Valve News Network and other code-sleuths have uncovered a string of hints that may hint at the next Half-Life game– Half-Life VR.
Developer Valve has made it clear in the past exactly what their involvement with Half-Life development has been. Earlier this year, they announced experimentation in VR using Half-Life assets, and when pressed about a full product coming to fruition from these assets, they said, “We’re not saying no, but we don’t know what the right thing is yet.” After all, they’d been running VR experiments with Half-Life back in 2014.
They’ve also made it clear that Half-Life 3 is not being developed for VR. However, it looks like something else might be– mostly because of hints in the code of other games.
To summarize Valve News Network’s findings: Code related to some “HLVR” project has been appearing in other games, most notably Destinations, which runs on Source 2, instead of the more recently-utilized Unity. Not only are there references to HLVR, but those references are changing– some HLVR code is being swapped out for other, more advanced code over time.
A DOTA 2 update also included advanced glass-breaking code, alongside a message denoting that something is “Used to force the HLVR player to speak”– which may indicate that Half-Life VR’s protagonist is not silent, meaning, it couldn’t be series mainstay protagonist Gordon Freeman.
This would not be the first time Half-Life projects may have been hinted at in code, or simply to troll the player base. An “hl3.txt” file was previously found in a DOTA 2 file, which, to avid fans, spells out Half-Life 3 development. Then again, that was almost exactly one year ago, and we haven’t heard anything about that since.