More new footage of Arkane Studios’ canceled Half-Life game shows off what it would have played like

More new footage of Arkane Studios' canceled Half-Life game shows off what it would have played like

Valve may be taking its sweet time to make new Half-Life games, but that doesn’t mean that other developers didn’t get involved. Arkane Studios was once working on a canceled Half-Life spin-off. The game, internally known as Ravenholm, was going to place players into the boots of a new character in the titular town. Now, thanks to Noclip, about an hour of gameplay of Ravenholm is available to watch on YouTube.

Noclip is known for creating documentaries focused on the development of video games. The team had previously released some footage of the game back in 2020. Ravenholm was running on the Source 2 engine used in Half-Life 2, but with new modifications to expand on how players could knock around foes in combat.

 

Arkane has a storied history of creating immersive-sim first-person shooters. After working on Ravenholm in 2006-2007, the studio released Dishonored in 2012. With that in mind, the developer could have been a natural fit for the Half-Life franchise. It’s a shame that Ravenholm did not end up seeing the light of day.

What could have been with Ravenholm

The gameplay video is extensive, and covers about five chapters of the game. Going through the released footage shows that the game starts in the town of Ravenholm, an old Resistance base turned into a “zombie”-infested city. Half-Life fans may remember that the city was the location of a memorable level in Half-Life 2.

The player character wakes up and then speaks to Father Grigori, the only survivor of the city. Not long after, the zombies appear, and the player must escape. Combat involved strong melee attacks that utilized physics to let you knock enemies into traps or over edges. Creativity also seemed to be rewarded, like when the player carefully positions nails to create an electric trap.

It seems like Arkane had a lot of systems in place for a fascinating Half-Life adventure. A strong emphasis on physics would have let players come up with their own solutions to combat and puzzles, and it’s clear that this philosophy eventually made its way into Arkane’s later games like Dishonored and Prey.

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