What a week it’s been for virtual reality (VR) news, or more importantly Half-Life details from Valve. On Monday morning a rumour spread about a VR-entry for the much-loved series called Half-Life: Alyx. Then later that evening the official Valve Twitter account tweeted for the first time confirming the rumour was true and that details would be released today. And they most certainly have, with some expected and some unexpected news arriving.
So first up. Half-Life: Alyx isn’t going to be some short tech demo like The Lab by the sounds of it. With players expecting bigger, richer worlds like Stormland or Borderlands 2 VR, Valve knows expectations are high for this flagship videogame.
Confirming previously leaked details, Half-Life: Alyx will be set between the events of 1998’s Half-Life and Half-Life 2 (2004), where: “Alyx Vance and her father Eli secretly mount the resistance to the brutal occupation of Earth by a mysterious alien race known as The Combine,” the synopsis reads. Players take on the role of Vance, trying to save humanity by taking the fight to the invaders.
“Everyone at Valve is excited to be returning to the world of Half-Life,” says Valve founder Gabe Newell in a statement. “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.”
Built using Valve’s Source 2 engine, Half-Life: Alyx is completely SteamVR compatible. This means Valve Index, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality headsets are all supported. One interesting note, the above image was titled ‘box art’ which would suggest a physical edition will be released.
Now for some news which will surely divide VR players. Half-Life: Alyx is slated for release March 2020, retailing for a lofty $59.99 USD – with pre-orders now available. If you happen to own a Valve Index then Half-Life: Alyx is free.
Check out the tasty screenshots below and when VRFocus has further updates we’ll let you know.