Valve confirms that Half-Life: Alyx will be a strictly single-player, 'one-way' experience

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

This information comes from a recent email exchange between The Verge and Valve game designer Robin Walker. In addition to reaffirming the Half-Life: Alyx team's commitment to solo gameplay, Walker also said the title will be a relatively-straightforward, "one-way" adventure from start to finish.

While there may be scenarios where you can approach a situation from different angles, or take slightly different paths through an environment, Half-Life: Alyx is far from an open-world experience (in true Half-Life fashion). You'll also be able to save as little or as often as you like, which can't be taken for granted in today's age of always-online live services.

Walker also says the VR game was developed with the medium's limitations in mind. For example, the developers are aware that many players struggle to use VR devices for long periods of time, so many aspects of the game -- particularly relating to pacing and story -- were designed to accommodate shorter bursts of playtime. However, the team is still confident that most people will be enjoying their upcoming game for 2-3 hours per session.

Walker notes that "literally every" Valve playtester who tried the game ended up playing for longer than expected. Granted, the playtesters in question were equipped with Valve's high-end Index headset, which was designed with comfort in mind from the get-go. Things may not go quite as well for ordinary players, who could be stuck with older, bulkier, and decidedly more uncomfortable VR headset models.

If you have a VR headset and are looking forward to the return of the Half-Life franchise, you can pre-order Half-Life: Alyx on Steam for $53.99. It's expected to launch in March of 2020.

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IAMTHESTIG

TS Evangelist
It's pretty much been a solid rule of mine to not pre-order anything, as 99% of the time I ended up being disappointed. For some reason I have confidence here that a pre-order isn't bad, though not necessary. Regardless I'm really looking forward to this game and am certain I'll be getting it. I personally enjoy a long and interesting single player campaign and am glad to see it is still alive today. Though I would prefer an open-world game, I think the game will be interesting enough that it won't be a disappointment if you can't roam freely.
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Nope, not for me .... I'm not about to lay out a bunch of cash for a VR headset just to play the game. If they want my money they need to make a standard PC version I can play on screen .... otherwise its ....

NO SALE!
 
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Evernessince

TS Evangelist
Nope, not for me .... I'm not about to lay out a bunch of cash for a VR headset just to play the game. If they want my money they need to make a standard PC version I can play on screen .... otherwise its ....

NO SALE!
People who haven't bought a VR headset of their own say that but a good VR experience can be pretty mind blowing. If I had to compare it to something, it's like when the gaming industry moved from 2D rendering to 3D rendering.
 

Jules Mark II

TS Rookie
So a weekend rental. After 17 years of waiting... Is that it?

I can play this at a friend's house, he got a oculus rift collecting dust at the moment. Guess I'll invite him pizza afterwards.
 

veLa

TS Evangelist
I can't wait for modders to turn this into a traditional FPS experience. There's no way I'm shelling out my hard earned cash on VR for the Half-Life game I didn't ask for.
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
People who haven't bought a VR headset of their own say that but a good VR experience can be pretty mind blowing. If I had to compare it to something, it's like when the gaming industry moved from 2D rendering to 3D rendering.
AND people like me that have tried a number of the headsets say it's not worth the money ...... NO SALE!
 

IAMTHESTIG

TS Evangelist
VR isn't for everyone, I totally get it. And while I love VR and pretty much play it exclusively, I agree Valve should make a standard monitor version of the game to be played with keyboard and mouse. They are going to be missing about 99% of the potential FPS gaming market as far as I'm concerned with this move and it is going to hurt the HL franchise I think.

Honestly though a game designed from the ground up to be VR and then converted to a monitor based game isn't going to be anywhere nearly as fulfilling a experience. Once you enjoy the full capabilities of VR and how natural things feel, playing the same game on a monitor, keyboard, and mouse just feels like playing a new FPS with only a keyboard on an old 14" CRT monitor. VR really is superior when at its full potential.
 

Evernessince

TS Evangelist
AND people like me that have tried a number of the headsets say it's not worth the money ...... NO SALE!
What headsets and what games specifically? When I first dipped into VR I returned the headset too. It wasn't until a year later that I got the Rift and loved it.
 

cliffordcooley

TS Redneck
a good VR experience can be pretty mind blowing.
I beg to differ. Strapping a small monitor to my head will never be a good experience. Mind blowing perhaps but the thrill for me would wear off quickly. It's bad enough having to wear reading glasses. I'm constantly repositioning them from the annoyance of wearing them.

It is about the same as mouse/keyboard vs touch screen. They each have their advantages and disadvantages.
 

Evernessince

TS Evangelist
I beg to differ. Strapping a small monitor to my head will never be a good experience. Mind blowing perhaps but the thrill for me would wear off quickly. It's bad enough having to wear reading glasses. I'm constantly repositioning them from the annoyance of wearing them.

It is about the same as mouse/keyboard vs touch screen. They each have their advantages and disadvantages.
"strapping a small monitor to my head" is something I commonly hear from people who haven't tried VR or don't know how it works. VR typically creates a focal point of 6 feet out and produces a 3D effect thanks to it's lenses. If it were really just a screen strapped to my face I would have no need to wear my glasses but in fact if I don't I can't see anything.

"I'm constantly repositioning them from the annoyance of wearing them."

Not a problem on the Rift S, Valve Index, or the Vive with DAS. The Rift S and Valve Index in particular are both very comfortable headsets and extremely easy to adjust. For the index it's a simple nob you twist.

I don't have issues with near vision but I already wear glasses 24/7. If glasses bother you that much, lens inserts for light prescriptions like reading glasses can be had for less then $50 so that you don't have to wear anything.
 
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Lionvibez

TS Evangelist
"strapping a small monitor to my head" is something I commonly hear from people who haven't tried VR or don't know how it works. VR typically creates a focal point of 6 feet out and produces a 3D effect thanks to it's lenses. If it were really just a screen strapped to my face I would have no need to wear my glasses but in fact if I don't I can't see anything.

"I'm constantly repositioning them from the annoyance of wearing them."

Not a problem on the Rift S, Valve Index, or the Vive with DAS. The Rift S and Valve Index in particular are both very comfortable headsets and extremely easy to adjust. For the index it's a simple nob you twist.

I don't have issues with near vision but I already wear glasses 24/7. If glasses bother you that much, lens inserts for light prescriptions like reading glasses can be had for less then $50 so that you don't have to wear anything.
Great post as usual Evernessince always bring out the facts.
 

jpuroila

TS Booster
Nope, not for me .... I'm not about to lay out a bunch of cash for a VR headset just to play the game. If they want my money they need to make a standard PC version I can play on screen .... otherwise its ....

NO SALE!
They're not trying to sell you the game, they're trying to sell you the concept of VR.