Cancelled ‘Half-Life’ spin-off ‘Ravenholm’ has an hour of footage released

An hour of footage for Arkane Studios’ cancelled Half-Life 2 spin-off Ravenholm has been shown off in a video published online, over a decade since its demise. 

The footage was shared by Noclip – a YouTube channel making video game documentaries – yesterday (May 4), and it has multiple long chapters dedicated to the differing levels of the cancelled Ravenholm.

As noted by Danny O’Dwyer, Noclip is able to show large pieces of footage due to a previous documentary where it visited Arkane Studios, and presents each clip with context. The build of Ravenholm in the video below was put together towards the end of development in an effort to show Valve progress of the game, even though it wasn’t complete.

Each stint of footage is scored with context from O’Dwyer, who explains that despite the player having a HEV suit, the Half-Life title wouldn’t have starred Gordon Freeman. Arkane also developed Dark Messiah Of Might And Magic, which O’Dwyer notes had spells and kicks that could stagger enemies, with that mechanic being brought into Ravenholm.

The footage also shows off some electricity mechanics, which seemed to operate somewhat similarly to Breath Of The Wild, where conduits can be placed to carry electricity currents from one point to another.

Half-Life 2. Credit: Valve.

Ravenholm, also known as Half-Life 2: Episode 4, was developed by Arkane between 2006 and 2007. In a 2012 interview Valve’s Marc Laidlaw said the developer liked Arkane and wanted to work with them, but eventually felt that the played-out nature of headcrabs and zombies in previous games, alongside the constraint of setting Ravenholm before the end of Half-Life 2 as to not advance the story, limited the project.

More information about Arkane’s cancelled Ravenholm project can be found in Noclip’s 2020 documentary on the history of Arkane.

In other news, new plot details and a changing season mechanic have been revealed for this year’s Sons Of The Forest.

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