Valve has officially revealed the next game in their legendary Half-Life franchise: the VR title Half-Life: Alyx, which will come to Steam next March.
The Half-Life series needs no introduction. Launched in 1998, the four Half-Life games released so far were known for pushing the physics and visuals of PC shooters in their day. The last game, Half-Life 2: Episode 2, released in 2007, and has been quietly put on the backburner ever since. Well, simmer no longer! Half-Life: Alyx is a full-length, $59.99 USD prequel to Half-Life 2, starring the charismatic heroine Alyx Vance and her adventures in leading humanity in a rebellion against the alien Combines.
"Everyone at Valve is excited to be returning to the world of Half-Life,” Valve head Gabe Newell declared. “VR has energized us. We’ve invested a lot of ourselves in the technology. But we're also game developers at heart, and to be devoting ourselves to a VR game this ambitious is just as exciting. For that to come in the form of Half-Life feels like the culmination of a lot things we care a lot about: truly great games, cutting edge technology, and open platforms. We can’t wait for people to experience this."
Valve said the game was created "from the ground up" for VR, but has Half-Life staples like puzzles and "visceral combat," as well as an emphasis on story and exploration. Some of the environments shown off so far (apartments, the citadel, an elevator, a lab, and more) look pretty darn impressive, as do the enemy models. Can you believe this is using the Source 2 engine, the same one as Half-Life 2?
Half-Life: Alyx is $59.99 USD at launch with pre-purchases available on Steam, and is aiming for a March 2020 release window. If you own a Valve Index headset, it's free. Valve says that "all PC-based VR headsets" can run it (which includes the Vive and Oculus Rift). You can read more about the game on its official website. Even if the Half-Life name doesn’t hold the same clout it used to, this is massive news. It’s not going to revolutionize the gaming public’s opinions on physics and FPS stories like the first two Half-Life’s did, but it’s looking like another top-tier VR system-seller, and you better believe we’ll be keeping a close eye on it.