“Yes, finally,” said everyone around the world
Yes, Half-Life is back. Are we going to know what happened to Gordon and Alyx? No. Are we going to learn what G-Man is planning? Hell no. Are we playing as Gordon again? Hahaha no. Then what is Half-Life: Alyx? Well, it is a prequel to Half-Life 2 before Gordon woke up from his stasis. You will be playing as Alyx, the AI partner which assisted the player character, Gordon, in Half-Life 2.
So yeah not what everyone was expecting. It is hard to say what Valve was thinking of releasing a new major Half-Life came out of nowhere and it is a prequel at that. Though comments from the company claim that their original plan was to make an Alyx game regardless.
Oh yeah, and the game is on VR ……… so goddamn. In spite of the costs of VR reducing exponentially the product is still not consumer-ready in my opinion. It is not only the price but it’s bulk and the motion-sickness problem that so many people have complained about. At the moment there are no plans for the game to come on PC or any other platform.
SO, IT IS ON VR
Half Life: Alyx will be releasing on VR this march. Valve the company which has not put out a game in so many years just decides to release a new Half Life game and it is on VR. Don’t get me wrong, I think VR is an amazing technology and it is the next logical step to take in the gaming tech advancements, but like I said the product is not consumer ready yet. Not many people can afford a VR and even if you possess one it is not worth the cost. At the moment there are no major triple-A VR games available for players to enjoy.
The technology is still far too experimental and not yet stable enough to be a safe buy. Plus you need a strong PC to even make VR work good. It is not easy to have both a PC with good Hardware capabilities and at the same time a 1000$ VR headset, the thing is not at all feasible. Hence, it should not be surprising that people would prefer to buy a PC.
Another thing this brings up is, considering the number of people who have a VR, how many people will get to play Half-Life: Alyx is a big question. Valve truly took a risk with this game but this might just turn out to be the game that finally gives VR the push that it needs. And so far as we have been able to tell, Half-Life: Alyx is taking the full advantage of the VR gameplay which we will soon be detailing.
Half-Life 2 was groundbreaking when it was released receiving multiple Game of the Year awards for its story to graphics to gameplay. I doubt that Half-Life: Alyx is going to be such a revolutionary title but it might just turn out to be something special. Right now all we can do is watch and hope.
Half Life: Alyx GAMEPLAY
So far as we have been able to glean from trailers and gameplays for Half Life: Alyx the game looks really impressive (Though who knows how it will turn out after its actual release). Designer Robin Walker said during his interview that, “We absolutely see Half Life: Alyx as our return to this world, not the end of it.” and so it seems. Half Life: Alyx boasts the largest team in Valve’s history and described by Valve as its “flagship” VR title.
The story follows Alyx Vance who is trying to infiltrate a Combine (The game’s main antagonist) headquarter, named Vault in order to hinder whatever it is that the evil organization is planning. In her adventure, she is aided by her father, Eli Vance, and may come face to face with G-Man about whom we still don’t know much.
Similar to the gravity gun in Half Life 2, the player character will be equipped with gravity gloves, a gadget that will allow players to interact with distant objects and the environment around them freely. Not to mention, Valve really is pushing the limits of VR gaming. The player with the aid of his gravity gloves will be able to interact with any and all objects around him.
During the gameplay sequence it is often highlighted how you can freely interact with boxes and hats, often discovering ammo or health packs inside of destructible items or using the same items to attack enemies or to distract them. The enemies likewise react to the environment as these items can be used to trick them in various ways.
Several of the original enemies are returning as well such as the headcrabs, headcrab zombies, the Combine militia, etc. As of now, Valve has released more than 10 minutes of gameplay footage. Valve released three gameplay video footage on their youtube channel and another 10 minute gameplay was released by IGN.
We recommend watching them all as each of them shows something different about the gameplay aspects and also shows the different ways the game and the combat can be approached by.
With the release date approaching Valve may release further gameplay footage so keep an eye out for that. There is still a lot to be learned about the gameplay of Half Life: Alyx, but I am just hoping that this game will be that leap that VR needs and not just a disappointing Half Life game.
Half Life: Alyx will also allow the player multiple ways to move its character according to how it suits them. As I mentioned beforehand, motion sickness was a major detriment for the players as well as VR headsets. However, it looks like Valve is trying to overcome that obstacle by giving the player freedom of choice for there movement. It ranges from teleportation to free controller movement.
For players who feely really dizzy might want to opt for the teleportation movement which induces the least movement and hence sickness. Half Life: Alyx will still be incorporating the basic Half Life gameplay including puzzles, exploration and combat encounters. Players can also look forward to more story details revelation, important to the overall plot arc.
The game will be releasing this March on the 23rd and will be playable on all PC-based VR headset. Half Life: Alyx is currently available for pre-order on Steam. In order to promote the game, all prior Half Life games could be played for free on Steam from January until Alyx’s release on 23rd March 2020.