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Borealis (cancelled game)

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Cut.png The contents of this article have been cut.

The subject matter of this article contains in-development information that was cut from the final version of an official and/or canonical source and appears in no other canonical source. It may also contain incomplete information since not all cut material is publicly known.

This article is about the cancelled VR game. For the location cut from Half-Life 2, see Borealis (cut ship). For the Aperture Science ship, see Borealis (Aperture Science ship).

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Release date(s)



Source 2




Marc Laidlaw

Borealis was a VR game that was in development at Valve from early to late 2015. Set aboard the Borealis, players would explore the vessel as it travelled backwards and forwards through time.


At around the same time that the Half-Life 2-themed Shooter demo was being developed for The Lab in 2015, Marc Laidlaw started to work with a small team at Valve for another Source 2 VR project set within the Half-Life universe. Codenamed 'Borealis', Laidlaw's project was a VR game set on the bridge of the Aperture Science research ship of the same name that was glimpsed in Half-Life 2: Episode Two and mentioned again in Portal 2. Players would explore the vessel as it ricocheted backwards and forwards through time between the Seven Hour War and a time set shortly after the events of Half-Life 2: Episode Two. A minigame where players could fish off the bow of the ship was also proposed. Ultimately, Borealis never gained enough momentum at the company for its developers to be able to justify continuing work on it, so it ended up being cancelled.[1]