Valve has just officially released the first trailer for Half-Life: Alyx - the next chapter in the Half-Life series. Set to release in March 2020, it's really quite surreal, isn't it? No, this is not Half-Life 3, but if it's all we're getting for now then we might as well be excited.
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
The internet pretty much erupted two days ago when Valve released a humble tweet that finally confirmed rumors that have been swirling around this year. As promised, a new VR Half-Life game was unveiled in full today and damn does it look pretty.
Alyx is reportedly a complete, full-length chapter in the Half-Life story (a series that has spanned just over two decades) but it's not quite the third installment that has been so hotly anticipated. Instead, Alyx is said to be a prequel whose events will unfold between those of the first game and those of Half-Life 2. This is - as the name suggests - told from the perspective of Alyx Vance rather than her quiet counterpart and Half-Life's main protagonist Gordon Freeman.
The rather swanky-looking Half-Life website has lots to say about Valve's ambitious new endeavor, addressing what is probably one of the biggest concerns in the minds of Half-Life fans everywhere: the VR thing. Although this bold design choice will likely be met with some resistance, the devs are confident in their choice, saying that:
VR was built for the kind of gameplay that sits at the heart of Half-Life.
Alyx is reportedly optimized for use on Valve's own VR system, Valve Index, but will also be compatible with all other popular VR systems:
Half-Life: Alyx was built hand in hand with Valve Index, which is the highest fidelity option on the market, but the game works great with Vive, Rift and Windows Mixed Reality too.
Valve Index is notoriously pricey, on average setting its buyers back a hefty $999. However, if you're lucky enough to get your hands on one of those, Half-Life: Alyx will be completely free for you to play; it will automatically show up in your games library upon the game's release in March 2020. You'll get access to some additional content too, like Alyx-themed skins for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
The game is being built using the Source 2 engine and will apparently be accompanied by some Source 2 level-building tools. These will let players construct their own environments to share with the Half-Life community:
Hammer, Valve’s level authoring tool, has been updated with all of the game's virtual reality gameplay tools and components.
So, after twelve long years, we finally have something that will (possibly) quell our Half-Life hunger. The hope now is that Half-Life: Alyx will be able to live up to the lofty standards set by its masterful predecessors.