There's a new Half-Life coming. No, no, not that one, obviously not that one. This is Prospekt — a stand-alone, fan-made game that was built in 18 months by one man, video game designer Richard Seabrook, and that has now been approved to launch on Steam on February 11th this year. That's right, Valve has given Prospekt the green light to use graphics and assets from Half-Life 2, making the game — well, not official, but sanctioned at any rate.
Prospekt started life as a job application to work at Valve
The game is somewhere between a sequel and an expansion pack, picking up the story of Adrian Shephard, the US Marine who's the focus of Half-Life: Opposing Force (the expansion pack for the original Half-Life). It's set in the Nova Prospekt prison during the events of Half-Life 2, with Gordon Freeman cornered in the alien stronghold and Shephard teleported in by his allies, the Vortigaunts, to help out. Needless to say, while Prospekt will function as a stand-alone title (you won't need to own Half-Life 2 to play it), it's very much aimed at established fans of the series.
Seabrook, who is just 25, promises that Prospekt will feature 13 new levels, "substantial graphical updates," and a storyline that's "comparable to Half-Life 2: Episode One in length." The game actually started life as job application that Seabrook sent to Valve to prove his mettle as a level designer. That plan might not have worked out for him, but Prospekt is currently available to preorder on Steam for $10 — in many ways, a more impressive achievement.