A new Half-Life game is coming to Valve’s Steam, and while it’s not Half-Life 3, fans of the series jonesing for a fix may find their craving satisfied. The most interesting part? It’s entirely fan-made.
But according to a report from GameRant, Prospekt (apparently it won’t include the Half-Life branding in the title,) is a fan-made sequel to Half-Life: Opposing Force(itself a series spin-off developed by Gearbox Software,) it has Valve’s blessing, and it will be available on Steam next month.
Half-Life: Opposing Force featured Adrian Shephard, a U.S. Marines corporal, assigned to the Hazardous Environment Combat Unit sent in to eliminate the surviving witnesses to the Black Mesa disaster — including Half-Life protagonist Gordon Freeman. Shephard, separated from his squad, never receives the kill order and actively works with the surviving Black Mesa staff to survive.
Interestingly enough, the game also prevented the player from interacting with Freeman, either by following him or attempting to kill him; either action results in the game ending, on the grounds that the player “attempted to create a temporal paradox.” In contrast, a report from TechRadar suggests that Shephard will actively be assisting Freeman in Prospekt, being dropped into the Nova Prosepekt prison and the events surrounding it.
The story behind Prospekt is interesting, and this is hardly the first time that Valve has allowed full commercial releases of fan-made games built with their assets. The famous Half-Life: Counter-Strike began its life as a fan-made mod, which resulted in its developers being hired by Valve. The original Half-Life has also since been recreated with modern technology and, titled Black Mesa, is available on Steam for $19.99, with Valve’s blessing. And Valve hired Defense of the Ancients creator (which started life as an incredibly popular mod within Blizzard’s Warcraft 3) to create a sequel as a standalone game.
So, Valve has a history of hiring independent developers and modders that show talent. That was the thinking of Prospekt creator Richard Seabrook, when he set out to develop the mod (initially titled Projekt) as a showpiece in an attempt to be hired on by Valve.
Unfortunately for Seabrook, the resume-padding didn’t pan out, but Valve gave him the go-ahead to keep developing Prospekt as an independent product using their assets; he put it on Steam Greenlight and it was rapidly approved by Half-Life fans.
Considering that most developers work to actively halt development of fan projects using their intellectual property, even when they themselves haven’t used it in 20 years, it’s both an impressive move and a smart move from Valve. For the price of saying “yes,” they get a new game in their most popular series and the rights to market it. Prospekt will retail for $9.99 USD, and at a 30% cut for Valve and considerable fan enthusiasm already established, they’re likely to make out pretty well from a game that cost them absolutely no time, effort or money.
It also, discounting the Black Mesa mod, marks the newest Half-Life product since 2007, since when fans have been waiting somewhat less-than-patiently for Half-Life 3 (a game many are convinced will never be released, although as the Inquisitr has previously reported, rumors of a new Half-Life abound.)
Seabrook, meanwhile, has remained very enthusiastic about his project and promises a “substantial, highly polished and totally new addition to the Half-Life 2 universe.” And well he should be; he’s likely to make out fairly well from this deal himself, and his efforts weren’t wasted.
Prospekt features 13 levels and its length is said to rival that of Half-Life 2: Episode One and is planned for release on February 11 on Steam for PC, and is available now for pre-purchase at 10% off.
Seabrook said of the game’s pending release, “I can’t thank you all enough for voting this through on Greenlight and helping me get to this stage. Also, a massive thanks to Valve for their support.”
[Image via Richard Seabrook/Valve Corp]