Half-Life 3: Valve Discusses Cancelled HL2 Spin-Off, Episode 4

Tom Hopkins

Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw explains what happened to 'Return to Ravenholm'.

Published on Jan 16, 2012

Half-Life 3 rumours may have died down in recent weeks, but Steam forum members recently dug up info on a collaboration between French dev Arkane Studios (currently working on Dishonored) and Valve, which may have ended up being called 'Return to Ravenholm.'

Now Half-Life's lead writer, Marc Laidlaw, has spoken about the project, which began life - and was ultimately canned - in 2007.

"There was indeed a project called Return to Ravenholm," Laidlaw told Valve fansite Lambdagen.

"We are big fans of Arkane and wanted to come up with a project we could work on together. We threw ideas around, they built some cool stuff, but we eventually decided that it didn’t make sense to pursue it at the time."

Valve felt that gamers had seen enough of Ravenholm in Half-Life 2. "As I recall, we felt like a lot of the staples of Ravenholm–headcrabs and zombies!–were pretty much played out, and the fact that it would have to take place sometime before the end of Episode 2 (so as not to advance beyond where Valve had pushed the story) was a creative constraint that would hamper the project…and Arkane," Laidlaw explained.

As for the possibility hinted by Gabe Newell back in 2006 of a Half-Life episode beyond the now legendary Episode 3?

"I’m pretty sure that Gabe was referring to Ravenholm. Makes no sense why there would be [an Episode 4]," Laidlaw confirmed.

That's that debunked then. If anything even remotely like new Half-Life news comes our way, you'll be the first to know. You can read more about Ravenholm in NowGamer's Top 50 Greatest Gaming Moments.

Would you have liked to see an Arkane-developed Half-Life 2 spin-off? Have your say in the comments section below!



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