lacking in the horsepower department. In this episode you'll be driving a car built by someone with a lot of knowledge of older American hot rods.
The Valve employee further said the company has made incremental graphical enhancements over Episode One - dual core support, a new particle effect system, and cinematic physics - because of its episodic release system and survey data from Steam users.