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Half-Life: Alyx lunches later this month

Half-Life Alyx

Earlier this week Valve quietly announced the release date for their highly-anticipated VR game Half-Life: Alyx. The game will be released on March 23, 2020 at 10am PT.

Anyone picking the game up on Steam can preload it right now by purchasing through the digital storefront. This will allow all of the initial files to be downloaded, making for a much smoother experience on March 23.

Half-Life: Alyx is set between the first Half-Life and its sequel, before any of the episodes. In it, players take on the role of Alyx Vance in a world that is still adjusting to the events of the first game. An alien force has devastated Earth’s military, forcing them to surrender to their regime.

The alien force is known as The Combine. They’re slowly gathering the remaining humans on Earth into cities, which are acting as large prisons for those still alive. Anyone who opposes The Combine is swiftly dealt with, but resistance is rising.

In Half-Life; Alyx, players are on a journey to spark the revolution that begins in Half-Life 2. While the setting and even the style of the game is familiar, it’s also incredibly different at the same time.

As the first VR game in the series, Half-Life: Alyx has a completely new control scheme. Players move by selecting the area to which they’d like to move to, jumping forward in stages rather than constantly moving. This is due to the limitations of current VR technology, but it doesn’t seem to hinder the experience at all.

Players use Alyx’s hands, one with each controller, in a unique way for VR games. They are far more dexterous than the hands in other VR games, meaning that the interactions players make are also more complicated.

Loading weapons isn’t as simple as selecting a button. Players need to eject the magazine, pick up a new one, load it in, and then cock the weapon before firing. To make this even more complex, most of the ammo in the game must be found, since ammo is finite in the world.

The press has only had good things to say about the game so far. We’ll have to wait to see what the critical consensus from fans is when the game launches.

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