People rejoice, Valve has not yet died out, and Gabe Newell isn’t just trolling us. A new entry in the Half-Life franchise has been long-awaited, and while it doesn’t have a 3 at the end, it’s still welcomed. Valve is no stranger to innovation, as they proved in the past with the Half-Life series. The first one was an FPS experience that introduced some groundbreaking features that shaped games for the next decade. The second one went even beyond that with its interactive environment and gameplay. So it seemed like a natural solution for their next entry to once again innovate and give us something new and fresh.
So how does Half-Life Alyx push the boundaries even further? Simple, it will fully utilize the current VR tech and give a new take on the genre. Not to be compared to other VR titles, the likes of Batman VR, Valve fully immerses players in its world. VR never gave full control to the player over their actions, and this might be a different case, with players interacting with every single prop they come across. However, with such tech, gamers will have to put aside their keyboards, mouses, and gamepads and settle for a full VR headset.
Rumors have surfaced already that Valve is trying to push VR tech onto the masses. Half-Life Alyx is by some considered a tech demo for a potential future third entry into the storyline. We don’t condone this action, even if it is true. Yet it does pose an interesting theory. What if Valve is trying to market the VR with this current release so that they could fair better when an actual sequel emerges? In any case, we think this is the right move for the company, who has overlooked the franchise for far too long. So let’s dive into the actual game.
For starters, the story doesn’t continue off where we last saw Gordon Freeman and Alyx Vance. Instead, we are put directly in the shoes of Alyx as she fends off the alien race, the Combine, during its early days. This time around the game will only focus on the Vance family, and exclude the silent protagonist overall. A smart move, as Alyx is a key and compelling character, and exploring her background might be a pleasant experience. For now, we know her father will also play a pivotal role, and as always, the enigmatic G-Man makes a return to tease die-hard fans.
The only downside is that the game will demand the headset and controllers meant for Virtual Reality. The good news is that players who own Valve Index will receive the game for free. Another excellent feature Valve is adding is community-built tools. Players will have access to Source 2 tools to build and contribute new ideas and environments. Half-Life Alyx is set to release in March 2020. For more details about the upcoming release, we recommend you watch Geoff Keighley’s interview with the developers of the project.
Processor: Core i5-7500 / Ryzen 5 1600
Memory: 12 GB RAM
Graphics: GTX 1060 / RX 580 – 6GB VRAM