Episode three concept art has surfaced online

The concept art shows a strange worm with a human head and arm.

BreenGrub
Image: David McGreevy / Valve / Kotaku

Avid Valve fan and collector David McGreevy has just shared a large collection of never-before-seen concept art for Half-Life 2: Episode Three and other unreleased Valve projects as part of its efforts to preserve this story for the future.

Over a decade ago, Valve started releasing smaller episodic sequels to Iconic for 2004 Half-Life 2. These shorter, stand-alone games continue the story of Gordon Freeman and human resistance against interdimensional invaders, with the idea being that Valve can develop and release them at a faster pace. 15 years after the release of Second episode, that plan doesn’t seem to have worked, and the long-awaited third episode will probably never see the light of day. But at least we have these never-before-seen pieces of concept art to stare at as we wonder what could have been.

David McGreevy is a senior producer at 2K, but in his spare time he collects Valve merchandise, artwork, and more. He has amassed one of the largest Valve collections that I know of, and has sources among current and former Valve employees, allowing him access to things not normally available to the general public. A few months ago he was annoyed that he has a lot of Valve concept art and is working on scanning it so it can be shared online.

now, he finally releases some of the first scansand although he was not very happy with the quality, he still agreed to share the artwork with my box and helped explain what is what. According to McGreavy, the art comes courtesy of a former Valve employee who wanted to “downsize” his collection of Valve-related items and artifacts.

The concept art shows a strange worm with a human head and arm.

BreenGrub
Image: David McGreevy / Valve / Kotaku

The most interesting work of art for Half-Life fans is probably the concept art of Half-Life 2 villain Dr. Breen as an alien worm. This plot point – that the once-human Breen will be transformed into an alien worm after his death in Half-Life 2—was first confirmed in former Valve writer Mark Laidlaw’s “Message 3.” That was a rough outline of the plot Laidlaw released in 2017 which showed what Episode threeThe history of may be before he left the company. And now we have our first good look at ‘BreenGrub’.

Other artwork published by McGreavy includes more concept art for Half-Life 2: Episode Threeshowing a desolate coastline covered with rusted boats and debris.

Concept art shows rusted boats perched on a rock.

Concept art by Half-Life 2: Episode Three
Image: David McGreevy / Valve / Kotaku

Interestingly, McGreevy told me that two pieces of art showing Dog and Alyx are not from episode three, but were part of a short-lived attempt to build a game around these two that would seemingly be separate from Episode three or Half-Life 3.

The concept art shows a large robot and human standing on a cliff above a large rocky landscape.

Concept art from never before released Half-Life a game featuring Dog and Alyx
Image: David McGreevy / Valve / Kotaku

The concept art shows a robot and a human walking together in the distance in an alien valley.

Concept art from never before released Half-Life a game featuring Dog and Alyx
Image: David McGreevy / Valve / Kotaku

Also of note, there is concept art for the never-released space game Valve was working on back in the day called Blood stars. Although we’ve learned a bit more about this project over the years, it’s still a mystery what it was going to be and how far Valve went with it. Just another unfinished project to throw on the pile.

The concept art shows two sci-fi characters from Valve's never-before-released space game.

Concept art by Blood stars
Image: David McGreevy / Valve / Kotaku

The concept art shows a white alien landscape with large, oddly shaped rocks.

Concept art by Blood stars
Image: David McGreevy / Valve / Kotaku

As long as we have saw some concept art of Episode three in the past, it’s still nice to see more of what could have been. We know Valve tried to do a lot Half-life games after the release of the first two episodes and before the 2020 VR-focused release Half-Life: Alyx. Based on information that surfaced in 2020, Valve had at least four or five different ones Half-Life projects of various sizes under development between 2010 and 2017.

So it makes sense that there should be even more concept art for all these different, canceled games out there, probably buried in old hard drives or boxes in Valve’s basement. And hopefully fans and collectors like McGreavy can help bring more of these things out of the shadows, preserving them for the future. Fans may not have to wait too long for more, as McGreevy told me there’s more to come Half-Life conceptual art to share. In fact, he claims he’s only released about half of what he has in hand so far.

“I’m a physical goods lover,” McGreevy said. “But I’m really looking to digitally preserve, catalog and inventory all Valve items available commercially as well as staff/internal as much as I can.”

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