In August, a couple of leaks suggested that Valve was working on a new Left 4 Dead game based on the second-generation Source engine. Today, a fresh leak provides a glimpse of what that game might look like. NeoGAF forum member CBOAT has posted a screenshot of a purported presentation on the Source 2 engine. The screenshot shows a scene from Left 4 Dead 2 "rebuilt in Source 2.0," and it’s not the only one floating around on the web this morning. ValveTime was sent a second screenshot that depicts the same scene from a different vantage point. That image appears to come from the same PowerPoint deck as the NeoGAF shot.
Both images show considerably more detail than the original Left 4 Dead 2. (ValveTime commenter pyrodojo has posted some nice comparison shots here and here.) That said, L4D2 was released more than four years ago, and it didn’t deliver particularly cutting-edge visuals in its day. The supposed Source 2 screenshots are less impressive in the context of Battlefield 4 and Crysis 3. Some NeoGAF forum members and ValveTime commenters claim the presentation is from 2011, though. Perhaps that’s why the graphics don’t look as good as what’s available in the latest DirectX 11 titles.
ValveTime doesn’t reveal the source of the screenshot it was sent, but CBOAT has reportedly leaked accurate information before. There’s more evidence that Valve ported Left 4 Dead 2 content to the Source 2 engine, as well. Last year, another NeoGAF forum member posted the LinkedIn profile of Valve developer Tom Leonard. That profile said Leonard was working on the Source 2 engine, and that he had "integrated the gameplay portion of the highly divergent code line of Left 4 Dead 2 into Source 2."
This latest leak doesn’t tell us a whole lot about the Source 2 engine or the next Left 4 Dead game. The timing is curious, though. When Valve announced SteamOS in September, it promised that AAA titles would natively support the OS in 2014. The company said more details were coming "in the coming weeks," but we haven’t heard any big game announcements since. I can’t help but wonder if these latest leaks might be the beginning of a bigger reveal.