Valve has finally unveiled a new Half-Life game… but it’s not the long-awaited Half-Life 3, the Chinese Democracy of video games. Half-Life: Alyx is a brand new entry in the series, built from the ground up for VR. Valve unveiled the game’s first trailer earlier today, and it looks like something to get excited about.
While some fans may be disappointed that this new installment isn’t Half-Life 3, Alyx is still the first full-length Half-Life game in 15 years. It’s essentially a prequel, set between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2. Players control Alex Vance, the resistance fighter who teams up with series protagonist Gordon Freeman in Half-Life 2. The game will presumably follow Alyx’s efforts to overthrow the fascist mutlidimensional Combine government that Freeman inadvertently led to Earth after opening an interdimensional portal in the first Half-Life.
The 2-minute trailer showcases the appealing mix of first-person action, puzzle-solving, tightly-written dialogue and wry humor that the series is known for. Judging by what we see in the trailer, Half-Life’s classic gameplay is well-suited for VR, with the gunplay blending seamlessly into the more adventure-style elements like exploration and puzzle manipulation. (Although it remains to be seen how well it actually controls.)
We see a few familiar faces, including Alyx’s father Dr. Eli Vance and the enigmatic G Man. According to Valve’s official site, the game was designed for the Valve Index, but will be available on any Steam-compatible VR device, including Oculus Rift and Oculus Quest, Windows Mixed Reality, and HTC Vive. Furthermore, anyone who owns a Valve Index with receive the game for free when it launches. Half-Life: Alyx will also feature a level-building tool, allowing players to construct their own environments and share them with other players via Steam Workshop.
Check out the trailer below, and start channeling your hype for when Half-Life: Alyx launches in March 2020.