A datamine has discovered multiple references in the files of Aperture Desk Job to four different unannounced Valve games.

As reported by Tyler McVicker, a journalist with a specialism in Valve’s work, the recently released Aperture Desk Job (a small game designed for the Steam Deck) contains folders with multiple detailed references to four different games: Citadel, a Source 2 port of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, a follow-up to Half-Life: Alyx, and a recreation of a previously cancelled Portal game. None of these projects have been formally announced by Valve.

The datamine, which runs over 70 pages long, contains data related to Citadel. “Citadel appears to be a Combine vs rebels, team-based, squad-based, class-based RTS/FPS hybrid,” McVicker explained. “The game appears to have a campaign, a single-player campaign and two major systems at play.”

McVicker reports that Citadel places players in the role of a commander who can direct squads of AI bots. This can be done from a bird’s eye view, or you can drop down onto the battlefield and take direct control of either your commander or other squad members.

It’s unclear from this leak if Citadel is a game in active development at Valve. The studio often builds out projects and prototypes that never come to public fruition. But this datamine provides a fascinating look behind the curtain. While many of the files are difficult to decipher, there are many notes that help build a picture of what Citadel was/is/could be.

The squad based game features groups of AI bots that have a dynamic behaviour system based on “mood” and “memory”. These bots, as well as the player, have access to weapons, upgrades, alternate fire systems, and passive buffs. These are considered “held abilities” that need to be attached to the player’s body, pointing to the fact that Citadel would be a VR game. McVicker’s exploration of the files suggests Citadel would work on “pancake” systems, too (that’s a normal PC to you and I).

There’s very little detail about the other three games referenced in the datamine. There are several instances of the term SteamPal, which McVickers says was a Steam Deck remake of F-Stop, a cancelled sequel to Portal better known as Aperture Camera. There’s also references to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive being moved to the updated Source 2 engine, as well as what could be a sequel to Half-Life: Alyx. As with Citadel, it’s unclear if these are projects currently in active development at Valve, things that have been cancelled, or projects built for different reasons entirely. As such, the datamine should not be taken as proof that Valve is planning to announce and release these games.

That won’t stop many from hoping, though, as almost every Valve game released has been an astonishing success. Last year’s Half-Life: Alyx was a masterpiece of VR design, and demonstrated that the company’s campaign sensibilities still feel as strong as ever more than a decade after the last game in the series.

Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Entertainment Writer.

Source: IGN Video Games All

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