Left 4 Dead

Rumours that Valve is currently working on a new Left 4 Dead game may have been gathering pace of late, but your hopes are about to be dashed; the company has now stepped forward to categorically state that it's "absolutely not" doing any such thing.

Whispers of a new Left 4 Dead title have been heard from several sources in recent times. Back in December, Valve News Network's well-connected Tyler McVicker told Twitter followers that "Left 4 Dead VR is real", while, earlier today, Chinese HTC president Alvin Wang Graylin shared slides from a recent VR presentation making mention of Left 4 Dead 3.

Following that revelation, Valve has finally spoken up, presumably in an attempt to prevent fans from frothing themselves into an irreversible frenzy. In a statement provided to IGN, the company said it's "absolutely not working on anything L4D related now, and haven't for years."

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Left 4 Dead

The klaxons sounded earlier today when HTC China president Alvin Wang Graylin shared a few slides from his recent talk on the future of VR, including one that said, "Valve HL Alyx/LFD3 will drive consumer and AAA studio interest." The acronym isn't quite right, but the reference to Left 4 Dead 3 was obvious.

There was an initial jolt of excitement—surely a highly-placed executive at HTC would have an inside track on this kind of thing, right?—but it was all very thin and out-of-nowhere, and people quickly began to theorize that Graylin's source was actually the highly-speculative Valve News Network site, a theory bolstered by this tweet from December 2019.

It seemed weird to me that an HTC president would go out on a limb like that based solely on a VNN report, but some of his other bullet points were pretty pie-in-the-sky too: "AR/VR connected 24/7 to AI Cloud will make humans super intelligent," for instance, or "Elderly will use VR to re-enter work force and travel the world." 

However accurate or inaccurate those predictions prove to be, we can say for sure that the one about Left 4 Dead 3 is way off the mark.

"We’ve seen rumors to this effect for the last couple of months. We did briefly explore some Left 4 Dead next opportunities a few years ago. But we are absolutely not working on anything L4D related now, and haven’t for years," Valve said in a statement sent to IGN

"It’s clear some people are having fun creating misinformation to spin up the community and other outlets. Unfortunately, for now a new L4D game is not something we’re working on."

Sorry, everyone. But if leaks and rumors are your thing, we've got a roundup of all the Left 4 Dead 3 scuttlebutt we've run across over the years that you can dive into right here.

Counter-Strike: Condition Zero - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Craig Pearson)

I love a spin-off. Angel? Great stuff! Count Duckula? The Better Call Saul of cartoons. Kourtney and Khlo Take Miami? Take me, I m yours! I could go on and on cutting-and-pasting from this Wikipedia page, but I ll get to the point. Games also have spin-offs. Often they ll be forgotten about. Sometimes they re even disowned. On a few occasions, they ll take on a life of their own and exist apart from the game that spawned them, never calling, never visiting, only sending a multipack Christmas card. Below are a few stories of surprising spin-offs. The 2D Half-Life 2, the Fortnite that failed, the single-player Counter-Strike that no-one asked for, and more.

(more…)

Jul 24, 2019
Left 4 Dead - Valve
An update has been released for Left 4 Dead.

- Fixed a potential remote code execution exploit. Reported via HackerOne.
Left 4 Dead

I popped into London's Barbican Centre last week to see the new exhibition about artificial intelligence - AI: More than Human, it's called. I considered myself peak target audience, not because I've read a couple of Isaac Asimov stories and not because I've seen Deus Ex: Machina, although that was a good film - Poe was great wasn't he? It's not because I'm a particular AI geek at all. It's because of video games.

We hear about AI in the games world all the time. Every year, it seems like we're being promised the most realistic villagers ever, or the cleverest footballing opponents, or the most aggressive baddies with guns. "They will learn and adapt to your style of play!" God, how many times have we heard that? So when I walked into the Barbican exhibition, I expected video games to be everywhere.

And I looked. And I looked. But I couldn't find them.

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Left 4 Dead

Update: Sorry, folks, but mere minutes after our story went live, Valve confirmed that the teaser is in fact a fake. It's still pretty cool though. You can read my our initial thoughts on the presumed-fakeness of the video in the original story below:

Original story: A very impressive teaser that turned up today on YouTube has a lot of people wondering if a new Left 4 Dead game has suddenly sprung a big leak, or if Valve is perhaps trying its hand at viral marketing. It could be—Valve did recently tease a new "flagship" game coming this year, after all, and this wouldn't be the first time we've heard whispers of Left 4 Dead 3—but the far greater likelihood, sorry to say, is that it's a fake. 

For one thing, the video is complete and polished but purely environmental, which isn't at all how Valve rolls: Left 4 Dead is frantic and visceral (check out this L4D2 teaser for evidence of that), and this, for all the atmosphere it stokes, is not. The zombie hand at the end is suspicious as well, because it's a direct copy of the original L4D hand rather than something indicating the third game in the series. Joke about Valve's inability to get to "three" if you will, but I can't see it breaking an established pattern on a major game franchise just to nod-and-wink at a silly inside joke. 

I think the presence of real-world products in the game, like Pepsi and Life, also points toward fakeness. You can't just throw stuff like that into your game or your promo materials without some sort of licensing deal, and there's no evidence of that—and I don't see Valve doing that sort of thing in one of its game worlds anyway.

So it's possible that this could be a surprise L4D3 leak, but only very, very (I mean, very) slightly possible. We've reached out to Valve to ask, just in case, but I'm confident enough to call it now: Very nicely done, yes, but also very fake. 

Apr 26, 2019
Left 4 Dead
An update has been released for Left 4 Dead 2. - Fixed a potential remote code execution exploit. Reported via HackerOne.
Apr 26, 2019
Left 4 Dead - Valve
An update has been released for Left 4 Dead.

- Fixed a potential remote code execution exploit. Reported via HackerOne.
Apr 26, 2019
Left 4 Dead
An update has been released for Left 4 Dead. - Fixed a potential remote code execution exploit. Reported via HackerOne.
Mar 27, 2019
Left 4 Dead
An update has been released for Left 4 Dead 2. - Fixed a spectate command exploit that caused servers to hang. - Fixed lobby chat messages not appearing on Linux.
...

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