Half-Life 2: Episode 4 media details the 'Return to Ravenholm'

Half-Life 2 "Return to Ravenholm" has been publicly canceled for quite a while, but we have a better look at Valve's former partner-project with Arkane Studios thanks to some new concept art and animation tests.

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"Return to Ravenholm," aka "Half-Life 2: Episode 4," was a Half-Life 2 episode set in the spooky abandoned town. It's been canceled for a few years now, but we've gotten a better look at the game that could have been thanks to some new concept art and animation tests. It was in development at Dishonored developer Arkane Studios around 2006, but was ultimately scrapped.

Valvetime revealed the new shots, with Rock Paper Shotgun's Craig Pearson confirming their authenticity. According to Valve's Marc Laidlaw, the project had been canceled because the defining qualities of Ravenholm (headcrabs and zombies) were feeling "played out," and the game's placement in the timeline of the other episodes was a "creative constraint." But if you're curious to see the small bits remaining of the project, check out the video below.

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    January 14, 2013 8:00 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Half-Life 2: Episode 4 media details the 'Return to Ravenholm'.

    Half-Life 2 "Return to Ravenholm" has been publicly canceled for quite a while, but we have a better look at Valve's former partner-project with Arkane Studios thanks to some new concept art and animation tests.

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      January 14, 2013 8:18 AM

      It's amazing that Arkane survived through this era, between this canceled HL² episode and The Crossing put in sleep mode... Great for them and for us though, they never did disappoint so far!

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      January 14, 2013 9:01 AM

      If you asked me back in 2006 if I wanted more Ravenholm, I would've said, "No; I got sick of that the fifth playthrough, and skip around it in favor of Water Hazard, Highway 17, or Anticitizen One."

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        January 14, 2013 9:25 AM

        So cancelled for good reason then.

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        January 14, 2013 9:28 AM

        I still think Anticitizen One is one of the top single player levels ever.

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        January 14, 2013 11:46 AM

        Ravenholm was cool taken by itself, but it feels oddly out of place with all of the rest of HL2.

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      January 14, 2013 9:28 AM

      Ravenholm was one of my favorite parts of HL2.

      This makes me also think of They Hunger: Lost Souls, another HL2 abandoned zombie game.

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        January 14, 2013 9:50 AM

        I wonder whatever happened to Neil Manke, last I heard he was having health issues :/

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          January 14, 2013 11:42 AM

          I did some searching around, and from what I could find he
          -Did/does have some health issues
          or
          -Just lost interest in the game (and perhaps gaming in general?)
          or both. Couldn't find conclusive proof of either.

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          January 14, 2013 4:34 PM

          Hate to hear that. I use to send him an email every now and again and he was always quick to respond.

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        January 14, 2013 9:56 AM

        Loved it too.

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      January 14, 2013 11:40 AM

      obligatory "where the fuck is my next half-life iteration?!"

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      January 14, 2013 12:48 PM

      Ravenholm wasn't my favorite part of HL2 but I liked the change of pace/setting it offered. Kind of like a morbid half time show before continuing on with the story.

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      January 14, 2013 4:52 PM

      Wait, what happened to Episode 3?

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      January 14, 2013 5:20 PM

      Less Ravenholm is good ravenholm.

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      January 25, 2013 11:50 PM

      We don't go to Ravenholm anymore...