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New Valve game Deadlock is coming, here’s what we know

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A reliable leak has identified Deadlock as the next big game coming in-house from famed developer Valve.

Speculation is always rampant when it comes to first-party game development at Valve. The company has created some of the biggest and best-received video games to grace the PC, from Half-Life to Dota 2. The company now looks to be building an original property, a departure from its most recent releases.

What is Deadlock, the new game from Valve?

Deadlock is a hero shooter featuring six-versus-six battles on a four-lane map. Each hero will have unique abilities, as is the case in popular hero shooters such as Overwatch 2 and Team Fortress 2. Players will also be able to buy items with their own effects and abilities, a feature that speaks more to popular MOBA titles such as Dota 2 and League of Legends.

While it is a shooter, Deadlock will be played from a third-person perspective, potentially giving it a look and feel more similar to Hi-Rez Studio’s Smite, which blends third-person gameplay with traditional MOBA structures including towers and lanes. Towers are another MOBA feature that will be present in Deadlock. Tower and lanes can be navigated to via a floating railway system, though it’s unclear if these rails are strictly for individual use, or if players can make use of them together as a team.

Leaker Gabe Follower has spoken on the potential for “tower defense mechanics.” This may mean that the towers themselves can be modified, perhaps with their own abilities, items and various upgrades. For all that Deadlock seems to have in common with other popular competitive games on the market, this is one way that Valve might set it apart from those games.

As for the game’s setting, Gabe Follower has also claimed that it will be a “fantasy setting mixed with steampunk,” potentially including “magicians, weird creatures, and robots.” This potential theme would also set Deadlock apart from other games like it. Most MOBA titles popular on the market lean heavily into high fantasy themes. Overwatch, conversely, is heavy on futurism. A blend of steampunk and fantasy could definitely give Deadlock a unique look and feel in what is a crowded marketplace.

What is the release date for Deadlock?

No release date has yet been revealed for Deadlock, and it’s likely that the game will not release for some time to come. Valve is known for its long development cycles, and the fact that the studio has not yet officially revealed anything about the new game speaks to it still being quite a ways out from release.

The development of Deadlock is a departure from many expectations fans have had of Valve. The release of virtual reality title Half-Life: Alyx led many followers to expect more VR developments from Valve, while others were hoping to see additional releases in the beloved Half-Life franchise. Deadlock will not fulfill either of those expectations.

Some fans are already reacting with concern over what a brand new competitive game could mean for the future support of Counter-Strike 2 and Dota 2. But with those two properties remaining as strong, popular, and profitable as they are, it’s unlikely Valve would much reduce support for either of them anytime soon.

While the name Deadlock is itself new, the game doesn’t seem to be. Leaker Gabe Follower claims that it is simply the modern version of previously-rumored title Citadel, which has also been known as Neon Prime.

No mater its name, there’s no doubt that fans will be anticipating the new Valve game Deadlock that much more now that this amount of hard information has finally reached the public.

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Written by Jared Wynne

Jared Wynne has been covering gaming and esports for the past two decades. He's a former competitor in Counter-Strike, and still counts it among his favorite games along with RPGs like Baldur's Gate and Mass Effect. He studied journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, has been published at such outlets as The Daily Dot and The Esports Observer, and is the former Editor-in-Chief at WIN.gg. You can find him on Twitter / X at @JaredWynne.

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