Huh! A Valve-Approved Half-Life: Opposing Force Sequel

While you wait for Half-Life 3, your skin will weather and crumble and you’ll become so aware of how much time you’ve wasted praying for a sequel to a shooting game that you’ll suffer an existential crisis and move to the Himalayas to spend your days building windfarms out of sheep skeletons. Before that happens, you might get to play Prospekt [official site], a fan-made Half-Life 2 campaign which picks up the abandoned story of Half-Life: Opposing Force protagonist Adrian Shepherd – and has been given Valve’s blessing to be sold on Steam next month.

Prospekt consists of 13 levels starring the aforementioned scary-Marine-turned-Freeman-sympathiser as he suddenly finds himself in City-17, right in the middle of Freeman’s rebellion against the Combine. Specifically, just as Freeman storms Nova Prospekt; Shepherd is sent there by the Vortigaunts to help turn the tide in the rogue physicist’s favour.

Perhaps even more ambitiously, there’s going to be a Xen level. Not even well-judged Half-Life 1 fan remake Black Mesa has yet dared revisit the alien world of bouncy-falling insta-death, so this is going to be, as far as I know, our most lavish return to the most widely-loathed aspect of the HL games. (I quite liked it, though).

Apparently there’s going to be both a graphical and AI boost over Half-Life 2 vanilla, in addition to the new levels themselves.

Prospekt has been in development for around two years, and is the work of one Richard Seabrook. At one point he even sent a build of the campaign to Gabe Newell in a custom-made Half-Life briefcase, and though it did not lead to the job he hoped for, he did find the project approved on Greenlight within 72 hours of listing it. Come February 11, the game – approximately the length of Half-Life 2: Episode One – will be for sale on Steam for £7.50/$10, having received Valve’s blessing for the use of IP and assets.

If you want to know more about how Prospekt came to be, have a read with of PC GamesN’s interview with Seabrook here.

You can pre-order it here, but as always should wait for reviews and feedback. I’ve not played it yet so don’t look to me, but I’m almost certainly gonna, out of curiosity if nothing else.

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  1. C0llic says:

    Very interesting.

    Reading that article I’m a little sad for him he didn’t at least get an email from Gabe Newell for his troubles. I have a friend who’s had his email jokes responded to by him, for example. Still, this is something to be excited about. Congratulations to him!

  2. Premium User Badge

    Skabooga says:

    Whatever mistakes that Valve has made in the past, it is nice to see that they can still be cool with other people using the Half-Life theme in games that they make.

  3. Jabberslops says:

    I don’t know if it’s just Valve being lazy, but it seems to me that anything Half-Life coming out is always a fan modding project. They might as well hire all the fans making anything Half-Life and give them free reign over the story and canon to expand on the Half-Life Universe.

    When you consider how long it has been since Half-Life 2 Episode 2, it’s doubtful Valve can even release Half-Life 3 without it being seen as disappointing and underwhelming. The Half-Life 2 Episodes were alright, but I don’t think Valve really knew where to take the story. Expansions with deviated story and canon that build up the Universe, are probably the only thing that can get people excited for Half-Life 3 or even just the franchise after 8 years of nothing.

    • Urthman says:

      I doubt that the story has been the holdup. More likely they just haven’t come up with enough fresh gameplay ideas that would stand out from the previous games and other first person shooters sufficiently for the game to be a worthy Half-Life sequel.

      • welverin says:

        I think it’s more akin to TF2, Portal 2, and even HL2. They just keep changing things or restarting leading to massive delays.

        Oh, and damn near everyone at the company is working on Dota2 or CS:GO instead.

  4. Alfius says:

    Aren’t we still due Half Life 2: Episode 3 before Half Life 3 can happen?

    • Kefren says:

      Yep. HL2 has to finish before HL3 can begin.

    • Bing_oh says:

      I thought Valve had decided to skip Episode 3 and go right to a full-fledged HL3 when their planned episodic schedule went to hell.

