Valve is working on a new Half-Life game for the Steam Deck, but that’s no Half-Life 3

In what is a classic good news/bad news situation, it’s been reported that a new Half-Life game is in development, but the bad news is that it’s not Half-Life 3; it’s an RTS/FPS co-op title designed with the Steam Deck in mind.

There have been rumors that, almost fifteen years since Half-Life 2: Episode 2 arrived, Valve is now working on Half-Life 3, a project speculated about for so long that it’s become a meme.

Sadly for those hoping to see Gordon Freeman’s return—as hinted at the end of Half-Life: Alyx—Valve News Network creator Tyler McVicker (via PCGamesN) reports that Valve is instead working on other projects set in the Half-Life universe. One of these goes by the codename Citadel, an FPS/RTS-hybrid co-op that combines elements of Left 4 Dead, Alien Swarm, and RTS games. McVicker describes it as a “nostalgia-fest.”

Citadel is said to have been created with the Steam Deck in mind due to how it’s controlled. The presenter said it will “best showcase what the Steam Deck is capable of.”

With Valve delaying the Steam Deck by almost two months and many of the company’s staff being reassigned to its highly anticipated handheld, Citadel isn’t expected to arrive for another 18 to 24 months. “Any kind of traditional mouse and keyboard FPS at Valve is not taking place,” McVicker added.

McVicker also talked about what is expected to be the VR-based follow-up to Half-Life: Alyx, which is in the “the mechanical testing phases.” He claims, however, that Valve is feeling “growing internal disappointment with the VR platform on the PC” and “fewer and fewer people continue to work on that hardware base” at the company.

The YouTuber says most of the information comes from datamines of regularly-updated Valve software, and even he warns that the report should be taken with a grain of salt, though pretty much everyone knows Valve isn’t working on Half-Life 3.

Half-Life was recently nominated as one of the greatest video games of all time, but it lost out to Dark Souls. The same award show also had a category for the greatest-ever piece of hardware—no surprises as to what won that accolade.