Half-Life is, without any doubt, one of the biggest names in video game history. The series has always been at the forefront of leading video game technology and storytelling. When Half-Life 2 came out over 15 years ago, it completely altered the gaming landscape. Modern video games probably wouldn’t be the same without it.
However, ever since we got Episode Two for Half-Life 2 way back in 2007, Valve has left us stranded over the future of the series. In addition to that, there’s also the running joke that Valve can never count to 3 and just abandons games on their second installments. It has been such a long time since their last game release that most people have just given up any hope of the series making a return ever again.
Well, 12 years after the last release, Valve has finally announced a new Half-Life game for the masses. However, things might be a little different this time around.
Valve announces Half-Life: Alyx, a VR game
Earlier today, Valve dropped a bombshell on us out of nowhere by announcing that a new game in the series is indeed in the works. Called Half-Life: Alyx, the new game will take place in the Half-Life universe and will be designed exclusively for PC virtual reality headsets. The game will support most modern VR systems like the Valve Index, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive etc.
We’re excited to unveil Half-Life: Alyx, our flagship VR game, this Thursday at 10am Pacific Time.
Can’t wait to share it with all of you! pic.twitter.com/BupFCxSrTw
— Valve (@valvesoftware) November 18, 2019
However, the news might not have been a surprise to many as we’ve already seen a bunch of leaks over the past few months alluding to this game’s existence. Half-Life: Alyx, as the name suggests, will be played from the perspective of Alyx Vance, who was introduced in second installment of the series. However, the sad news is that the game will probably not take place after the events of Half-Life 2.
While there has been no confirmation from Valve ahead of the Thursday’s reveal, most leaks point towards the game taking place somewhere between the original game and Half-Life 2. Despite that, Half-Life: Alyx could still prove to be a game-changer for the video game industry for a number of reasons.
Why should you be excited about Alyx?
VR headsets have promised to change the world of gaming for a very long time. However, the technology has just not been able to take off due higher costs and lack of unique AAA titles. Most of the VR games these days are either borrowed experiences from other games, or they are mini games. Valve is stepping into the VR space to change that.
Valve has always been the master of taking advantage of hardware and innovating video game technology. According to Valve’s VR team, virtual reality has very high potential to be the mainstream gaming tech but there just are those little hurdles that never let it flourish. With Half-LIfe: Alyx, Valve hopes to change the way VR headsets are perceived and used within a video game.
The original Source engine that powered Half-Life 2 blew everything else out of the water. It looked stunningly gorgeous for its time and had an extremely well-designed and innovative physics engine. The second installment of the Source Engine called Source 2 has been in development at Valve for a long time. Half-Life: Alyx will be the first game to take full advantage of the new engine as it is being built from the ground up with Source 2.
We can only speculate on the things that Valve can pull off with a brand new engine and VR headsets. It has been such a long time since the last time we saw a Half-Life game that even imagining what the series would look like at this point seems impossible. However, if there’s any company in the world that can pull off an industry-changing move, it is Valve. What we do eventually get from Valve still remains to be seen.
Things have changed a lot over the past 12 years. It would be interesting to see how Valve adapts to that change. Will Half-Life: Alyx be a full-blown VR experience that will elevate virtual reality into the mainstream or will it be another tech showcase for VR? Hopefully, Valve will have some answers for us during the Thursday reveal.