Geoff Keighley has released Half-Life: Alyx – Final Hours on Steam. Half-Life: Alyx – Final Hours is an interactive storybook, in which Keighley has detailed all the cancelled games from Valve. These cancelled games include Half-Life 3, as well as an open-world Left 4 Dead 3 game.
Going into more details, Half-Life 3 would be using Source 2 Engine and would draw gameplay inspirations from Left 3 Dead. The game would have procedural generated content, as well as hand-crafted story moments.
On the other hand, Left 4 Dead 3 would be an open-world game. The game would feature hundreds of zombies at a time. However, Valve has cancelled it as the Source 2 Engine wasn’t ready yet at that time. Back in 2014, we shared the first WIP screenshot from Left 4 Dead 3.
Below you can find all of Valve’s cancelled games. As you can see, the team has been experimenting with VR for a while. After all, we knew that the team was working on three triple-A VR games.
Half-Life: Alyx – Final Hours – Cancelled Valve Games
- Half-Life 3. Created in the Source 2 engine and drawing some gameplay inspiration from Left 4 Dead, the project known as Half-Life 3 would have used procedural generation between hand-crafted story moments to create a more replayable game. For instance, the game would generate a building and an objective (such as rescuing a prisoner), then create a route through it and fill the building with enemies, meaning that section would always play out differently. The team went as far as scanning Frank Sheldon, the actor whose likeness was used for the series’ G-Man. However the Source 2 engine was unfinished, and the project “didn’t get very far” before it was dropped. It was in development for around a year between 2013 and 2014.
- Left 4 Dead 3. An open world game set in Morocco and potentially featuring hundreds of zombies at a time, this was also deemed unworkable because of the unfinished Source 2.
- RPG. This RPG project was simply codenamed ‘RPG’, drawing inspiration from the likes of The Elder Scrolls, Dark Souls and Monster Hunter, and was envisaged as being released in small chunks, but “never really left the conceptual stage”. After RPG was abandoned, experiments went into turning it into a single-player RPG based on DOTA character Axe, which were also shelved.
- A.R.T.I. A light-hearted, voxel-based game that allowed for open-ended destruction and creation in the vein of Minecraft. One version included Half-Life 2 and Portal writer Erik Wolpaw voicing a character called King Kevin, who had to be broken out of prison using the game’s tools. A.R.T.I. was later resurrected as a VR game, but was shelved as Half-Life: Alyx grew.
- SimTrek. A VR game developed by members of the Kerbal Space Prgram team that was also shelved during Alyx’s development.
- Shooter. A Half-Life themed VR shooter that would have been a part of The Lab, Valve’s VR showcase. Using only Half-Life 2 assets, it would have had players take part in short gunfights, and was designed more like a Half-Life theme park ride than an continuation of its story. However, it was deemed not to be ready in time for The Lab’s release.
- Borealis. A Half-Life VR project, led by writer Marc Laidlaw. The game would be set on the time-travelling ship mentioned in Half-Life 2. Skipping between the Half-Life series’ Seven Hour War, and a time period shortly after Half-Life 2: Episode 2, no gameplay details were revealed, aside from that it included a fishing minigame.
- Hot Dog. Another new take on Left 4 Dead, purposely codenamed so that people on the Internet wouldn’t know it was a Left 4 Dead game.
- Vader. Valve’s first internal attempt to create a VR headset. Vader was designed without compromise, but was scrapped when it became clear that it was too ambitious. The team estimates it would have cost $5,000 per unit if released. Half-Life: Alyx was initially conceived to launch alongside Vader.
Valve’s designer Phil Co has also expressed the desire to create a full-scale Half-Life game for more traditional platforms. Phil Co claimed that after the positive reception of Alyx, they are “not afraid of Half-Life no more“. However, it’s still unknown whether Valve will commence work on such a project.
Lastly, Valve is currently working on a “top secret project”. Unfortunately, though, we don’t have any additional details about this game.
Stay tuned for more!