It’s hard to believe that it’s already been over 3 months since Half-Life: Alyx, the first Half-Life game in over a decade, was released. After a long wait though, renowned journalist and presenter Geoff Keighley has created a new “interactive storybook” that looks into all the games Valve tried to develop in the past decade, including the latest return of Half-Life.
Half-Life: Alyx - Final Hours dives deep into the history of Valve’s games, and explores the titles that never were and never meant to be. For a long time Half-Life 3, and to another extent Half-Life 2: Episode 3, was a long-running joke. But according to the Final Hours, Half-Life 3 was actually in development at one time between 2013 and 2014.
According to the interactive documentary, Valve explored blending procedural generation along with handcrafted experiences in order to make HL3 more replayable. Unfortunately this project was put on hold, as the Source 2 engine at the time wasn’t finished.
There were, apparently, also a lot of VR projects floating around which included a game with a synopsis that sounded a lot like the rumored Half-Life 2: Episode 3 plot details that was revealed a few years ago by former Valve writer Marc Laidlaw. In total, there were at least 5 Half-Life projects that were either proposed or in development for a short while after the release of Episode 2 and before Half-Life: Alyx.
There were other projects early on in development, or at the very least proposed, including a Left 4 Dead 3, an Elder Scrolls/Dark Souls-inspired RPG aptly named “RPG”, and a voxel-based game inspired by Minecraft. Annoyingly there was no mention of a Portal 3.
It also appears that Valve’s first attempt at creating a VR headset was called “Vader”, but was ultimately scrapped after the team realised it would cost around $5000 per unit. This was because they didn’t compromise themselves in terms of development, which clearly became too ambitious for the team.
Finally, although there is a lot of weight on the return of Half-Life with a third main installment, most of the team at Valve would love to work on a new Half-Life project, but as a full-scale non-VR version for most of the fans to be able to play instead.
“The ice has been broken, now we're hoping to smash through the ice completely,” says Valve’s Phil Co. “We're not afraid of Half-Life no more.”
What do you think? Which projects would you have liked to see from Valve? What do you think a $5000 VR headset would be like? And are you excited for more Half-Life games in the future? Let us know!