The details of many past canceled Valve projects, including a version of Half-Life 3 with procedural generation, have newly come to light. This information comes from Geoff Keighley’s Half-Life: Alyx – Final Hours released today on Steam, an interactive storybook of sorts that has 15 chapters chronicling Valve and its development over the past decade.
In it, Keighley noted that Valve had a project that was referred to internally as Half-Life 3 around 2013-14. The game “didn’t get very far” before its cancellation, which stemmed in part from its running on the Source 2 engine — the engine wasn’t finished being built yet when that project was in development. Part of Half-Life 3‘s gameplay was supposed to draw from Left 4 Dead, particularly in its procedural generation aspects. For instance, a basic objective like rescuing a prisoner could be randomized by constructing a different building with different paths and enemies for players to navigate each time.
Other known canceled projects beyond this Half-Life 3 include an open-world Left 4 Dead 3; an RPG inspired by The Elder Scrolls, Dark Souls, and Monster Hunter; a Minecraft-like voxel creation/destruction game called A.R.T.I.; two VR Half-Life projects codenamed Shooter and Borealis, and more.
However, due to the positive critical and commercial reception that Half-Life: Alyx received, Valve actually wants to move forward with the franchise. This includes more full-scale Half-Life games on traditional platforms. Another game in this series would be a huge undertaking, but Valve designer Phil Co said, “We’re not afraid of Half-Life no more.”
Half-Life: Alyx – Final Hours is now available on Steam for $9.99. Half-Life 3 is not.