Valve may be working on another project set in the Half-life universe.
As shared on Twitter by gabefollower, a new round of datamining on Counter-Strike 2 has revealed mentions of something referred to as HLX. gabefollower did the same datamining before, and was one of the first to find out about Half-Life: Alyx, under the codename HLVR.
So, based on what’s been found in datamining before, there’s sufficient reason to believe this rumor, and that Valve is making a new Half-Life project. But what could this possibly be?
Many fans, of course, are still looking and waiting for Half-Life 3. There are some fans who claim that Half-Life: Alyx is the Half-Life 3 we are looking for. This is an argument that is not without merit.
The main reason for this claim is that the title’s designer, David Speyrer, referred to it as “the next part of the Half-Life story.” It is also just as long as Half-Life 2, and it tells a worthwhile story. Namely, set before Half-Life 2, this game reveals Alyx and Eli Vance’s efforts to combat the alien menace known as the Combine.
While Half-Life: Alyx is a worthwhile game on the basis of its own merits, there’s a reason we don’t see it as the next Half-Life. And that is the fact that it is chronologically a prequel to the previous Half-Life games. It has revealed to us Alyx’s own journey prior to when most gamers did meet Alyx for the first time, in the events of Half-Life 2.
It’s also worth discussing the fact that Half-Life: Alyx is a VR title. Valve obviously was motivated to make the game as a selling point for their own VR hardware, the Valve Index. It is compatible with other SteamVR headsets, and was also published on PlayStation 5 so that PSVR 2 players can access it too.
While VR continues to be a technology these giant tech companies are interested in, it’s effectively a walled out garden for most consumers. Aside from the general high price point of the technology, it’s generally inconvenient to set up, and it is a health risk on several minor, but inconvenient levels. It isn’t likely to achieve high attach rates, even after the release of Apple’s Vision Pro.
HLX could be another VR title since Steam still has the motivation to make VR games. But what if they chose not to go that way this time? When we consider that Valve’s developer side has shown signs of life with the release of Counter-Strike 2, it’s possible that they have decided to finally move forward with a new Half-Life mainline game.
So maybe this is the long awaited Half-Life 3, the title that continues the adventures of Gordon Freeman, and shows us where this world and universe is going next. It’s too early to make hasty assumptions, but we can’t end this discussion without pointing out that this scenario is entirely possible.