Valve reveals VR game 'Half-Life: Alyx' is on its way

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

It was way back in February 2017 when Valve boss Gabe Newell said the company was making three “full” VR games. It didn’t generate a whole lot of excitement, but Half-Life: Alyx, as it’s called, could be a killer title that encourages more people to buy a headset. Or it might be very disappointing, we’ll have to wait and see. Valve certainly has experience in the field of VR, with the company’s Valve Index gaining plenty of positive reviews.

The announcement came from the @valvesoftware Twitter account. It’s the one tweet from an account that was only created in June and has 47 thousand followers, but it’s verified, and Valve employees have been retweeting the post. Why the company never used the Steam Twitter feed, which has 5.2 million followers, is a mystery.

The tweet states that the game’s full reveal will take place this Thursday at 10 am Pacific Time. According to a leaked interview (via PC Gamer) with Geoff Keighley, Team Fortress co-developer Robin Walker, and an unnamed third person, Half-Life: Alyx will be shown off at the game awards on December 12 and be released in March 2020.

It’s the 21st anniversary of Half-Life’s original PC release date, and just over 15 years since Half-Life 2, so a return to the franchise is well overdue. But a VR title starring Alyx Vance—which Ars Technica claims will be a Half-Life 2 prequel—is going to disappoint many of those waiting for Half-Life 3.

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
HAHAHAHA .... you mean other than everything? And to make a VR only game just tells me how short sighted the designers and managers are ... oh, I'm sorry, I meant to say stupid, but I was being kind .....
 

IAMTHESTIG

TS Evangelist
Sweet! I think Boneworks was a good indicator something was being worked on here. I look forward to this and hope it is successful.

Now ziffel66, it's not like Duke Nukem Forever which they kept trying over and over and over. It seems a new HL is already well in the works and Steam and Valve already have a solid hold on VR so I think this has a really good chance of being good.

Not sure what you are on about Uncle AI, clearly you don't care for VR. And that's fine, it's not for everyone.
 

IAMTHESTIG

TS Evangelist
Can I play without a VR headset? I assume so? Most VR games today can be played without a headset.
I would doubt it considering it is supposed to be their "flagship VR title". There are a few games out there with both, and you can tell which it was initially designed for. Really if you can afford it and not get sick, VR is the way to go - it is so much more immersive. I just don't think a game designed for VR works well on a monitor with keyboard & mouse, or even with a nice controller. There are just things in VR that you can't do without VR and its motion controllers.

Now things get different with racing or flight sims... where conventional controllers are just fine, and in fact preferred. All your really wanting for racing and flight sims is the full head motion support and three dimensional perception - both of which really are 95% of the racing or flight sims visual experience. Not having your real hands in the virtual world isn't that big of a loss for these types games.
 

Soulburn74

TS Booster
I'm sure all the Index owners are happy to ready this! They've been waiting for a while to get a true Index title, that makes use of those fancy new controllers. This might be the title that makes me break the bank to get one....... (I'll wait for reviews after the game comes out, before pulling the trigger though).
 
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Rayneofpayne

TS Rookie
Sweet! I think Boneworks was a good indicator something was being worked on here. I look forward to this and hope it is successful.

Now ziffel66, it's not like Duke Nukem Forever which they kept trying over and over and over. It seems a new HL is already well in the works and Steam and Valve already have a solid hold on VR so I think this has a really good chance of being good.

Not sure what you are on about Uncle AI, clearly you don't care for VR. And that's fine, it's not for everyone.
Half life was always a 1up for fps games
1- had a story and a environment that was interactable
2- upped the score and added physics systems with unique weapons that highlighted those systems.
3- will probably be made when they absolutely believe they can make a VR experience that is transformation for the fps genre, Gabe Newell has made the point that HL is important and is only really an option when the medium is good enough to help introduce more than just graphical increases in technology.

I really expect HL3 to be a raytraced game using VR with Complex physics and an environment as well as a story that pushes how an fps can be made and played.
 

