March 23, 2020
Windows 10 operating system, Intel Core i5-7500 or AMD Ryzen 5 1600 processor, 12 GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 580 video card with 6 GB of VRAM, SteamVR compatible Virtual reality headset
Half-Life: Alyx is a VR game developed by Valve Corporation, released on March 23, 2020. It is currently available for purchase on Steam and, as the company's flagship VR title, was available for free to the owners of the Valve Index VR headset. It is set five years before the events of Half-Life 2, features Alyx Vance as the player character, and is the first official single-player game in the Half-Life series to feature a speaking protagonist. It is also the first official Half-Life game to feature Steam Workshop support.
- Xen aliens
- Combine forces
- Alyx's Hideout
- Russell's Lab
- Quarantine Zone
After the release of HTC Vive VR headset and The Lab in 2016, both the players and developers themselves could see virtual reality as a promising concept, but were disappointed by the lack of fully-featured high production value games that would take advantage of the technology. After making the decision to fill this role, Valve explored different franchises, concluding on Half-Life and Portal being the most interesting choices. An idea of a multiplayer game was ruled out early in the development because of the limited audience and various other issues. Although Portal 2's assets worked well in The Lab, the developers thought that the gameplay specific to the series, involving constant flinging through space and jumping through portals, would be too disorienting for a VR game. On the other hand, Half-Life's gameplay, being a combination of storytelling, combat and exploration, seemed that many of its aspects could be greatly enhanced by VR.
An initial prototype was made using Half-Life 2's assets, expected to last around 15 minutes. The developers immediately noticed the playtesters experiencing a powerful sense of immersion, driving them to explore the environments and behave in ways unexpected in non-VR games, resulting in three times the initially estimated playthrough time even this early in development.
In February 2017, Gabe Newell confirmed that Valve is working on three VR games. He emphasized that the games were being designed specifically for VR, as several attempts of porting existing titles proved to be uncompelling, and stated that these will be fully-featured games, unlike the previously released technology demos – The Lab and Moondust. One of these games, referred to as the Valve's flagship VR game, was announced during the Index VR headset reveal to be released later in 2019. Half-Life: Alyx was revealed to be the flagship title on November 18, 2019, in the first tweet of Valve’s Twitter account. A trailer was released on November 21.
Half-Life: Alyx has 42 achievements.
The Half-Life: Alyx soundtrack was composed by Mike Morasky.
- "Half-Life: Alyx, available March 23, 2020" @valvesoftware on Twitter (February 13, 2020)
- Valve is making three "full" VR games on Eurogamer.net
- Valve to Launch a "Flagship VR Game" Later This Year on Index and Other SteamVR Headsets on Road to VR
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