Valve is working on a new Half-Life game for the Steam Deck, but that's no Half-Life 3

midian182

Posts: 7,439   +67
Staff member
Rumor mill: In what is a classic good news/bad news situation, it's been reported that a new Half-Life game is in development, but the bad news is that it's not Half-Life 3; it's an RTS/FPS co-op title designed with the Steam Deck in mind.

There have been rumors that, almost fifteen years since Half-Life 2: Episode 2 arrived, Valve is now working on Half-Life 3, a project speculated about for so long that it's become a meme.

Sadly for those hoping to see Gordon Freeman's return—as hinted at the end of Half-Life: Alyx—Valve News Network creator Tyler McVicker (via PCGamesN) reports that Valve is instead working on other projects set in the Half-Life universe. One of these goes by the codename Citadel, an FPS/RTS-hybrid co-op that combines elements of Left 4 Dead, Alien Swarm, and RTS games. McVicker describes it as a "nostalgia-fest."

Citadel is said to have been created with the Steam Deck in mind due to how it's controlled. The presenter said it will "best showcase what the Steam Deck is capable of."

With Valve delaying the Steam Deck by almost two months and many of the company's staff being reassigned to its highly anticipated handheld, Citadel isn't expected to arrive for another 18 to 24 months. "Any kind of traditional mouse and keyboard FPS at Valve is not taking place," McVicker added.

McVicker also talked about what is expected to be the VR-based follow-up to Half-Life: Alyx, which is in the "the mechanical testing phases." He claims, however, that Valve is feeling "growing internal disappointment with the VR platform on the PC" and "fewer and fewer people continue to work on that hardware base" at the company.

The YouTuber says most of the information comes from datamines of regularly-updated Valve software, and even he warns that the report should be taken with a grain of salt, though pretty much everyone knows Valve isn't working on Half-Life 3.

Half-Life was recently nominated as one of the greatest video games of all time, but it lost out to Dark Souls. The same award show also had a category for the greatest-ever piece of hardware—no surprises as to what won that accolade.

Permalink to story.

 

Geralt

Posts: 885   +1,354
But what happens to Valve? Are they not conscious that HL3 will be an instant bestseller?
 

mrSister

Posts: 50   +50
But what happens to Valve? Are they not conscious that HL3 will be an instant bestseller?

While I just don't get what's so great about this franchise, I agree that HL3 would sell pre-oders non-stop, with so much hype around the franchise they better be sure to release a 10/10 game. Anything less than that and fanboys will blow things out of proportion as they usually do and give a lot of flak and bad press everywhere.

Also, since Valve makes tons of money selling 3rd party games through Steam, they don't really have any need to make games anymore and much less take the risk of tainting their failsafe moneymaker xD
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,554   +3,064
But what happens to Valve? Are they not conscious that HL3 will be an instant bestseller?

That assumes 2021 Valve it's still capable of doing what 2004 Valve did: that was 17 years ago, it's just not the same company anymore. Valve is just not a game developer anymore, they're in the business of running a store, and soon hardware, to 'facilitate' business to other devs but the scope of a game that would be worthy of being Half Life 3 but with modern looks and such it would basically take millions of hours and hundreds of people to develop.

I don't think Valve even has 100 active game developers that aren't just doing stuff for Wine/Proton or basic maintenance for the few franchises they might need to very occasionally patch, how are they going to put together a Rockstar/EA/Activision sized team with like 2 or 3 major studios each with 200-300 people working around the clock to get a game that still takes them 5 or 6 years?

Half Life 3 is just *not* possible today, unless they just let someone else have the franchise.
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 650   +1,150
Valve can't even build a functional UI with Steam - they added so much junk and broke so many things trying to keep up with a few other places and their text/chat sites (such as Discord) that Steam is now just a bloated POS.

You'd trust them to really make a quality Half-Life 3 game?

I haven't given Valve a dime since they broke the Steam UI 2+ years ago and haven't been able to fix everything they've broke.
 

