Valve has announced the release date for their upcoming VR Half-Life game, Half-Life: Alyx. The game will launch on Steam for $59.99 on March 23, 2020. The game will support HTC Vive, Valve Index, Oculus Quest via PC link and cable, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality Headsets.
Half-Life: Alyx is the first Half-Life game to launch since Half-Life 2 Episode 2 in 2007. The game maintains the first-person perspective, but pushed the gameplay boundaries using VR technology.
The Half-Life games have always been at the forefront of innovation, setting the bar for features and mechanics that games will use for years to come. Half-Life: Alyx looks to be no exception, with superb animations used in-game for actions that many games don’t include them for. One example is the way in which players will need to locate and pick up individual shotgun cartridges around the world, loading them into their weapon manually before firing at enemies.
Half-Life: Alyx puts players into the shoes of Alyx Vance from Half-Life 2, but the game is set between the two main entries, and Alyx is humanity’s only chance for survival. Since the Black Mesa incident in the first game, the alien race known as The Combine have tightened their grip on the planet, moving the last remaining hums into cities around the world where they can be monitored easily.
Alyx Vance is a member of a resistance group that’s just starting out. The group has studied Combine technology, making advances that will allow them to turn the tide in a battle, when someone brave enough to start one shows up.
Players will find new innovations on traditional Half-Life tropes in the game. With VR it’s now possible to learn around corners, and trick enemies into walking under a Barnacle that they can’t see from their angle.
Headcrabs, which needed to be killed if they latched onto the player in previous games, can now be ripped off and thrown at enemies. Bottles and debris can likewise be used as weapons, or distractions, in a sandbox that is more open to player-driven gameplay than ever.