Sometime next week, we will be getting our first look at a game that is believed to have been code-named Half-Life 2: Episode 4 (also known as Return to Ravenholm), a planned game by Arkane Studios that never saw the light of day.
Let's get right to it — check out the footage of what may be Half-Life 2: Episode 4 in Noclip's tweet:
(5/7) pic.twitter.com/dCDRD3x71y— Noclip (@noclipvideo) May 21, 2020
As you can see, the video shows a lot of things that look a heck of a lot like Half-Life 2. There's the pistol and the HUD, for one. If you look carefully, you'll see what may be the HEV (Hazardous Environment) Suit that Gordon Freeman donned during most of the Half-Life games when the unnamed protagonist pistol-whips the humanoid.
As noted in the Half-Life wiki, Half-Life 2: Episode 4 was the codename of a project by Arkane Studios with the working title Return to Ravenholm. As best as we can tell, it was intended to release as an expandalone after Half-Life 2: Episode 3, similar to how Gearbox Software created Half-Life: Opposing Force.
Check out the trailer for The (Untold) History of Arkane Studios by Noclip to see some more of this piece of gaming history:
This missing piece of gaming history is all set to be explored by Noclip next week. Noclip is a group that creates crowdfunded documentaries about video games; its past work includes explorations of small games like Hades and Transistor alongside larger titles like Hitman and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
Now, it looks like Noclip is diving into the history of Arkane Studios next week — and we won't just be seeing what may be a canceled Half-Life game.
What Else is Being Shown Besides Half-Life 2: Episode 4?
While a canceled Half-Life game is certainly tantalizing, Noclip will be tackling multiple games in Arkane Studios' catalog, apparently with a mix of released and unreleased games. We took a look at the Twitter thread previewing Noclip's upcoming videos, and this is what we think it's showing:
- Arx Fatalis - A first-person role-playing game that launched in mid-2002.
- Dark Messiah of Might and Magic - Another first-person RPG which launched in 2006, built on the Source engine (and likely leading to the partnership for future Half-Life games).
- The Crossing - Another Valve partnership that was never released.
- LMNO - A canceled game project that involved Steven Spielberg.
- Half-Life 2: Episode 4 / Return to Ravenholm
- Dishonored - A first-person action game where you play a steampunk ninja assassin kind of character, originally launched in 2012.
- Prey - A survival horror first-person shooter where a bunch of creepy aliens have been loosed onto a space station orbiting the moon. Released in 2017.
And that's it for now! Checking out this interesting mix of games will certainly be worth a watch; you can see more detail about each of these games on Noclip's YouTube Channel when The Untold History of Arkane Studios premieres next week.
Would you have liked to play any of these canceled games? What's your favorite release by Arkane Studios? Let us know in the comments below!