Sherwoodnt

Posts: 54   +101
Half Life 3 is just *not* possible today, unless they just let someone else have the franchise.

I agree with your points, but that team did a really nice job with HL Alyx. They’d have to be careful about scope and then not try to incorporate all the shiny things like ray tracing and ultra realism. Maybe sticking to an episode size chunk and using basic tools they use today. All in all I think the storytelling is more important than the visuals for this series.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,554   +3,064
I agree with your points, but that team did a really nice job with HL Alyx. They’d have to be careful about scope and then not try to incorporate all the shiny things like ray tracing and ultra realism. Maybe sticking to an episode size chunk and using basic tools they use today. All in all I think the storytelling is more important than the visuals for this series.
Well they did try to continue in an Episodic nature but even that proved to be too much for them apparently.

Episodic content even if more manageable, still creates an expectations from people following the series that in turn overtime changes into a big obligation.

I think that asides from the ridiculously high barrier of entry of being a VR only title, Alyx is actually the way to go: No Half Life 3 or episodes, just do in-universe games. That way you can actually do what you want and indulge all you want in valve time and it will come out when it's ready without getting anyone critical about it.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,685   +6,470
While I just don't get what's so great about this franchise, I agree that HL3 would sell pre-oders non-stop, with so much hype around the franchise they better be sure to release a 10/10 game. Anything less than that and fanboys will blow things out of proportion as they usually do and give a lot of flak and bad press everywhere.

Also, since Valve makes tons of money selling 3rd party games through Steam, they don't really have any need to make games anymore and much less take the risk of tainting their failsafe moneymaker xD


Half Life and Half Life 2 were revolutionary at their time for having a silent protagonist and a map progression which told a story from start to finish.

Otherwise, the shooting mechanics were average and the puzzles - while interesting the first time around - are extremely ANNOYING the subsequent playthroughs.

The AI in the original game were quite good.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,685   +6,470
HALF LIFE Alyx is proof that:

#1 Half Life as a franchise still commands respect and can make sales.

#2 Valve is still powerful in terms of making strong single-player games.

#3 The Half Life franchise is going to continue whether it be VR or not.

Ironically, as good a game as Alyx might be, the vast majority of gamers couldn't run it - or run it properly because they lacked the VR hardware.
 

envirovore

Posts: 343   +668
TechSpot Elite
But what happens to Valve? Are they not conscious that HL3 will be an instant bestseller?

The bar they set for themselves to live up to as far as what's expected with HL3 (both by Valve and the community) is so unreasonably high that it'd be nearly impossible for HL3 to live up to expectations and/or break new ground.

Much to my dismay, as I really like the HL games
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 650   +1,150
The bar they set for themselves to live up to as far as what's expected with HL3 (both by Valve and the community) is so unreasonably high that it'd be nearly impossible for HL3 to live up to expectations and/or break new ground.

Much to my dismay, as I really like the HL games
I actually liked Blue Shift the most and Opposing Force was okay, about as good as the original Half-Life.

Half-Life 2 was decent, but not as fun as Blue Shift.

As for the HL2 episode games - I didn't really like them. The gravity gun novelty wore off on me real quick and having to use it for most of Episode 1, it bored me to a point that I took a break from it for a good duration before finally coming back to complete it. The ending of Episode 2 felt kind of anti-climatic, but having been through the episode games I did want to see Episode 3 come out to finish up the story line of it. Now that it's been almost 15 years, I don't give a flip if they make it or not. I've got other things in life and other games to keep me occupied. I wouldn't waste any more money on Valve.
 

pcnthuziast

Posts: 1,248   +1,023
Unless fans make a HL3 game in the same way the remake of HL1 (Black Mesa) was made, it will never see the light of day. We don't even really need a 3rd game actually. Just a 3rd episode. Need to find out what happened to Eli after the end of the 2nd episode at least.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,958   +1,144
... HL3 would sell pre-oders non-stop, with so much hype around the franchise they better be sure to release a 10/10 game. ...

And therein lies the problem. Valve really could make a 10/10 game, but it would still fail to live up to expectations. The hype train has become too long to manage.
 

