It’s rare that we get an actual look at cancelled games as we don’t usually get a look at ‘what could have been’, not this time around as video game documentary producer, Noclip has released a look at Arcane’s cancelled Half-Life game.
Now when this type of unfinished footage does show up, it’s through leaks or other unofficial ways but Noclip’s Danny O’Dwyer went through the official channels of Valve and Arcane for the public to experience. It’s been a long time coming to put this out as Noclip has been holding onto this footage since early 2020. The game in question being worked on at the time was known as Half-Life 2 spinoff, Ravenholm which was being developed by French studio, Arcane from 2005 to 2008.
It’s not just a small clip but a long one-hour look split into chapters with O’Dwyer giving a lot of needed context to the game as what is being shown is a build of the Half-Life game Arcane was looking to show Valve near the end of development, so it won’t have a lot of bells and whistles of a fully completed product.
“But it’s important to understand that everything you’re about to see is from an incomplete game, meaning that a lot of stuff is going to be missing and even much of the content that’s here is either an early pass or a placeholder, so elements like art, animations, gameplay, level designs, even voicework, were likely to go through further changes,” O’Dwyer said in the introduction of the one hour look at Arcane’s cancelled Half-Life game.
While disappointing to not have this game in the hands of fans as a finished product, although it’s truly fascinating to learn more about Arcane’s take on Half-life and the history for anyone interested in video game history. While the door did close on this possibility for Arcane, the developer opened up another with the creation of some truly impressive games with Dishonored and recently Deathloop; with more to come under the Xbox Game Studios umbrella. Plus Half-Life would eventually return to the video game space after almost 13 years in VR with Half-Life: Alyx