After years of waiting and various rumors, Valve pulled back the curtain to reveal Half-Life: Alyx this morning. A glorious return to the franchise that made it famous, Valve was going all-in on VR technology to create a game unlike any other. This wouldn't be some tech demo nonsense, but a fully-fledged FPS campaign centered on the idiosyncrasies of VR technology.
Announced concurrently with Alyx, industry veteran Geoff Keighley revealed he had been secretly chronicling the development of this latest Half-Life installment for a brand new documentary (much like how he did for the previous Half-Life games). Called The Final Hours of Half-Life: Alyx, Keighley visited Valve's Seattle headquarters many times over the last four years to get some insight into why the company was so set on pushing VR technology forward. He also asked why it took so long to return to Half-Life, among other questions.
Currently, a 20-minute video featuring some of the material is available on YouTube. In it, Keighley shows a genuine excitement for what he's about to reveal, not to mention gives us some extra insight into Valve's new Source 2 engine. It's a solid watch for anyone with even a passing interest in this once-proud series.
The Half-Life series was last seen in 2007 with the release of The Orange Box. Containing a plethora of games, it pushed the story of Gordon Freeman forward with Half-Life 2: Episode Two. Ending on a cliffhanger, fans have been waiting for more than a decade for some kind of closure on the turmoil in City 17.
Half-Life: Alyx won't be giving us that closure, though. Winding the clock back a bit, Alyx is set in the interim period between Half-Life 2 and its predecessor. Starring deuteragonist Alyx Vance, players will see how the Combine Forces were able to seize City 17 from the people and enslave the human race during the "Seven Hour War."
Based on how well Alyx does, Valve will likely decide if it should pursue VR further for Half-Life going forward. It's a bold move, especially considering many gamers aren't yet sold on VR technology. What better way to catapult a new era of gaming than with a series that redefined first-person action titles?