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"I think we're a little bit ahead of the industry on this," muses Newell. "We've just made this hugely successful game, this big blockbuster. But, rather than going back and doing that again, we're going off and doing the episodic thing. A lot of people are pretty confused by that - they're very much tied to the whole blockbuster thing."
Above: Say farewell to City 17, as this is the last outing for the grim metropolis
But that doesn't necessarily equate to a lowering of standards. "Everything we do, the goal is to get Game of the Year. No one is allowed to have a goal other than that, because if they do, they're not working at the level of quality that we hold ourselves to. We're using this Half-Life 2 trilogy as an experiment. We're waiting to see what gamers say, to see if we were right," he adds, looking ever-so-slightly anxious.
But having already played through Episode One, we don't think he has anything to worry about. Check back for Half-Life 2: Episode One goodness tomorrow.
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