We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Canceled Half-Life games explored in concept art treasure trove

There have been many canceled Half-Life games over the years, and a brand new DYKG video dives into all of these Valve projects with new concept art and info.

New concept art and details for long-known canceled Half-Life games have been revealed, as there have been many spin-offs in the Valve FPS game series that haven’t seen a proper release over the last two decades. These canceled Half-Life games never saw the light of day for vastly different reasons, but getting even just a little bit of new information about them is absolutely incredible.

That’s right, several major details about a myriad of canceled Half-Life games have been revealed in a brand new DidYouKnowGaming video. The channel shares new information, interviews, and concept art for known canceled Half-Life games, and we’ll break down some of the bigger stuff below.

One project DYKG takes aim at is the Half-Life 2 Episode 4 Ravenholm spin-off project at Arkane, alongside consolidating what we knew about Episode 3, like the written treatment of the potential story from Valve writer Marc Laidlaw.

It’s also worth noting that around the 12-minute mark in DYKG’s video, there are some brand new scans for Half-Life 2 Episode 3. The team says it will be sending out a link next week that will be made available to everyone which will have all the high-resolution scans easily available, so keep an eye out for that.

In fact, a decade before Half-Life Alyx Valve was working on a VR spin-off that would have focused on Alyx and her robotic companion Dog. DYKG also managed to get some more new never-before-seen concept art for this title too, and the team talks to Valve collector David McGreavy, who has the original art getting uploaded soon.

YouTube Thumbnail

“There was an independent Alyx and Dog VR experience that was being toyed with,” McGreavy tells DYKG. “My understanding was that it was going to be a VR experience with Alyx and Dog, going into the world and exploring. So kind of like Half-Life Alyx, but less City 17, less urban environments, and more out into the [world].

According to McGreavy, this Alyx and Dog game would have let Valve and the player explore the wider Half-Life world, but it never actually got out of the concept phase. DYKG donated the costs of getting these high-quality concept art scans to McGreavy, who also has the new scans of Episode 3 that are incoming as well.

DYKG also has some new concept art for Stars of Blood, a game set in the Half-Life universe that would have included space pirates. Very little outside of the decade-old concept art is known about Stars of Blood, so DYKG asks McGreavy what he’s heard.

It was supposed to be space pirate themed,” McGreavy explains. “Exploring multiple worlds, potentially. My understanding was it was still going to be a first-person shooter, but more of an exploratory thing.

“Kind of like a Half-Life just in the sense that it’s not just about running and gunning, it was the exploration and finding the stuff, and not just finding a key or a button. So more like Half-Life 2 but in that wider world.

Canceled Half-Life games explored in concept art treasure trove

“There was a strong moment for a long time of like ‘how do we connect everything to make a shared universe?’” McGreavy continues. “I know that Marc Laidlaw and a couple of the other writers were like ‘That’s kind of a bad idea.’”

McGreavy is under the impression that Stars of Blood probably never even became a game design document. It was possibly instead only ever a “cool idea” that Valve explored before scrapping it.

If you weren’t aware of what Half-Life 3 almost could have been, DYKG breaks down Geoff Keighley’s previous interview with Valve’s David Speyer, who was working on a potential Half-Life 3 in 2013 that would have focused on procedurally generated content. Speyer was working on a prototype at Valve that would stitch procedurally generated areas between hand-crafted story segments. Valve’s new engine at the time, Source 2, was unfinished though, and this buried the idea.

The DYKG video has even more info and some images of the upcoming new concept art, so we recommend checking it out.

If you want to read even more of our Half-Life coverage, we recently shared a Half-Life remake that turns the FPS into a twin-stick roguelike, and it looks amazing. Even fan-made remake Black Mesa has overtaken Valve’s original release on Steam with more reviews, especially overwhelmingly positive ones, from players.

Fancy jumping back into Half-Life or fellow old games? Then we’ve got you covered. We also have a breakdown of the best single-player games on PC, with the Half-Life series chief among them.