HEXUS has previously covered the unveiling of Half Life: Alyx and the initial flurry of information about the game as the official trailer was published and we found out the PC recommended specs. This VR game is going to be a big one for gamers, Valve, and even the gaming industry if it can spark a surge in interest in VR gaming and hardware.
Scheduled to be released in March 2020, Half Life: Alyx looked good in the trailer and has raised hopes with fans of the franchise old and new. We learnt at launch, rather predictably, that the new episode would have gamers playing Alyx Vance, previously seen in Half Life as an NPC, pitted as "humanity's only chance for survival". The game would involve puzzle solving, exploring - as well as taking part in visceral combat, we were told.
Now, thanks to an email interview with Valve programmer Robin Walker by The Verge, we know a bit more about the game which could be the first killer app for VR. A key aspect revealed in the exchange is that this full length VR game will be a linear adventure throughout. Gamers will be able to save progress at any point during the game and are expected to play it for hours on end using their PC tethered HMDs.
Actually the length of time play testers have been staying hooked up for has come as somewhat of a surprise to Valve. Walker commented on the game originally being designed for shorter bursts of play - due to VR comfort issues - but many seemed to be extremely absorbed often reacting like "Wow, that was the longest I’ve ever been in VR".
As per our headline, Half Life: Alyx will be a resolutely single player experience with Walker saying there will be no death-match or other multiplayer modes in the works, according to The Verge. The single player game should sparkle with quality though as Walker talks about gamers "experiencing a hand-crafted, meticulously designed path, where every space is the result of a team of people thinking about what's in it and why it is interesting". If you thirst for multiplayer VR from Valve, there are rumours of a Left4Dead VR outing in the offing.
Another interesting detail touched upon is that Valve is working on various accessibility options for Alyx so users won't necessarily need to stand up, walk around, or swing the controllers to experience it - that's good for various home environments and gamers with disabilities too.