After of decade-plus of excruciating wait, fans of Valve’s flagship series finally got a new installment in the form of Half-Life: Alyx. While not the direct sequel to 2007’s Episode Two that many had perhaps hoped, the VR title has received acclaim from critics for pushing the boundaries of VR technology via use of the developer’s Source 2 game engine. As it turns out, however, that very same technology would ultimately be responsible for the cancellation of Left 4 Dead 3.
The Final Hours of Half-Life Alyx, an interactive storybook written by Geoff Keighley, takes a deep dive into the company’s inner workings and documents not only the development process behind Valve’s first foray into virtual reality but the reasons for why so many projects over the years have failed to materialize.
With the studio finding its ambitions heavily restricted by the Source Engine’s limitations, Valve’s David Speyrer recounts to Keighley that the team’s primary focus was on building its eventual successor, Source 2. Left 4 Dead 3 was one game intended to make use of this new tech and would have been set in the North African country of Morocco. Despite having a team of 30 developers working on the open-world sequel that would have displayed “hundreds of zombies” on-screen at once, Speyrer describes how the project was ultimately canned due a growing list of technical issues as well as a general lack of experience with creating first-person shooters in Source 2.
As for the future of the series going forward, Speyrer has nothing to share on that front, though if Left 4 Dead 3 does ever become anything but vaporware, it’ll likely be in a form drastically different to that described above.
If you’re interested in learning more, The Final Hours of Half-Life Alyx is now available to download on Steam for $9.99.