The Next Half-Life Is Here, Although It’s Not What Fans Expected, Half-Life: Alyx Breaks New Ground In Steam VR

The Next Half-Life Is Here, Although It’s Not What Fans Expected, Half-Life: Alyx Breaks New Ground In Steam VR
Credit: Valve via YouTube

Half-Life is Valve’s iconic franchise, its tour-de-force. First released way back in 1998, the game’s last instalment was Half-Life 2 in 2007. Since then it has been a well-memed question: when is Half-Life 3 coming? Now there’s an answer, although it’s not what anyone was expecting.

Half-Life: Alyx is a Steam VR game set as a prequel to Half-Life 2. The trailer is dark, gritty, and riddled with nostalgic imagery of Headcrabs. Most importantly? It looks incredibly detailed for a VR game, and there’s a good chance this game will break the innovative ground once smashed apart by its predecessors. Check it out below.

Bold statement? Half-Life has long been heralded for its great storyline, map design, music, characters and gameplay mechanics. The unique Gravity Gun and various other bits of kit you pick up while you play are the kinds of concepts entire games have been built around. Bringing them to VR seems like the next logical step.

Half-Life Alyx is a full-length game with fully-fleshed out worlds, puzzles and storyline. It’s set during the events preceding Half-Life 2, where Alyx and her father, Eli Vance, begin the planetary resistance against the marauding Combine forces. Gabe Newell claims that Valve have been energized by the concept of VR, and overall it’s great to see a new game from a studio that has been disappointingly quiet over the last few years.

VR is gaining in popularity, but to date, there have been very few games that are offering what Half-Life: Alyx appears to be offering. Some of the most popular VR games of 2019 so far have been Beat Saber, or the FPS Blood & Truth. There’s no doubt that these two are class games, but both are structured around one gimmick of VR.

Even from the trailer, Valve’s new title looks to be an all-encompassed approach to a VR experience. There’s rummaging around shelves, leaning around corners, solving problems and puzzles, shooting Headcrabs…everything about the Half-Life experience seems to fit right into VR gameplay.

The new Half-Life is due out in March 2020, and if you own a Valve Index (the company’s own VR kit) you’ll get the game for free, as well as some skins in-game and some cosmetics for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. For those who don’t own an Index, you’ll need to pay $60 for the game, and it will run on all PC-based VR headsets.