Valve adds more than three hours of audio commentary to Half-Life: Alyx

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,692   +124
Staff member
TL;DR: Valve has added more than three hours of developer audio commentary to Half-Life: Alyx. Worth noting is the fact that the commentary contains significant spoilers. As such, Valve recommends playing the game to conclusion prior to playing with commentary enabled.

Half-Life: Alyx was one of the brighter moments of 2020. The game wasn’t a total surprise as we first learned about it in late 2019, but many were surprised to discover just how good of a game it ended up being. It proved that Valve hadn’t lost its magic touch and VR wasn’t just a neat parlor trick. In the right hands, it could be a compelling platform for storytelling.

This week, we learned that Valve isn’t done with Half-Life: Alyx just yet.

The developer has released an audio commentary update that adds more than three hours of commentary to the game. The update features “147 different points of interest” covering a range of topics including art, animation, design, rendering and sound, among others.

Given the ongoing pandemic, Valve didn’t have the luxury of recording the commentary using their high-quality recording studio in the office. Rather, “we have been recording our commentary voice overs in closets and blanket forts around greater Seattle.”

When playing in commentary mode, you’ll see a floating headset at each point of interest. Simply put the headset on to listen. A status panel will show you the playback progress and the name of the speaker. Subtitles are also available in a wealth of different languages.

Permalink to story.

 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,211   +4,971
I'm not a gamer, so I can't to the worth of "|value added features", in that particular genre..

I can say that such DVD "extras", can be useless to the point of being annoying.

For example, I don't care how they make Iron Man "fly". When you tell me how it's done, it just ruins the illusion, or, "suspends the suspension of disbelief', Before I saw the extras, I believed he could fly, and I was happy in my ignorance..

As for "director and actor commentary", first, if I wanted someone to annoy me by talking through a movie I was watching, I'd get married. And here again, it interferes with the suspension of disbelief.

So, if you want somebody yakking through your game, this is the right extra for you. If not, realize this is just a sales tactic to make you think you're getting more than you really are.
 

VitalyT

Posts: 5,197   +4,318
TechSpot Elite
I watch a lot of game-play on YouTube, and the worst thing that people do to their own video-s - they add comments, ones that most of the time just annoy the hell out of me, and completely ruin the watch experience.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 0dium

defaultluser

Posts: 50   +49
Yeah, the only case where I have actually enjoyed the Commentary track on any movie I own is the one they created for The Kentucky Fried Movie twenty years after original release.

When you want to get inside the heads of twenty years of comedic genius, you have to go back to the original. But this is just another late release from Valve for a Half-Life game that nobody except VR owners has talked about for twelve months.

Because you know, Valve is so certainly serious about releasing their second VR game...in three more years.
 
Last edited:

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,597   +6,114
I enjoy the "shoot 'em ups" since it seems to keep my PTSD at bay but I'll be damned if I'm going to let a game require me to run out and spend a couple hundred bucks for something I otherwise don't need. The developers showed their shortsightedness by this choice when they just as easily could have made it for anyone to play. Valve should be ashamed of themselves for engaging in this kind of extortion ....
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,145   +2,785
TechSpot Elite
I'm not a gamer, so I can't to the worth of "|value added features", in that particular genre..

I can say that such DVD "extras", can be useless to the point of being annoying.

For example, I don't care how they make Iron Man "fly". When you tell me how it's done, it just ruins the illusion, or, "suspends the suspension of disbelief', Before I saw the extras, I believed he could fly, and I was happy in my ignorance..

As for "director and actor commentary", first, if I wanted someone to annoy me by talking through a movie I was watching, I'd get married. And here again, it interferes with the suspension of disbelief.

So, if you want somebody yakking through your game, this is the right extra for you. If not, realize this is just a sales tactic to make you think you're getting more than you really are.
I've listened to it and it's really awesome. As you progress through the game you can pick up a special item in that level and listen to the developer commentary explaining to you how the game was made, the challenges, the iterations made to the levels and many other stories various devs tell you.

I would pay to get this for every game, amazing insight on how such games are made.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,211   +4,971
@Puiu Well, you're probably suffering from, "paranoid delusions of being a game developer". (I mean that jokingly, not offense intended).

But pay no attention to me. I mute the sound completely on porn clips. I figure both whatever she's moaning, and what was on the mind of "the producer" at the time, are completely irrelevant and worthless. :eek:

Besides, half the time it's in Russian anyway. :rolleyes:
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,145   +2,785
TechSpot Elite
@Puiu Well, you're probably suffering from, "paranoid delusions of being a game developer". (I mean that jokingly, not offense intended).

But pay no attention to me. I mute the sound completely on porn clips. I figure both whatever she's moaning, and what was on the mind of "the producer" at the time, are completely irrelevant and worthless. :eek:

Besides, half the time it's in Russian anyway. :rolleyes:
I didn't need to know your fetish, especially with that avatar of yours :)


But to believe you I need evidence: photos and videos
 
Last edited:

captaincranky

Posts: 16,211   +4,971
Who knows, maybe Santa will bring you some. ;)

One of our members drew that avatar for me a few years back. The chin and nose are a bit unflattering, but he got the attitude, spot on. (y) (Y)
 

Ludak021

Posts: 306   +218
I enjoy the "shoot 'em ups" since it seems to keep my PTSD at bay but I'll be damned if I'm going to let a game require me to run out and spend a couple hundred bucks for something I otherwise don't need. The developers showed their shortsightedness by this choice when they just as easily could have made it for anyone to play. Valve should be ashamed of themselves for engaging in this kind of extortion ....
well it's almost a $1000 to begin with (yes, with the headset and all), still...) so Valve can add whatever they want. It's a niche audience to boot.
 

Lounds

Posts: 607   +496
I enjoy the "shoot 'em ups" since it seems to keep my PTSD at bay but I'll be damned if I'm going to let a game require me to run out and spend a couple hundred bucks for something I otherwise don't need. The developers showed their shortsightedness by this choice when they just as easily could have made it for anyone to play. Valve should be ashamed of themselves for engaging in this kind of extortion ....
You can literally buy used Headsets for Less than $200 nowadays, get with the times grandad.