The rumoured Half-Life: Alyx follow-up, Half-Life Citadel, is supposedly an FPS and RTS game hybrid, with a new Dota 2 datamine suggesting possible characters and mechanics for Valve’s mysterious Steam sequel, that may serve as a companion to Half-Life 3.
Details around Half-Life Citadel are still few and far between, so if this is your first time learning about, what we know so far is that it’s an RTS game with supposed FPS elements, whereby you play the commander of the ominous Citadel that towers over Half-Life 2’s City 17, and control a force of NPC soldiers to do your, presumably evil, bidding. It connects, naturally, to the rest of the Half-Life narrative, including Half-Life: Alyx, and may, like that game, utilise VR.
A recent datamine of Dota 2, however, seems to offer some further specifics. Uncovered by YouTuber and Valve aficionado Tyler McVicker, there are three particular code strings that hint at exactly what to expect in Half-Life Citadel. The datamine uncovers dozens of mentions of the phrase “vehicles”, possibly hinting that Citadel will not only feature vehicles, but allow them to be extensively customised. There is also a string called “HEVSuit.PlugDetach”, which may imply that players in Citadel can use the famous Half-Life Hazardous Environment suit, and attach and detach various changes and upgrades, potentially for use in the game’s FPS sections.
Finally, one of the NPCs is named “Houndeye”, which you may remember as the weirdly adorable alien dog-type creatures from the original Half-Life. According to the datamine, players may be able to attach items to Houndeyes, again suggesting customisation and upgrade options, possibly when it comes to developing your units for the RTS portion of the game. This would also suggest that the original Xen aliens from the 1998 Half-Life return for Citadel.
In reference to the “vehicles” string, McVicker speculates that the mentions are so numerous they may indicate the existence of another upcoming Valve project entirely. Greg Coomer, product designer at Valve, recently told Famitsu, in an interview translated by TweakTown, that the Portal and Left 4 Dead developer currently has “a lot of games in development”.
As we wait on more information regarding Half-Life Citadel, you can read all about whatever happened to Half-Life 3. You can also check out some of the other best FPS and best RTS games on PC, which maybe, just maybe, will one day feature a Half-Life spin-off.