November 19, 2019 | 11:00
Valve has announced that it will be unveiling Half-Life: Alyx, the company's flagship VR game this Thursday, and expectations are, unsurprisingly, ludicrously high.
Announced via Valve's Twitter account that no one seemed to know existed until last night, few details have been shared other than a time on Thursday - 10am Pacific Time - and a picture displaying the Valve, SteamVR, and Half-Life logos.
The announcement, of course, isn't the announcement we actually want - not unless Half-Life 3 is very different to what we've been anticipating.
In case you've forgotten, Alyx is a prominent character in Half-Life 2. She was a big part of the human resistance against the Combine and a close friend of Gordon Freeman. Potentially, there is a chance that this is Half-Life 3, albeit in a guise that may ruffle some feathers by excluding keyboard and mouse users. Really though, it's almost certainly an entirely different game.
There were rumours only hours earlier that Half-Life: Alyx was coming soon. A leaked transcript (since deleted) emerged of an interview segment that's supposedly meant to be aired at this year's Game Awards ceremony on December 12th. The segment sees host Geoff Keighley travel to Valve's HQ to talk to Robin Walker and an unnamed person about the project. In it, even Keighley points out that people will see it as being forced into buying VR just for the next Half-Life experience, with the unnamed developer stating that 'it began as an exploration of VR.'
The whole transcript should be taken with a pinch of salt, but given Half-Life: Alyx is just about to be announced, it now seems more credible, and according to the transcript, the game will be released in March 2020.
Given the first two instalments of the Half-Life franchise pushed the boundaries at the time, it does make some kind of sense that the next part of the series could be VR-based, and such rumours definitely aren't new. This could be just what VR needs to become more popular, but it's a bold move (to say the least) to alienate non-VR owners.
Or, Half-Life: Alyx could just be another spin-off for the franchise, bridging some gaps while helping Valve master VR. Past rumours via the Valve News Network have suggested that this could be a VR first-person shooter set in the 20-year time gap between Half-Life 1 and Half-Life 2.
Whatever your opinions, we're all going to be not so secretly overexcited about Thursday's announcement, aren't we?
February 24 2020 | 12:00