Valve made a huge announcement on their Twitter (and website) today:
We're thrilled to announce Half-Life: Alyx, a new full-length entry in the Half-Life series, built by Valve for VR.— Valve (@valvesoftware) November 21, 2019
Return to Half-Life in March 2020. Pre-purchase now on Steam. pic.twitter.com/GZkhp2Prx1
Those are words that fans have been waiting to hear. A new Half-Life game! Before everyone gets too excited, it is clearly not the long-awaited Half-Life 3. However, this will be a VR story that includes Alyx Vance. According to Valve:
Set between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2, Alyx Vance and her father Eli mount an early resistance to the Combine's brutal occupation of Earth. The loss of the Seven-Hour War is still fresh. In the shadow of a rising Combine fortress known as the Citadel, residents of City 17 learn to live under the rule of their invaders. But among this scattered population are two of Earth's most resourceful scientists: Dr. Eli Vance and his daughter Alyx, the founders of a fledgling resistance.
Now, after 13 years, the biggest cliffhanger in video game history, Half-Life is finally coming back. Unfortunately, not to tell the rest of the story but to give us an in-between. That is still ok as their tweet counter implies:
VR was built for the kind of gameplay that sits at the heart of Half-Life, and Half-Life: Alyx was built from the ground up for VR. You'll be able to play it on any SteamVR compatible system.— Valve (@valvesoftware) November 21, 2019
Learn more about our VR compatibility and play styles: https://t.co/n1Ow10wBL8 pic.twitter.com/3K3dPMpnn7
You’ll play as Alyx, and to work in the VR controls so they feel natural, you’ll be wielding a way to manipulate gravity once more: the “Gravity Gloves.”
You can see how the Gravity Gloves work as Alyx tries using them to pick up a pistol from a distance and interact with puzzles in the game’s first trailer:
Valve says you’ll need a VR headset to play, which should be obvious, but it’s also because Half-Life: Alyx is expressly designed for virtual reality. It will not be coming to flat screens or consoles, or use traditional controllers (including mouse and keyboard).
However, according to Valve, you won’t need to buy the company’s own Valve Index. The company stated that the Oculus Rift, the Oculus Quest, the HTC Vive, and even Windows Mixed Reality headsets will work.
Nostalgia might actually sell a few million extra VR units this holiday season now. The other aspect announced are the specs you’ll need to run the game. Many of us may need to beef up our PCs to play the game at its best.
The minimum system requirements Valve is listing aren’t that high: a Windows 10 computer with a Core i5-7500 or Ryzen 5 1600 or better, with a GTX 1060 or RX 580 graphics card or better. However, you’ll need 12 GB of RAM, which may be an upgrade for many gamers.
As far as a return to this series, according to an interview The Verge had with Valve programmer David Speyrer, when The Verge asked if we should expect more from the Half-Life universe, Speyrer stated:
Yes. It’s probably no surprise that many people at Valve have been wanting to get back to the Half-Life universe for a long time, and this experience has only reinforced that. In the process of creating Half-Life: Alyx, we’ve had to explore new ways to tell stories with these characters and this world, and we’ve discovered a lot of new gameplay experiences that go beyond what we’ve been able to do before. Of course, we’ll have to wait and see how people react to Half-Life: Alyx once it’s out, but we’d love to continue pushing forward.
Half-Life: Alyx is available for preorder today for $53.99 (offer ends March 30, 2020), is free to Valve Index owners, and ships March 2020 for all SteamVR compatible VR systems.
What do you think about the new Half-Life: Alyx announcement?
Tell us in the comments below!
Top image via Half-Life
This article was written by John D. AKA SomeBeardy2Love. John has been gaming for over 30 years, has a bow tie tattoo, and watches anime and Bob’s Burgers. He has a sponsored beard and a modest book collection.