  5. Kefren says:

    I liked Xen. Vertigo, alien stuff, change of pace. Dunno what the whingers were on about.

    • mechabuddha says:

      The jumping.

      • Immobile Piper says:

        I don’t recall it being any worse than the hopping you do at Black Mesa. Sure the distances were greater, but it felt more majestic rather than frustrating.

  6. GameCat says:

    Valve ashamed Bethesda and made their fans do whole games instead of just mods. :P

    • rexx.sabotage says:


    • Psychomorph says:

      Free outsourcing, we all knew Gabe is a smart one. He covers it all up by making himself look like a cool dude who supports the community.


  7. Gordon Shock says:

    How refreshing that, in this copyright age, one company says to fan: “Sure, go ahead”, not only can you make the game but can also profit from it and we are fine with that.

    Yet another reason why i believe that Valve is a shining example of who a company should be and act.

    • Somerled says:

      Valve needed only to remind themselves that they’d get a direct cut of the sales through their own distribution platform, making it a straightforward decision.

      • Slaadfax says:

        Oh so very rarely is an issue of licensing a simple issue of money=easy decision. Remember that very few pieces of what amounts to fan fiction ever get legitimately published.

        There is a lot of discussion, approvals, random rejections, bureaucratic nonsense, long waiting times, and so on. Considering that this is a core IP for Valve and that (whether or not it actually is) this is likely going to be considered canon by a lot of people, the risk for Valve with this project is not insubstantial.

        The smarter (or perhaps just safer) move in general would be to reject it outright, which is why most businesses in the same position do just that.

        • Unclepauly says:

          More than likely it was never going to be updated ever so they said “what the hey”.

      • Phasma Felis says:

        Oh, no, it’s almost never this simple. For most corporations, the one and only thing that matters more than money is the holy sanctity of Intellectual Property, and they’ll happily flush cash down the toilet and endure PR disasters before letting the peasants get one grubby fingerprint on it.

  8. nperrin says:

    Seems like a little bit of a missed opportunity. I always thought a sequel to OpFor could show us the perspective of a soldier – in this case Shepard – in the 7 hours war leading to the surrender of Earth. What a grand battle, and you could get off with a (canon) 7 hours of playtime! Of course, to make a climactic and less than predictable ending might be challenging in such a case.

    • mavrik says:

      Yeah, I’d like to return back to Black Mesa in this pseudo present as a soldier with less of this generic stormtrooper Combine crap :/

    • BlackAlpha says:

      It doesn’t have to be just the 7 hours period. You could include the period leading up to the war.

      In comparison what this mod could’ve been, it looks very disappointing. This mod looks like merely another map pack for HL2 (judging on what you see in the video). It doesn’t look like a sequel to Opposing Force at all.

  9. Lexx87 says:

    I pre-ordered just because I was so irritated at all the people on the Steam discussions whining that it wasn’t free.

    • Urthman says:

      It’s funny how often when people say “the forums are full of people complaining and being awful,” it’s actually just two or three people complaining and a bunch of other people arguing with them.

      The people who post in gaming forums are already a small (probably non-representative) fraction of gamers, and the unreasonable whiners are just a tiny fraction of that. It’s a shame (and probably a mistake) that developers or anyone else pays them any attention at all.

  10. Press X to Gary Busey says:

    3257 days between the release of HL1 and HL2ep2.
    3020 days between the release of HL2ep2 and today.

    And people still meme on about HL3.

    • deadlock says:

      Why are you comparing the time between HL1 and HL2e2? Surely a more appropriate comparison would be HL1 and HL2?

      • Press X to Gary Busey says:

        Because it’s the period from first to last in the series. In about 8 months, more time has passed since the last than the total time the series was still (evidently) actively developed.

  11. denizsi says:

    If a Half Life 3 will happen, then Gabe is most definitely waiting for the age of VR when VR will be more affordable, out of the hardcore enthusiast realm.