Valve voice actor working on "Half Life: Episode 3"

Slip of the tongue, or is a new release imminent?

Adding further credence to the recent run of Half-Life 3 news stories, OXM has been told by a US-based voice actor that they have recently recorded lines for "Half Life Episode 3".

The structure of the title could be a slip of the tongue rather than outright confirmation of the "episode" tag, which Valve has previously stated it's moving away from. We've requested further clarification from our source.

The company has been determinedly quiet on the subject of the next Half-Life release since the last game arrived in the Orange Box bundle back in 2007. Some time in 2012 would be logical if the company wants to publish on Xbox 360 - given competitor pressure, the next generation Xbox console is unlikely to launch later than 2013. Although let's be honest, PC is Valve's first love, and it can release the next Half-Life without even bothering to talk to retailers thanks to its Steam digital delivery system.

Our first glimpse of Half-Life 3? Or a fashion troll at work?

That audio is being recorded might indicate the game is close to completion, as audio roles are generally recorded later in development, after levels, scripts and characters have been thrashed out. Valve's never been one to follow the herd, though. It spent nine years redeveloping Team Fortress 2 before release.

Writer Chet Falisek told reporters he "wasn't prepared to talk" about Episode 3 in February.

The game recently became a subject of conversation after showing up on a random game developer T-shirt last week. Somehow, we can't quite take that particular rumour seriously. Can you?

Maybe it'll be one of the reveals at the Spike VGAs this weekend. We'll see. We've asked Valve for comment, too.