Valve's in-the-works Source 2 engine appears to have been unmasked by a set of images from a next-gen Left 4 Dead 2 prototype.

The screenshots, from a confidentential Powerpoint presentation posted by Valvetime.net, show off a remade version of the game's Plantation level. The remake includes a vastly improved level of detail, plus upgraded lighting and shadows.

There's no indication that this prototype version of the game will ever see light of day.

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Plantation 2.0.

According to presentation slides, Source 2 will include "simple, automatic compiling of content", a "powerful GUI front end for content authoring", "can be easily extended with custom and pre-game assets" and has a "browser for quickly finding, managing, editing assets".

Valve boss Gabe Newell confirmed Source 2 was in development back in November 2012, but said at the time that the company was "waiting for a game to roll it out with".

References to both Left 4 Dead 3 and Source 2 were then spotted last August during a tour of Valve's office by Dota 2 fans.

If Source 2 materialises this year it will be a round decade since Valve's original Source engine debuted with Counter-Strike: Source and Half-Life 2 in 2004.

Perhaps Source 3 will launch with Half-Life 3 in 2024?

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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Tom is Eurogamer's news editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and all the stealth Destiny articles.