Valve Software dropped the launch trailer for their new flagship VR game. It’s official, Half-Life: Alyx coming March 2020.
The wait is over…sort of
Half-Life fans have been waiting for the words “new Half-Life game” since Half-Life 2 Episode 2 was released in 2007. The game fans were waiting for was Half-Life 3, a continuation of the story that left off 12 years ago. But Half-Life: Alyx is a prequel to Half-Life 2. It takes place between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2. It’s no secret that the pressure for Half-Life 3 to live up to heightened expectations is enormous. It’s possibly a factor as to why a third instalment never came out. Maybe if Half-Life: Alyx gives Valve their confidence back fans may finally get the story continuation they desire?
But why VR?
It’s true, Half-Life: Alyx is a full length, full quality game exclusively made for VR. This has many fans of Half-Life asking why? Consumers haven’t widely adopted VR gaming. The high cost of the hardware combined with the technology making some users physically ill makes it an alienating platform. Some love it and some hate it. But if you love Half-Life the only way you’ll get to play it is with a headset. And the team explained how this happened in an interview with Geoff Keighley (The Game Awards and The Final Hours series). Keighley sat down with the Half-Life: Alyx team, David Speyrer, Robin Walker and Dario Casali, at Valve headquarters and they had a chat about the decision to go VR.
At Valve the catalyst for the idea was VR first Speyrer explained, “It was definitely let’s do a big VR game and then we explored different franchises.” “We settled on Portal and Half-Life as interesting,” Speyrer said “and Portal is so much about flinging yourself through…portals that we thought we’re gonna make a bunch of people sick with this game.” So Half-Life it was.
The way the development team discuss their journey with this game makes it sound like it was either Half-Life VR or nothing. “Back in 2016 when we started this…Half-Life 3 was a terrifyingly daunting prospect,” said Walker, “And I think to some extent VR was a way we could fool ourselves into believing we had a way to do this.” We’ll discover whether Valve pulled this off or not when fans get their hands on this game next March.
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