Rayneofpayne

TS Rookie
Cue the people hating on VR for no reason.
90% of those people are that way because of the cost, In reality though it is expensive and really only available to a small portion of high end gamers and youtubers, so in a way hate is justified for them, for a percentage that just don't care for it there hasn't been a compelling reason,
.....and what I mean by that is there have been no real experiences that have capitalized on how VR should be, but they are getting pretty close, I seriously expect in 10years for it to be a valid option versus having a monitor with high refresh small HMDs that resemble thicker sunglasses without lenses that are a huge cost of the units. Think of it like Raytracing for the tech the best case use would be stealth or horror fps games, instead we get anything but that, Metro is close but still not a best use.
 

Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
90% of those people are that way because of the cost, In reality though it is expensive and really only available to a small portion of high end gamers and youtubers, so in a way hate is justified for them, for a percentage that just don't care for it there hasn't been a compelling reason,
.....and what I mean by that is there have been no real experiences that have capitalized on how VR should be, but they are getting pretty close, I seriously expect in 10years for it to be a valid option versus having a monitor with high refresh small HMDs that resemble thicker sunglasses without lenses that are a huge cost of the units. Think of it like Raytracing for the tech the best case use would be stealth or horror fps games, instead we get anything but that, Metro is close but still not a best use.
Refurbished Oculus sets could have been had for $200 when people were upgrading to the new S. Hell I sold my tripple sensor (which is overkill for most) for $250 and that included additional accessories. The original Samsung odyssey (which is pretty good) can be had for $150.

"no real experiences that have capitalized on how VR should be"

In the sense that the games could be more intractable in general, I would agree with that sentiment. Being in VR means you can touch everything and natural interactions need to be added. Pressing a button to pick items up no longer cuts it. That said there are games like Thrill of the Fight that do a hell of job.
 
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johnofo

TS Rookie
I'm definitely looking forward to this.

When I first got Subnautica it loaded in VR and I played it that way for ages. Was really immersive and quite terrifying being hundreds of meters underwater in VR with killer fish around. Ended up switching to playing on a monitor though as you could tell the game was designed that way. Controlling some aspects of the game was near impossible in VR.

I still play Beat Saber and Zero Caliber regularly in VR and both are great but would love a proper, full scale game to get lost in...
 

Rayneofpayne

TS Rookie
Refurbished Oculus sets could have been had for $200 when people were upgrading to the new S. Hell I sold my tripple sensor (which is overkill for most) for $250 and that included additional accessories. The original Samsung odyssey (which is pretty good) can be had for $150.

"no real experiences that have capitalized on how VR should be"

In the sense that the games could be more intractable in general, I would agree with that sentiment. Being in VR means you can touch everything and natural interactions need to be added. Pressing a button to pick items up no longer cuts it. That said there are games like Thrill of the Fight that do a hell of job.
Keep in mind there is more than just the headset itself cost wise. With that being said your average person pays less than 300$ for a GPU if they even bother doing that so $250 for a third sensor and accessories can still be cost prohibitive and the major issue with budget VR headsets is that they lead to a degraded experience that can turn people off especially those effected by refresh problems, grant it the Index solves alot of those issues but it's still expensive for the majority...and also not everyone buys refurbished when it's something as personal as an hmd.
 

IAMTHESTIG

TS Evangelist
Cost is certainly a consideration... but a lot of gamers already have a sufficiently powerful system. If you look at it from the perspective of a monitor and some controllers it doesn't seem as crazy. A nice sized high quality gaming monitor and some nice controllers can set you back $5-800 easily - replacing that with an HMD with its own controllers that work for almost every VR game is reasonable. I will point out again though as I mentioned in one of my previous posts, flight sims and racing games are still better with physical controls and not virtual controls. Virtual controls are ok-ish with flight sims since you still want to interact with everything in the cockpit, but for racing you must have pedals and a wheel at a minimum. Rotating two controllers around as if it was a steering wheel just doesn't cut it - unless your six years old.
 
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