Valve Software may have returned to the Half-Life franchise with this year’s Half-Life: Alyx. However, in the years between it and Half-Life 2: Episode 2’s release, it cancelled Half-Life 3 and two other VR-based projects for the franchise. This was revealed in The Final Hours of Half-Life: Alyx, an interactive book available on Steam by Geoff Keighley.
Half-Life 3 was being developed on the Source 2 engine with plans for procedural generation mixed with hand-crafted story beats (thus increasing replay value). Despite even scanning Frank Sheldon, whose likeness is used for G-Man, Source 2 still being in the works led to the game’s cancellation. The two other VR_based projects, codenamed Shooter and Borealis, were also interesting. The former was more about compact fights and would have been included with The Lab before being cancelled.
Borealis, on the other hand, would have focused on the mysterious ship from Half-Life 2 and taken place throughout the Seven Hour War, and before Half-Life 2: Episode 2. It was being led by writer Marc Laidlaw but was also cancelled. Interestingly enough, even Left 4 Dead 3 was planned at some point and would have been an open world title in Morocco. Again, due to Source 2 still being in development, the use of “hundreds of zombies” simply wasn’t possible.
It’s well worth checking out the entire book on Steam to learn more about other Valve projects through the years. What does the future hold though, especially with the success of Half-Life: Alyx? Stay tuned for more details.