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Half-Life boss Gabe Newell has revealed that "primary characters" will die over the trilogy of new Half-Life 2 episodes. "People need to feel that characters are genuinely at risk," he says. "Otherwise they lose investment and the significance of their actions is diminished."

Half-Life 2: Episode One, released this Thursday on Valve's Steam service, will kick off this exciting story arc. In the run-up to the release, we visited Valve's Seattle HQ for an exclusive interview.

"With the trilogy, you're going to start to see the consequences of the choices that your character has made over the last two games. And not all of them are going to be positive," explains Newell. "A lot of this is about the G-man," the mysterious figure who zapped hero Gordon Freeman into City 17 in Half-Life 2.

Episode One immediately answers the question of what happens next. You'll see how Alyx Vance - Half-Life 2's charismatic heroine - is rescued from the heart of the Citadel explosion and how hero Gordon Freeman escapes his stasis-prison. But the G-man, who placed Gordon into stasis at the end of Half-Life 2, is not too pleased.

"In Half-Life 2, G-man turned you into a hero, but you were his tool. In Episode One, you'll see him losing control over you and what he does as a result." Newell stresses "there are going to be some pretty dramatic consequences."

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