During The Final Hours of Half-Life: Alyx, it was revealed that Valve canceled a bunch of titles throughout the years, including Half-Life 3.
Well fellas, you guys almost had it. The perpetual meme of Half-Life 3 confirmed was almost made into reality. Valve has revealed that a big list of games had been canned by the studio between the release of Episode 2 and their latest VR title. That list includes both Half-Life 3 and an open world Left 4 Dead 3.
The information was revealed in Geoff Keighley’s The Final Hour of Half-Life: Alyx. The short interactive story includes 15 chapters of videos, mini-games, and more that show the creation of the latest installment in the franchise.
During the story, it was revealed that not, 1, not 2, but 5 Half-Life titles had been canceled between Episode 2 and Alyx. One of those being the third installment. On top of that, plenty of other projects were canceled as well. Below is a list with some details of each canceled title.
- Half-Life 3: The third installment was created in the Source 2 engine and its gameplay would have been inspired by Left 4 Dead. It would have used procedural generation in between story moments to create a more replayable experience. The example given was that the game would generate a building and an objective, then create a route through it, and fill the building with enemies. This would allow sections to play out differently each time you play it. The Source 2 engine was unfinished and the entire project didn’t last very long. It was being developed for about a year between 2013 and 2014.
- Left 4 Dead 3: This would have been an open world experience that featured hundreds of zombies on the screen at once. It would have been placed in Morocco. It was not able to be completed because of the unfinished Source 2 engine.
- RPG: This title drew inspiration from Dark Souls, Monster Hunter, and The Elder Scrolls. It was going to be released in small chunks, but never left the planning stage of development. After the project was shelved, Valve experimented with turning it into a single-player RPG featuring Axe from Dota, but this was also canned.
- A.R.T.I: This title would have been similar to Minecraft and allow open-ended destruction. A version included Half-Life 2 and Portal writer Erik Wolpaw voicing a character called King Kevin. The game was brought back later as a VR title but was ultimately canceled as Alyx continued to grow as a project.
- SimTrek: This would have been a VR title created by members of the Kerbal Space Program team.
- Shooter: This would have been a VR shooter that used assets from Half-Life 2. Players would take part in short fights and it would have been part of The Lab, Valve’s VR showcase. Though, it was not ready in time for The Lab’s release.
- Borealis: This was yet another Half-Life VR project that was led by writer Marc Laidlaw. It would have been set on the time-traveling ship that was mentioned in the second game. No gameplay details were revealed other than it including a fishing minigame.
- Hot Dog: This would have been another take on Left 4 Dead. The codename was given so that people wouldn’t know that it was a Left 4 Dead title. No other details were shared.
- Vader: This was Valve’s first attempt at creating a VR headset. The project was canceled when it was clear that it was too ambitious. The team stated that they estimated the headset would have cost $5,000 per unit if it had been released. Alyx was originally planned to launch with the headset.
As of now, Keighley mentioned that the Valve team would like to work on a non-VR Half-Life title. There would be some fear of the size of the project. Though, Phil Co from Valve stated: “We’re not afraid of Half-Life no more.”
There was also mention of a “top-secret project” that is still in development at Valve. The project has been in development since 2018. Valve did not give any hints at what it might be.
Half-Life: Alynx is currently available on Valve Index. Make sure to check out DualShockers’ official review right here.