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Making Of Documentary For Half-Life: Alyx Reveals Valve’s Onslaught of Cancelled Projects Including Half-Life 3 & Left 4 Dead 3


Posted on July 9, 2020 by Nick Moreno

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It is still mind boggling to learn that the conception for a true unique entry for the Half-Life series took place just a few months prior. With the announcement of Half-Life: Alyx back in September, the world was shocked to discover that after a decade of radio silence for the franchise – Valve will be releasing a new experience for the series. Along with that, tradition would continue to be maintained as Geoff Keighley announced that he would proceed with a Finals Hours documentary for the virtual reality prequel.

And now as we are still settling into the month of July, The Final Hours for Half-Life: Alyx has arrived and unveils a bundle of undisclosed information regarding the hidden projects that never became at Valve. In that, there are some enticing details which includes spin-off entries, demos, and full on sequels that did not come to fruition.

Starting with the elephant in the room – Valve did attempt to work on a third entry for Half-Life. Sometime between 2013 or 2014, Valve worked on a new mainline entry which would offer replayability to the linear experience. Settings and enemies would be randomly generated which would change for each session. With some inspiration takes from the gameplay of Left 4 Dead, Valve ultimately shared that the project fell through and “didn’t get very far”.

The other obvious elephant is the highly-requested Left 4 Dead 3. Although the development timeframe was not spared, the ambitions were told to be the highest for the production of the cancelled sequel. Set in Morocco, Valve pursued to include close to a hundred of zombies on screen, but the aim for such a high-demanding pixel count did not align with the unfinished Source 2 engine at the time and ended up being scratched.

As for other smaller attempts that were underway at Valve between Half-Life 2: Episode 2 and Half-Life: Alyx, the documentary reveals that codenamed ‘RPG’ which collectively took inspiration from Dark Souls and Monster Hunter. However, the project was told to never advance from its conceptual stage and fell through, The title was also disclosed to take form as a RPG based on Axe from DOTA, but that also did not hold any foundation.

During the development of Half-Life: Alyx, it was uncovered that Valve did attempt to make a Minecraft-like title dubbed ‘A.R.T.I.’ which also fell through, The prokect returned as an ambition for virtual reality, but fell apart as development Alyx took priority. Half-Life: Alyx also overshadowed a space exploration project ‘SimTrek’, another VR experience with Kerbal Space Program employees that was later shelved due to focus on the release for the prequel.

There is even an unknown Left 4 Dead project that never expanded upon its titling called ‘Hotdog’. The name was picked primarily due to redirect attention of the game since the series would grab eyes if news broke out of the unannounced title. Little to no detail was spared on the direction of the project.

All in all, there are more than a handful of what ifs that never truly evolved into true titles in the long run at Valve. Howbeit, there is the possibility the series could receive new entries later on. In an interview with Game Informer, the studio disclosed interest in working on Half-Life later on. You can read the full report by heading here.

What project do you wish didn’t get cancelled?

Half-Life: Alyx is out now for Oculus Rift, Valve Index, and HTC Vive.

Source: Half-Life: Alyx – Final Hours

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