Published: Thu, November 21, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Half-Life Is Back, This Time with Virtual Reality

Half-Life Is Back, This Time with Virtual Reality

The company said that the game would be a flagship VR title and would be officially revealed on 21 November.

Announced via Valve's Twitter account that no one seemed to know existed until last night, few details have been shared other than a time on Thursday - 10am Pacific Time - and a picture displaying the Valve, SteamVR, and Half-Life logos.

From the name of the game we can guesstimate that the game character you will be filling the shoes of in VR is Alyx Vance, who was Gordon Freeman's co-star in Half-Life 2 and its two add-on episodes.

I've wondered for years what it would be like getting to post news of a new Valve Half-Life game. In the conversation, the game title "Half-Life: Alyx" is mentioned, as well as pointing to the fact that it will likely be a VR-only title with a launch window of March 2020. This combined with a relative lack of games has made VR a poor investment for many gamers, which could make the new Half-Life inaccessible to them. News that a new game's in development should be welcome. The first-ever Half-Life was released on November 19, 1998. The release of flagship VR game follows Valve's release of "Valve Index", their own dedicated VR headset.

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Yesterday, VRFocus reported on a rumour Valve was working on a virtual reality (VR) edition of Half-Life called Half-Life: Alyx.

The true potential of VR in gaming still feels like it's yet to be tapped into, and who are better positioned than Valve to prove what VR is capable of. Perhaps Half-Life Alyx will shine some light on what happened next. As soon as recognized for its modern titles, together with the physics-based Portal and fast-paced aggressive shooter Counter-Strike, recreation growth had taken a backseat at Valve, which has largely targeted on its Steam platform in the previous couple of years.

Or, Half-Life: Alyx could just be another spin-off for the franchise, bridging some gaps while helping Valve master VR. That extra layer of personalization joins new weapon skins, graffiti and stickers players can use to express themselves.

TJ Denzer is a player with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime.

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