Half-Life: Alyx is now officially revealed. It’s a feature-length entry in the legendary franchise that is coming to PC in March 2020. Oh, and it’s only playable in VR.
According to Valve, the game “was designed from the ground up for virtual reality and features all of the hallmarks of a classic Half-Life game: world exploration, puzzle solving, visceral combat, and an intricately woven story that connects it all with the characters iconic to the Half-Life universe.” Over 50 Valve employees worked on the game in complete secrecy since around 2016.
The game is set between the events of Half-Life 1 and 2. This time around, the player will not be swinging their trusty crowbar as Gordon Freeman. Instead, they will take on the role of Alyx Vance, Gordon’s companion from Half-Life 2. Alyx will not only shoot headcrabs but also solve puzzles using a pair of gravity gloves, a VR incarnation of the gravity gun from the game’s desktop predecessor.
The series is returning after 12.5 years it has spent in stasis since the release of Half-Life 2: Episode II. Half-Life 2 itself came out in 2004.
Half-Life: Alyx will be distributed via Steam and will support all VR devices (Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and even Windows Mixed Reality) compatible with PC, VentureBeat reports .
Unlike Valve’s previous VR projects, the new game will be a full-blown Half-Life experience (journalist Geoff Keighley played the game, and it took him more than 15 hours to complete). Hence the price: $59.99 USD.
Owners of Valve Index VR headsets (one of the latest VR devices released only this summer, which supports 2880×1600 resolution and costs $1000) will get the game for free.
The game is built in Source 2. Following the release, users will receive a set of Source 2 tools to create their own content.
Half Life: Alyx – Official Gameplay Announcement Trailer
You might also want to listen to Valve devs talk about exploring VR and making the game in this video below. It turns out, they briefly hesitated between Half-Life and Portal IP for their big VR project, but a Portal VR game would have probably made lots of people sick, while the Half-Life oeuvre translated very well into VR, with exploration and puzzles as part of its DNA. And if you really try to read between the lines, it sounds like one day Valve might even learn to count to three, depending on how Half-Life: Alyx is received.
The Final Hours of Half-Life: Alyx – Behind Closed Doors at Valve