someone has been keeping industry treasures a secret for 12 years

As in any art, the preservation of the video game should be capital both for the companies and for us, who taste them. Today we want to discuss a file made available to us, the players, with 11GB of data, concept arts and images of projects canceled as Half-Life 2: Episode 3. Yes, as you read, the mythical sequel to Half Life 2 in all its glory, and with many fringes to cut.

The fact of sharing files with players and network users, far from hindering their work, puts the focus on a task that rarely sees benefits. A methodical search and structuring work by the user VGDensetsu who, for 12 years it has preserved data that we would otherwise have lost forever. Of course, in its 11 GB there is a lot, a lot that we have not yet managed to find from PlayStation, Halo or Street Fighter, but today we focus on the “lost” work of Valve.

Among them, this user has suspiciously saved a huge variety of files and content that has not seen the light of day (and if it has, not on too many occasions) from games like the Streets of Rage remake or the aforementioned, Half-Life 2: Episode 3. The case of the Valve game is of the utmost importance, because it is not just that the saga was stuck in that Episode 2 of 2007 (if we do not count Alyx, earlier in the chronology of the saga), but this project canceled It has been making a lot of noise on the internet for years.

Among the plethora of files that a server has obviously downloaded, we find screenshots of the version in development of this Half-Life 2: Episode 3 where we can see the same game map. While little or nothing can be gleaned from these images beyond this abandoned industrial location in what feels like arctic cold, we are not talking about conceptual images, but about the game creative process.

Image from Half Life 2 Episode 3 (Valve Corporation)

Image: Valve

We know that Half-Life 2: Episode 3 was in development in sometime in the first decade of the millennium the command of the Valve team, but many sources point in different directions when it comes to discerning at what point in the work the project was left off. In fact, the NoClip channel on YouTube made an extensive documentary of more than 90 minutes focused on the saga, with mentions of this installment, the long-awaited third part and what happened inside Valve so that nothing else came to light.

Half-Life: Alyx expands with the premiere of LEVITATION, its most ambitious free mod with original story

One of the apparent reasons for Valve’s refusal to develop this game was Source 2. “We didn’t want to make the same mistake as with Half-Life 2, working on the Engine Source 2 and in the next Half-Life at the same time, because the first time we tried to do that it caused us a lot of pain”, the VidaExtra teammates rescued.

Image from Half Life 2 Episode 3 (Valve Corporation)

Image: Valve

The video game from its origins and almost like any art, is accustomed to ideas that come to nothing and endless elements that are lost in the creation process. Therefore, this type of files we have to take care of them very hard and, above all, love for an entertainment medium that, without archivists like this user, would lose much importance. As we have commented, this extensive archive not only includes canceled projects, but also those game files that, although they saw the light of day, do not look anything like the project that was once conceived.