After confirming the existence of Half-Life: Alyx earlier this week, Valve has given the first details on what to expect from the new title and confirmed a March 2020 release date.
Set between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2, Half-Life: Alyx is described as a “new full-length game’ in the series ‘built from the ground up by Valve for virtual reality.”
In the first trailer, you take control of Alyx Vance who was a supporting character to protagonist Gordon Freeman in the original games, showing off gunplay and gravity gloves which let you grab items from afar.
It also marks the return of classic Half-Life foes like the headcrab, while the mysterious G-Man also makes an appearance at the end of the trailer.
It all looks far more substantial and impressive than many were perhaps expecting, especially if it lives up to being a ‘full-length game’ as the description promises.
A plot synopsis reads: “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.”
A description of the gameplay also offers a better insight of what to expect, which reads: “Lean around a broken wall and under a barnacle to make an impossible shot. Rummage through shelves to find a healing syringe and some shotgun shells.
“Manipulate tools to hack alien interfaces. Tear a headcrab off your face and throw it out the window. VR was built for the kind of gameplay that sits at the heart of Half-Life.”
Half-Life: Alyx will work on all VR platforms compatible with a PC too, ranging across Valve Index, Vive, Rift and Windows Mixed Reality.
It represents the first game in the franchise for over 12 years, with the last being Half-Life 2 Episode 2 released in 2007.
While a third episode was in development at some stage, it’s unclear if it’ll ever see the light of day, or if Valve is even working on the project any longer. With the announcement of Alyx, however, it at least confirms the developer hasn’t totally forgotten about the franchise.
Half-Life 2 is often regarded as one of the best games ever created, paving the conventions for many first-person action games and providing one of the greatest gaming weapons in the gravity gun.
Will Half-Life: Alyx live up to the very high standard of the franchise? We’ll have to wait and see when it releases March 2020.