Arkane Studios might have canceled Ravenholm, the working title for its Half-Life 2 spinoff, over ten years ago, but that won’t stop video game historians from digging up footage of the game. Today, the video game documentary channel Noclip shared a video with nearly an hour of unfiltered footage from the abandoned zombie shooter project.
The footage is contextualized by Danny O’Dwyer, who explains the development process as well as the game’s environment and characters in between sections of narration-free gameplay. As O’Dwyer begins playing, Lieutenant Shepard (the player character) gains consciousness in an abandoned hospital and is guided by Father Grigori, who’s known for his role in Half-Life 2. It doesn’t take long for the action to kick in, as the hospital is soon invaded by zombies.
O’Dwyer notes that the game, while still playable, is visibly unfinished. It’s apparent that the game has some rough edges — as many commenters noted, some of the zombies are comically wearing shirts that say “I’m a placeholder.”
The game was canceled for unknown reasons after development taking place between 2006 and 2007. Previously, footage of the game was revealed for the first time by Noclip back in 2020 in a documentary on Arkane.
Most recently, the Half-Life series was expanded by Half Life: Alyx, which IGN gave a perfect score. Other than Alyx, Valve hasn’t done much work on the Half-Life series since the 2000s, but fans have recently taken matters into their own hands with Black Mesa, the fan made Half-Life remake that we praised for its skillful (yet slightly outdated) improvements to the original game.
Amelia Zollner is a freelance writer at IGN. Find them on Twitter: @ameliazollner.