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Half-Life: Hostile Takeover is a cancelled expansion pack for Half-Life, developed by 2015, Inc. and intended for release in August 2000.[1] It was first announced in March that year, though rumours of its existence had persisted since the previous year.[2] Unlike the three expansions created by Gearbox Software, it did not return to Black Mesa Research Facility and instead took place at Allied Processing, a related support facility, and followed a character described as a junior G-Man as he defended the facility against government agents - presumably the HECU.

The game was allegedly 60% complete and approximately 90 days from shipping when it was cancelled.[3]

Overview

Hostile Takeover was built around the concept of the G-Man testing candidates for an unknown purpose, one of the franchise's unexplored facets 2015, Inc. founder Tom Kurdika discussed with Gabe Newell at a Microsoft party at E3 1999. The expansion was to follow a new and similarly unnamed government agent described by Marc Laidlaw as a "junior G-Man".

Allied Processing, a support facility for Black Mesa, was to act as the setting for the expansion. Whilst the facility would appear to be a typical industrial complex from the exterior, its interior was to house secret underground tunnels in a similar manner to the New Mexico site. Within these tunnels, a stable portal to Xen was to have been created for mining and resource gathering, and it is implied that it is this portal through which the samples undergoing testing at Black Mesa had been acquired (presumably including GG-3883, the sample which ultimately triggered the Resonance Cascade).

It is not clear whether the protagonist was to be an employee of the facility or an outside agent, only that they would be present at the facility during or shortly following the events at Black Mesa and would become a catalyst for the complex's destruction. As with other Half-Life titles the game's opening would find them alone in the depths of the facility and task them with returning to the surface. Along the way they would encounter support from the initially-distrustful private military company providing the security, who were to be based on the cast of Team Fortress and face off against hostile government forces, possibly the HECU, arriving to confiscate the facility and its contents.

The expansion was intended to introduce a number of new gameplay mechanics by expanding the capabilities of the game's supporting characters to fulfil a wider variety of roles. The only known example are maintainance workers intended to be guided by the player to objectives they would be required to repair before the player could progress, at least one of which would be encountered in a dark area and need to be guided by the player's flashlight in a similar manner to the Half-Life 2: Episode One chapter Lowlife. Also under development were a wider variety of platforming elements, including surfaces the player could jump onto and climb across.

Characters

  • Junior G-Man

Enemies

  • Big Houndeye
  • Zombie Monkey

Weapons

  • Vortigaunt Gun: A weapon created by Allied Processing and similar to the Gravity Gun, which allowed the player to absorb and fire beams similar to the Vortigaunts' attack.
  • Satellite Orbital Laser: A laser target designator used to call in a heavier laser strike from an orbital satellite.
  • Remote-Controller Car Bomb: A small remote-controlled vehicle with attached explosive that could be directed to its target before detonation.
  • Drivable Tank: A tank which, unlike those seen in that original game, can be fully commandeered and driven through a level of tank-centric gameplay.

Trivia

  • Hostile Takeover's cancellation led to some confusion amongst retail outlets and customers between it and Half-Life: Counter-Strike.[4]
  • Despite the expansion's cancellation almost a year prior, Valve registered the name Hostile Takeover as a trademark in June 2001. It was dropped in October 2004, shortly before the release of Half-Life 2. Valve may have registered the name in order to prevent another developer capitalizing on its Half-Life connotations for an unrelated project.

References

  1. New Half-Life Expansion Coming on The Adrenaline Vault (March 18, 2000)
  2. New Half-Life Add-on Coming on GameSpot (November 23, 1999)
  3. Hostile Takeover, The Lost Half-Life Expansion Pack on ValveTime (April 3, 2016)
  4. Confusion Surrounds Half-Life Add-On Pre-Sales on The Adrenaline Vault (August 7, 2000)

External Links

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