It may very well be true that Valve can’t count to three. Rather than follow up with fan requests for a concluding chapter to the “Half-Life” series, the Washington-based developer announced “Half-Life: Alyx,” the first of three promised virtual reality experiences. However, as the trailer assures, all isn’t lost for fans of the classic series.
The reveal trailer confirms that players will control “Half-Life 2” deuteragonist Alyx Vance in an all-new story. According to Valve’s David Speyrer, “Alyx” is a full-length game that comes in “around the same length as ‘Half-Life 2’.” That wasn’t the only bit of exciting news surrounding “Alyx,” as Speyrer also confirmed that the game takes place before “Half-Life 2,” before Gordon Freeman wakes up from stasis to see the world conquered by the Combine.
Alyx Vance goes up against the Combine and the familiar monsters from Xen in “Half-Life’s” first release in over 12 years. To see the products of the Black Mesa Research Facility in high-def is a treat for long-time fans of the series, though its VR-only gameplay is sure to alienate some that anticipated a true sequel.
Virtual reality gamers will get to immerse themselves in an experience that’s true to “Half-Life’s” form. That means solving puzzles, exploring a deep world with fleshed-out NPCs, and unraveling a story that fits perfectly within the core narrative. Along the way, there will be plenty of bullets flying as Alyx takes down Combine forces and picks off headcrabs.
The trailer showcased the fluidity of everything, with Alyx solving a puzzle while fending off headcrab zombies. Alyx will also be equipped with “Gravity Gloves,” which she uses to pull an explosive off a Combine soldier in the trailer. “Alyx” will feature new characters to help you along your path, but expect to see some familiar faces, including Alyx’s father, Eli, and, of course, the ever-elusive G-Man. As a bit of fan service, we wouldn’t be surprised if the game somehow butts up against Freeman’s arrival.
Whether or not the developer can deliver on the third of its planned VR games is still yet to be seen. Per the company’s track record, it may be worth betting against. Until then, at least some of us have another “Half-Life” title to look forward to.
“Alyx” is scheduled to release in March of 2020 for all virtual reality units.