Geralt

Posts: 885   +1,354
While I just don't get what's so great about this franchise, I agree that HL3 would sell pre-oders non-stop, with so much hype around the franchise they better be sure to release a 10/10 game. Anything less than that and fanboys will blow things out of proportion as they usually do and give a lot of flak and bad press everywhere.

Also, since Valve makes tons of money selling 3rd party games through Steam, they don't really have any need to make games anymore and much less take the risk of tainting their failsafe moneymaker xD
They can't be more miserable.
 

sreams

Posts: 227   +344
And therein lies the problem. Valve really could make a 10/10 game, but it would still fail to live up to expectations. The hype train has become too long to manage.

ALYX has been my favorite of all HL games... and that's with all the hype.
 

Porkous

Posts: 155   +47
One of the reason why half life had such a big impact is that it was early in a time when it could make waves and leave a mark.

I listened to devs point of view in HL Alyx, and it shown how they focus a lot on story telling, and they pour all the ideas into making that story be easy to digest. By the way, they mentioned that they used render farms for ray tracing the scenes, baking the lights. Real ray tracing is years away.

I reckon there is no such incentive to have that big game with tremendous impact because is not the only game anymore, that can be told nicely and slowly. Maybe they think HL3 would not have such a big impact, there are dozen of games out there with good story that are never mentioned. To make HL3 they would have to make the company ready to embrace that game, and probably expand even more. Big companies these days don't make such a big impact anymore for some reason.
 

mr5elfd3struct

Posts: 16   +5
Half-Life 3...man, I just want to FINISH THE STORY! Find out what was on the Borealis, use the portal guns...or whatever...they could make it in the HL:EP2 engine, I really wouldn't care...
 

FaTaL

Posts: 26   +24
That assumes 2021 Valve it's still capable of doing what 2004 Valve did: that was 17 years ago, it's just not the same company anymore. Valve is just not a game developer anymore, they're in the business of running a store, and soon hardware, to 'facilitate' business to other devs but the scope of a game that would be worthy of being Half Life 3 but with modern looks and such it would basically take millions of hours and hundreds of people to develop.

I don't think Valve even has 100 active game developers that aren't just doing stuff for Wine/Proton or basic maintenance for the few franchises they might need to very occasionally patch, how are they going to put together a Rockstar/EA/Activision sized team with like 2 or 3 major studios each with 200-300 people working around the clock to get a game that still takes them 5 or 6 years?

Half Life 3 is just *not* possible today, unless they just let someone else have the franchise.

100% correct and I don't think Valve trusts another company to pass the torch to and do it right.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,980   +1,571
Half Life 2 was amazing but it’s a 17 year old experience and these days it doesn’t hold up like it used to. Don’t get me wrong, it will always have a place in the history of PC gaming but I get the impression Valve are milking it a bit now.

The next generation of gamers were likely born after Half Life 2 was released. It’s time to move on. Valve need to get their act together and make games. I mean they are going around accepting awards for the platform of PC, they ought to live up to that.
 

Bamda

Posts: 305   +147
That assumes 2021 Valve it's still capable of doing what 2004 Valve did: that was 17 years ago, it's just not the same company anymore. Valve is just not a game developer anymore, they're in the business of running a store, and soon hardware, to 'facilitate' business to other devs but the scope of a game that would be worthy of being Half Life 3 but with modern looks and such it would basically take millions of hours and hundreds of people to develop.

I don't think Valve even has 100 active game developers that aren't just doing stuff for Wine/Proton or basic maintenance for the few franchises they might need to very occasionally patch, how are they going to put together a Rockstar/EA/Activision sized team with like 2 or 3 major studios each with 200-300 people working around the clock to get a game that still takes them 5 or 6 years?

Half Life 3 is just *not* possible today, unless they just let someone else have the franchise.

I am assuming you never played Half-Life: Alyx. They have the talent to make a great game if they desire.

https://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/half-life-alyx (9.2 User Score)
(98% User Score)