Valve Unveils Half-Life: Alyx VR Game

Is the meme dead? Not quite but it’s pretty damn close. Fans have been waiting twelve years for Half-Life 2: Episode 3 or a full Half-Life 3 since the release of Half-Life 2: Episode 2 in October 2007.

It might not be Half-Life 3 Confirmed quite yet but Valve has announced what their first flagship VR game will be. It’s a return to their flagship franchise with Half-Life: Alyx.

Half-Life: Alyx will be an “interquel” set between Half-Life 1 and Half-Life 2 but at a point after the Seven-Hour War in which the Combine conquered the Earth. This new game features the player as Alyx Vance who is going through City 17 looking for a weapon that will turn the tide in the battle against the Combine.

While fans have been salivating for over a decade for a chance to return to the Half-Life franchise, it was often believed that a big iterative leap forward in gaming had to be made to make it a proper Half-Life experience. Based on the trailer, that would seem to be the case as it appeared that every object in the environment could be interacted with.

For their part, Valve has been talking to the big gaming and tech press and letting them in on the game. Valve says that this game will be about as long as Half-Life 2 which would put it at around 13 hours according to How Long To Beat. They also suggest that you should have played all of the previous Half-Life games through HL2: Episode 2 even though this is technically a prequel to that. Also, Valve is touting that you will be able to play this game sitting or standing with a variety of movement solutions available.

It might also interest you to know that this game will be on the Source 2 engine. It’s Valve’s third game to be released on this engine (proving that they can count to three, even if unintentionally). In 2015, Valve brought Dota 2 over to the new Source 2 engine from its original Source engine. You may have forgotten Valve’s card game, Artifact, but it was also released on Source 2 in 2018 making it the first original release on the platform. Alyx will be the third game on the engine and the first VR game powered by Source 2.

Of course, this being a VR, Alyx will have some high system requirements. You are required to have Windows 10 installed on your PC for some reason. My experience with it started well only for performance to drop noticeably with every major update. The minimum CPU required is an Intel Core i5-7500 or an AMD Ryzen 5 1600. You will need at least 12 GB of RAM (no speed indicated). And your graphics card may need an update to at least an NVIDIA GTX 1060 or AMD RX 580 with a minimum of 6 GB VRAM.

Also, Valve has taken the announcement of Alyx to promote their Valve Index VR hardware. It’s being sold on Steam for $999 USD and comes with the headset, controllers, two base stations and a copy of Half-Life: Alyx along with a few extras like gun skins in HL: Alyx and Alyx content in CS:GO. If you own Valve Index, you will be getting a free copy of the game. The minimum specs to run the Valve Index are slightly lower than running Alyx so buyer beware if you are buying index to run Valve’s new flagship VR game. The Index requires Windows 10, a dual-core CPU with hyperthreading, 8 GB of RAM, either an NVIDIA GTX 970 or an AMD RX480, a DisplayPort (v1.2) and a USB 2.0 or higher port.

Half-Life: Alyx has a release window of March 2020 and will be available exclusively on Steam at launch.

Sources: Steam (Valve Index), Steam (Half-Life: Alyx), The Verge

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About Steve Murray

Steve is the founder and editor of The Lowdown Blog and et geekera. On The Lowdown Blog, he often writes about motorsports, hockey, politics and pop culture. Over on et geekera, Steve writes about geek interests and lifestyle. Steve is on Twitter at @TheSteveMurray.

Posted on November 22, 2019, in General and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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