Following the publication of ex-Valve writer Marc Laidlaw's Episode 3 synopsis last week, speculation has taken hold of certain facets of the Half-Life community. Despite intrigue many questions remain unanswered, which has in turn prompted Lever Softworks to speed up the release schedule of its Half-Life 2: Aftermath mod—a mod designed to piece together the absent and elusive third chapter of Gordon Freeman's adventure.
"In light of recent events in the Half-Life community, the release schedule for this mod was sped up significantly," so reads the mod's ModDB page, off the back of Laidlaw's Epistle 3 posting.
In doing so, Aftermath's first release contains 11 test levels "created by Valve" between 2012 and 2013, said to be "intended for Half-Life 3", four demo levels designed by the mod's creators, a Combine laser cannon that can shoot through walls, an Armored Combine Soldier model and a City Scanner with laser gun - both of which are said to be "intended for Episode 3".
Future releases are "coming soon", while the mod's creators reckon it should be played in concert with the following Valve News Network video: