It will be the first official Half-Life game since Half-Life 2: Episode Two, which was released 12 years prior, and the first full-length Half-Life game since Half-Life 2, which was released 15 years prior. It is planned to run on the Source 2 engine, the long in-development successor to the original Source engine.
Set in City 17, around a decade after the events of Half-Life and before the events of Half-Life 2, Half-Life: Alyx follows Alyx Vance as she works with her father, Eli Vance, to fight against the Combine and build their resistance.
Gravity Gloves: Shown in the trailer, this would be one of the primary weapons in the game. Mechanics would probably be similar to Gravity gun.
Alyx's Gun: Alyx has a gun given by Russel with clips loaded manually rather than automatically.
Half-Life: Alyx was largely developed in secret, with work on the game beginning in 2016. According to Valve designer Greg Coomer, the development team for Half-Life: Alyx was the "largest [Valve has] had yet", with a third of the team having worked on the previous Half-Life games. The project began as a way of developing a full-length VR title, which was tested using different Valve franchises, ultimately coming down to either Half-Life or Portal. Eventually it was decided a fully-VR Portal game would be too disorienting for players, whereas Half-Life had the right amount of "story, combat, puzzle, exploration, [and] interaction" that could work in VR.
Valve kept all information about Half-Life: Alyx from the public until the game's announcement on November 19, 2019. The public's only knowledge about the title came from leaks and rumors concerning a Half-Life title utilizing VR technology. This title was then known simply as "HLVR", never given an official codename. Beginning as early as late 2016, leftover lines of code referring to HLVR within Dota 2 began to appear. These strings suggested new weapons and NPCs, and referred to familiar Half-Life characters (such as Vortigaunts and Zombies). Fans, at the time, speculated the leftover data was related to the development of Half-Life 3.
The generally accepted narrative about HLVR started to change in 2019 when rumors, leaks and interviews with Valve employees started to suggest that HLVR would be a prequel focused on Alyx Vance, set to release some time in 2020. This latest batch of rumors turned out to be true with the announcement of Half-Life: Alyx.
Half-Life: Alyx was largely built around Valve's in-house VR headset, the Valve Index, along with the accompanying Knuckles controllers; however, the game will be compatible with any VR headset that comes with full-motion controllers. The Gravity Gun will be replaced with its predecessor, the Gravity Gloves (code-named the "Grabbity Gloves" during development) which will allow Alyx to pick up objects just out of reach. Combat will take full advantage of the VR environment: players will be able to literally reload guns, and as demonstrated in the trailer can perform tasks while still engaging in active combat.
- This is the first Half-Life game to be announced in more than 12 years since Valve was mostly silent about the franchise in the years after Half-Life 2: Episode Two. It is the first game since Half-Life: Decay not to feature Gordon Freeman as a playable character, the first game in the series not to be named after a scientific term, and the first to have a character's name in the title.
- Valve's David Speyrer noted that though the game is a prequel to Half-Life 2, he recommends that players finish Half-Life 2: Episode Two before playing Half-Life: Alyx, "for reasons that will become clear as you progress."
- This will be the first time in the franchise that Alyx Vance and Eli Vance will not be voiced by Merle Dandridge and Robert Guillaume respectively, the former due to this game taking place prior to Half-Life 2, and the latter due to Guillaume's death in 2017. Instead, Alyx will be voiced by Ozioma Akagha, while Eli will be voiced by James Moses Black. Dandridge gave her blessings to the project on her Twitter account.
- ↑ "We’re excited to unveil Half-Life: Alyx, our flagship VR game, this Thursday at 10am Pacific Time." @valvesoftware on Twitter (November 18, 2019)
- ↑ The Verge. "Half-Life: Alyx is officially coming March 2020, and here's your first look." on The Verge
- ↑ PC Gamer. "Everything We Know About Half-Life: Alyx."