Half-Life: Alyx to Launch in March, But Requires VR Headset

Alonzo Simpson
November 22, 2019

In what is a historic moment for the virtual reality world, Valve Software, the company behind the Half-Life game, announced the release of Half-Life: Alyx, a full-length VR game.

SteamDB and Valve News Network's Tyler McVicker noticed that there was some behind-the-scenes work going on with the data for the Valve Index. The trailer is out and it's full of details about what we can expect when the game releases next March. Even though Valve is creating the title for their own VR hardware, those with an Oculus Rift or Windows Mixed Reality headset will still be able to enjoy the game. This theory was corroborated by a blog post from SteamDB, where it echoes his speculation on the matter. In Half-Life 2, Valve doubled down on the puzzle-solving and built a new object for environmental manipulation - the Gravity Gun. Hammer, Valve's level authoring tool, has also been updated for VR. I'd imagine this is low-key the real story of Alyx, as Half-Life has traditionally been as much about its conversions and fan content as the game itself, like how Counter-Strike began as a Half-Life mod; this could theoretically spawn a new generation of VR-enabled hobbyist developers.

According to Geoff Keighley, who got to play the game well before its release, the story of Alyx is about 15 hours long. Half-Life 2 is the game that forced Steam onto millions of PCs, effectively propelling us into the era of digital game downloads.

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Half-Life: Alyx is set in the 20 year time gap between Half-Life and Half-Life 2.

With the announcement of a new Half-Life title comes, inevitably, the renewed desire of fans to see the series' storyline continue.

In it, Alyx Vance and her father Eli "mount an early resistance to the Combine's brutal occupation of Earth". VR was built to enable the gameplay that sits at the heart of Half-Life. Half-Life: Alyx Minimum PC Specs Valve also revealed the minimum PC specs necessary to run Half-Life: Alyx. The gameplay sounds like your typical VR-based gameplay on steriods: "Rummage through shelves to find a healing syringe and some shotgun shells". This is not Half-Life 3. No specific release date is known, but hopefully Valve provides us with one as we approach the game's release window. If you're planning on getting the game, it may be a good idea to pre-order it right now so you can save a little money.

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