Shapiro hints that his next project is a "blast from the past."
Half-Life G-man

Though Valve has just released Half-Life: Alyx, it wasn't exactly the Half-Life game many fans of the series wanted. Sure, it's an absolutely fantastic game but it's not exactly Half-Life 3, you know? Though it took Valve almost 13 years to get any sort of a new Half-Life game released after Half-Life 2: Episode Two, there may actually be something else coming sooner than you may think.

One day after the release of Half-Life: Alyx, USgamer conducted a lengthy interview with Mike Shapiro. Shapiro is an actor with a long work history that includes a number of gaming, film, and TV productions. Of course, two of Shapiro's roles that I believe many of you here will be most familiar with include the G-Man and Barney Calhoun from the Half-Life games. That's right, one actor does the performance for both of these dramatically different characters.

There were many topics discussed during the interview. One of the topics hit included what future projects were coming out that Shapiro has a role in. One of these productions is an interactive ASMR podcast. The other project is an unannounced video game "that sounds like it could generate at or near the same level of excitement as Half-Life: Alyx." Specifically, Shapiro says that while he cannot reveal much, if anything, about this game, it will definitely be a "blast from the past."

How very interesting. It gets even more interesting when you read some of the responses Shapiro gave to questions about this mysterious video game project.

Is there anything else you can say about this "blast from the past" project, perhaps comparing it to the fervor for Half-Life: Alyx, or maybe lowering people's expectations for something on the level of "the second coming?"

Shapiro: Where would you put Half-Life: Alyx in terms of the second coming?

Well, some people are upset that there's not a "3" on it, but it's pretty close. Is this in the same ballpark as a new Half-Life game?

Shapiro: I hear your question, and I want to honor it, but I want to be true to my commitments to not spoil surprises. Do you have a buddy you haven't seen in a long time, and you barely think you'll see that person again, maybe?

Yeah. You'd say it's like that, then?

Shapiro: Then if that person were to show up, you'd be like "oh man, that's awesome." I think that's probably more than [I can say].
Shapiro says that he had worked on this unannounced project through the Summer of 2019 and into the Fall. He says that he was working on that game for a while before he even knew what it was. It was only fully revealed to him when he was having a drink with the game director. Shapiro says that "nobody knows this is coming."

He follows that up by saying he will announce it on Twitter but only when he's allowed to.

I'm trying to be circumspect even as I speak with you about it—but this is going to be such a mindblowing re-up from what people have come to know. It's going to really... it's going to make people have a complete re-understanding of what they thought they knew about the story in the game prior to it, and I don't even know if people are expecting it. It's going to be kind of a blast from the past.
Of course, there is a bit here that may give you pause about this being a new Half-Life or Half-Life 3 specifically. For one, if Shapiro was working with Valve, there are only a few roles that they would probably be working with him on that would be considered a "blast from the past." As noted, he was the voice actor for G-Man and Barney. He was also the voice of the Oracle in Valve's Dota 2. If he was brought in to reprise any of these roles, I feel as though he would have realized rather quickly what sort of a project he was working on prior to his drink with the director.

Then again, maybe not. It could really be any number of projects. It could be that he wasn't working with Valve. Maybe he was working on a follow-up to Pajama Sam 2. Maybe he was working on a sequel to Putt-Putt Travels Through Time. He did voice work for both of these old games. He also did some voice work for "the local population" in Grand Theft Auto V, so maybe he was working on Grand Theft Auto VI in some capacity.

It could be that he was working on a Valve project and perhaps didn't know about it at the time. It could even be that he was doing very generic or non-descript performance work prior to that all-revealing drink. Really, it could be anything. Aw hell, it's probably Half-Life 3. Go ahead, get that hype train rolling and don't let anybody tell you otherwise that it's not Half-Life 3 despite the vagueness of everything said and the lack of literally any solid proof!