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Here's what's going on with those new Half-life 3 and Left 4 Dead 3 rumours (again)

At this point Valve trawling us with 'accidental' Half-life 3 mentions in code and documents is starting to feel like someone's malicious hobby. But it's happening again thanks to the release of the HTC Vive's Portal VR demo, which is full of references to Half-life 3 and Left 4 Dead 3.

There's a great breakdown of it all in this video from Valve News Network but the main offenders are two folders called 'left4dead3' and 'hl3'. There are also lines of code referencing Half-life 3 and a potential quest system, specifically 'CInfoQuestDialog', 'CPointQuestGoal' and CNPC_QuestCitizen'.

You can get a look at the code directly thanks to SteamDB pulling chunks of it out as text"

However, the Valve News Network does point out that the Source 2 engine contains a great deal of stuff ported over directly from the old engine, hinting at the possibility that these could be previously seen things copied and pasted over again. This updated model for Half-life 2's Dog found in the Vive demo, for example, is nearly 6 months old:

That said, there are Half-life 3 mentions that are new, like 'Quest Citizens', talk of a crowbar zipline and some sort of 'spy grenade,' so not everything here appears to be old code or repeats of prior leaks.

On the Left For Dead 4 front there's mention of a Nocturnal enemy type, tying into Source 2's day night cycle feature. There's also texture sets for two elderly men - an 'Adult 01' and 'Retired Engineer' (below, taken from SteamDB) with a direct explicit directory reference to Left For Dead 4.

It's an interesting mix of whispers. On the one hand some of this does look like legacy code from previous Source files, carried over to Source 2, meaning everyone's getting excited over stuff we've already seen, but there's also just enough new mentions to suggests it might not be all echoes.

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Leon Hurley
Leon Hurley

I'm currently GamesRadar's Senior Guides Co-ordinator, which means I've had a hand in producing or writing all of the guide and tips content on the site. I also write reviews, previews and features, and do video. Previously I worked for Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website. I'm a big fan of open world games, horror, and narrative adventures.