game codenamed ‘Ravenhlm.’Thanks to the newest Noclip documentary episode on the French game studio, footage for the unfinished Half-Life spinoff game were finally made available to the public. You might know the developers Arkane best for their immersive-sims like Dishonored and Prey.
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At some point, Warren Spector and his team at Junction Point handed over a prototype for a Half-Life game they were working on to Arkane Studios, who was just hired by Valve to start a Half-Life project.
Since it was never completed, there’s no official title for Arkane’s Half-Life game. Internally it was called Ravenholm based on its setting. It starred Lieutenant Shepard from Opposing Force and is centered around an abandoned experimentation center. Father Grigori is also in the game as an early guide.
Another mechanic in the game was a Magnet Gun which Junction Point created. The gun can attract items, but also magnetize objects to combine them. One can easily imagine the environmental puzzles that would be capable of the Magnet Gun.
The documentary explores Arkane’s history with Half-Life starting at the 33-minute mark and the footage for Ravenholm appears at the 37-minute mark.Ravenholm was considered within Arkane as a spinoff instead of a proper episode. A leak of the development build briefly created speculation that the project was a new Half-Life episode, or even Half-Life 3, but to Arkane it was always considered a spinoff. It’s unknown what Valve considered the project to be as it was never released.
While the project was never finished, Valve would revisit Half-Life in 2020 with the release of Half-Life: Alyx in VR. You can read IGN’s perfect score Half-Life: Alyx review here. And be sure to check out the full documentary to learn about the interesting history of Arkane.
Matt Kim is a reporter for IGN.
Header image source: Arkane Studios, Valve, NoClip