Our First Look At Half-Life: Alyx, Free For Valve Index Users
Valve’s flagship VR title will be available on all PC VR headsets March 2020.
At long last, we finally have our first look at Valve’s highly-anticipated flagship title, Half-Life: Alyx.
Set between the events of the original Half-Life and Half-Life 2, the prequel/sequel hybrid puts you in the shoes of Alyx Vance, a skilled hacker and scientific researcher who — alongside her father — is about to launch an early resistance against an invading alien force known as The Combine. Within the occupied walls of City 17, you’ll work alongside a growing force of resistance members to battle Combine forces and perform critical research, all in the hopes of discovering a weakness.
According to the official release, the narrative-driven experience was built from the ground-up for VR and will feature a healthy combination of intense combat and — of course — plenty of environmental puzzles (this is a Half-Life game after all). There will also be a heavy focus on exploration and looting; at one point in the trailer it shows the player knocking items off a shelf in order to reach a handful of scattered shotgun shelves.
“Lean around a broken wall and under a barnacle to make an impossible shot. Rummage through shelves to find a healing syringe and some shotgun shells. Manipulate tools to hack alien interfaces. Tear a headcrab off your face and throw it out the window. VR was built for the kind of gameplay that sits at the heart of Half-Life,” states Valve in the official release.
In terms of accessibility, Half-Life: Alyx will be available to play on any PC VR headset. According to Valve, the title will be accessible via their SteamVR platform and was designed specifically with the Valve Index in mind, though they claim it will run fine on the HTC Vive/Vive Pro, Windows Mixed Reality, Oculus Rift/Rift S, and the Oculus Quest via Oculus Link. To get the most out of the experience, however, you’ll want to get your hands on a Valve Index. Not only does the headsets 1440×1600 per eye resolution provide a crystal-clear look at Alyx’s incredible visuals, but Valve’s proprietary Valve Index ‘Knuckles’ controllers add a new layer of interactivity to your in-game experience thanks to built-in grip sensitivity and finger-tracking.
The most surprising part of the announcement, however, is that Valve will be offering players a set of Source 2 tools, allowing you to build your own VR levels and share them with the community. The company has already updated its official level authoring tool, Hammer, to support VR. Whether or not players will be able to join these custom-environments together remains to be seen.
Half-Life: Alyx launches March 2020 on SteamVR for $59.99; Valve Index users will receive a copy of the game free-of-charge. While 60 bucks for a VR game may seem expensive, Valve has stated in the past that it hopes to revolutionize the VR gaming industry with expansive, long-form immersive content. Hopefully, the experience is worth the price tag.
Feature Image Credit: Valve Corporation