I'm surprised there have been no threads on it. Anyways, yay!
Provisionally titled 'Aftermath', the new adventures of Gordon Freeman and his able sidekick Alyx is tentatively scheduled for a 'summer' release only via Steam, according to PC Gamer UK, which has - incredibly - scooped the world with its cover feature on the hotly anticipated game in its May issue, out today.
The focus for Aftermath appears to break with the Half-Life tradition of presenting the storyline from the viewpoint of other key characters in the game, with the mooted Alyx-based episode apparently not happening as many of us imagined it might. Instead, it would appear that as a compromise, Alyx figures as a much more active partner of Gordon Freeman's adventures.
As for where Aftermath is set, and the timeline, it's very much a logical continuation from where Half-Life 2 left off, as Laidlaw goes on to explain in the PC Gamer feature: "[Aftermath] deals with the events and issues set in motion during Half-Life 2. You've done critical damage to the Citadel. The whole place is going to go up, taking out City 17 and what's in its immediate radius. You and Alyx are leading the flight from the city getting up close and personal with some of the creatures and sights from the end of the game." Interestingly, apart from a few ambiguous illustrative captions, the PCG piece at no stage makes it 100 per cent explicit that Alyx's sidekick will be Gordon. However, writer Tim Edwards has subsequently clarified that you do play as Gordon in Aftermath.
One very big question mark over the fate of Aftermath is how much the game will cost over Steam and whether the game will be also be released in boxed form through long-term publisher Sierra/Vivendi-Universal Games at any stage in the future; if the PC Gamer piece is to believed, no boxed version is planned - although how VU Games feels about missing out on this expansion pack would be very interesting indeed.