Valve announces VR-exclusive game Half-Life: Alyx

Fifteen years after Half-Life 2 and 12 years after Half-Life 2: Episode 2, it’s finally time. Valve has announced that a new Half-Life game is coming. Some people will be pleased, others frustrated, but very few surprised by the few details we have at this point on Valve’s upcoming VR game, Half-Life: Alyx.

After some recent leaks, Valve has officially announced Half-Life: Alyx. Valve is calling the game its flagship VR game. Just from those tidbits, we already have a lot to chew on.

While Valve hasn’t been terribly active in the games space for a while, the company is a major innovator in the VR space. Valve first helped create the HTC Vive and is now offering its own Valve Index; the two are considered the luxury models of the VR space, with offerings from Oculus and PlayStation sitting a few tiers below (unless going wireless is a big deal) thanks to the headsets’ superior resolution and head tracking among other things.

No, it’s not Half-Life 3.

With that in mind, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that Half-Life: Alyx is a VR-focused title. And while the company hasn’t explicitly said that this game isn’t coming to the big, flag screens most of us have, the simple fact that Valve is calling it a “flagship VR title” suggests that the only way to get into the game is to give away half of your life savings for a SteamVR-compatible headset like the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.

But the word flagship is worth eyeballing, too. When we used the word flagship, we’re generally referring to something considered a leader in its class. Half-Life: Alyx is a piece of software that Valve wants to use to sell VR headsets, so we could well be looking at a fully-featured game built entirely with VR in mind. That’s the kind of gamble a company like Valve could take that a more traditional studio (that doesn’t have a massive storefront to help absorb costs) couldn’t. But then, using things like commonly-accepted word definitions and industry norms to figure out what Valve is going to do isn’t a bet most gamers would take.

No, it’s not Half-Life 3. And the truth is, we can only guess at what it might be. A shooter? A mystery game? Time will tell. But Valve has said that it has three VR games in development, so we can still cross our fingers that a proper Half-Life is coming. In the meantime, we’ll find out more about Half-Life: Alyx this week when Valve reveals its new VR game this Thursday  (November 21) at 10 a.m. Pacific.

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willyolio
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willyolio

Alternative title: Valve finally releases another Half-Life game after discovering a new way to avoid the number 3

kvndoom
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kvndoom

They had 12 years. The goodwill and enthusiasm is long gone.

Durante
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Durante

Have you actually looked around the internet? It certainly doesn’t seem like the enthusiasm is gone. The trailer already has over 3.6 million views in less than a day, and very positive reactions. Its most popular reddit posting has 100k upvotes.

Of course, I guess it helps that it looks absolutely amazing.

StuG
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StuG

I had always told my buddies that they waited far to long and, while meme level, actual interest will have waned. Having talked with the same group post this launch, that seems pretty spot on. Luke warm but nothing like the reception would have been 5 years ago.

Sweatshopking
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Sweatshopking

Most people under 25 barely know what half life is. Not sure why even bother with this ip any more for a flagship product.

doomguy64
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doomguy64

Half-Life died after the first game, the second never felt like a real sequel, instead it was a fan fiction cutscene walking simulator with boring physic mechanics that never held replay value unlike the first game. The second game also moved away from the open community model, and was largely designed to promote Steam’s digital distribution platform. Once Steam became the defacto standard, Valve showed it’s true colors and stopped making the series. HL2 wasn’t about finishing HL1, it was about monopolizing the digital market via “episodic content”. This is Valve’s business model. They are only making Half-Life Alyx to… Read more »

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