Valve’s next game is a hero shooter called Deadlock – mixes Overwatch, Valorant, DOTA, and others

Rumor mill: Valve rarely releases new video games, but rumors of a new competitive title from the makers of Half-Life and DOTA 2 have been circulating for some time. Leaked images and a brief description of the project indicate that Valve is preparing a unique take on the hero shooter and MOBA genres.

A leaker known for reporting on Valve projects recently shared screenshots of a rumored upcoming online game from the company. Called Deadlock, the competitive shooter has drawn comparisons to established titles like Overwatch, Valorant, and Valve’s own DOTA 2.

Gabe Follower describes Deadlock as a fast-paced, hero-based PvP shooter that allows players to use items and abilities. The leaked screenshots show two confirmed characters. One, called Grey Talon, uses a bow for long-range offensive play. The other, sharing the game’s name, takes on a mix of offensive and defensive roles.

Deadlock matches occur on a large map with four lanes and incorporate tower defense elements, suggesting that the game will be equal parts competitive shooter and MOBA. Gabe Follower describes it as a combination of Overwatch, Valorant, Smite, Orcs Must Die, and Valve’s Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2.

The game’s setting mixes steampunk and fantasy elements. One of the screenshots shows elevated rails that players use to travel through the map rapidly, similar to BioShock Infinite. Valve initially tried a science fiction theme resembling Half-Life and Portal, but changed direction following internal feedback.

Deadlock might be the same project that leaker Tyler McVicker mentioned in 2022 under the name Neon Prime. McVicker also confirmed that it had elements inspired by DOTA and said that IceFrog, the pseudonymous lead designer of DOTA and DOTA 2, was developing it.

Valve’s leaked project could draw comparisons to defunct MOBA shooters like Epic’s Paragon (revived by an outside studio in 2022) or Gearbox’s Battleborn. Overwatch and Valorant would be its most obvious competition.

One element that might distinguish Deadlock is Valve’s support for custom game modes and other user-generated content through the in-game interface and Steam Workshop. This creative element is a cornerstone feature of DOTA 2, Counter-Strike, and the company’s other multiplayer titles. Regular updates of user-generated content have made Team Fortress 2 – considered a predecessor to modern hero shooters – more popular than ever despite its advanced age.

If Deadlock becomes publicly available, it would be Valve’s first original multiplayer title since Artifact in 2018, which flopped spectacularly. Since then, the company has released updates to its established franchises, such as the auto-battler Dota Underlords, the VR-only Half-Life: Alyx, and a major update for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive that turned the game into Counter-Strike 2.

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