Half-Life: Alyx has finally been revealed with Valve promising a “full-length” Half-Life game “designed from the ground up for virtual reality.” On the reveal, Valve founder Gabe Newell says that VR has energized the studio.

In an announcement from Valve today, the company’s prominent but often spotlight-shy founder, Gabe Newell, painted Half-Life: Alyx as an important moment for the company.

“Everyone at Valve is excited to be returning to the world of Half-Life. VR has energized us. We’ve invested a lot of ourselves in the technology. But we’re also game developers at heart, and to be devoting ourselves to a VR game this ambitious is just as exciting. For that to come in the form of Half-Life feels like the culmination of a lot things we care a lot about: truly great games, cutting edge technology, and open platforms. We can’t wait for people to experience this.”

More of Today’s Half-Life: Alyx News

Valve hasn’t released a full-length single player game since 2011’s Portal 2; the game will also be the first entry in the Half-Life series in 12 years, with the last being Half-Life 2: Episode 2 released in 2007. In that way, Half-Life: Alyx is a return to form for the company which has created some of the top single player games of the past two decades.

While it isn’t the greatly anticipated conclusion to the trilogy (instead set between the original Half-Life and Half-Life 2), the company isn’t shying away from the game being a full-blown part of the universe, calling the game “a full-length virtual reality entry in the Half-Life universe.”

Half-Life: Alyx was designed from the ground up for virtual reality and features all of the hallmarks of a classic Half-Life game: world exploration, puzzle solving, visceral combat, and an intricately woven story that connects it all with the characters iconic to the Half-Life universe,” the company said in an announcement today.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Arcticu Kitsu

    Now, if it Valve can released Valve Index in the Canadian market please do so. I’m sick and tired of Oculus screwing up and being all narcistic with their headsets. Maybe the Quest is fine, its however not where Rift was when unhindered.

    Just sell the Valve Index in Canada please….. I want to jump into VR again. Once you go VR its hard to go back.

    • disqus_OrZe0rduXb

      they are, it was announced earlier today

      • Arcticu Kitsu

        Nice! Yeah ,I saw in another one of Road to VR’s comment section that its available in Canada. I took a peak, and it is. That pricetag though….

        $1,319 CAD….. OUCH. I genuinely hope it stays available by the time I choose to hit the purchase button.

        • huh

          I felt the same when I was buying my Vive OG years ago, worth every cent in hindsight and playing experiences now, and I look forward to upgrading to an Index in the future.
          HLVR will help the progression of VR, especially with the modding encouragement, its what VR needed and needs.
          Good gaming All

        • Denis Koroskin

          Yeah. Surely Oculus screwed up with that $549 CDN price point (which you can expect to go down for the upcoming holiday season).

  • Half-Life games require technological breakthroughs. VR is just what Valve was looking for all of these years.

    • RockstarRepublic

      Pfft. No they don’t. Half-Life offered a new form of story telling, an unique approach to game design with the story being told around you not through you. It did not require “technological breakthrough”. Valve’s studio is based around the idea that you work on whatever floats your fancy, you could start a project or drop it because of lack of interest.

      They just so happen to be interested in VR, so it manifests itself as a game. Valve wasn’t looking for VR, they simply enjoyed it and the developers made something as a result of that enjoyment.

      • Yes, Valve is inspired by new technology to make their games. Up until no now it has been software. They have clearly been bored with Half-Life as they couldn’t do anything new with the franchise and moved on. I agree that their interest in VR is what lead to this game. Like I said it was what they were looking for to make the project they got bored with interesting again.

      • dsadas

        It’s true what you said too, but also their games were a breakthrough from a technological standpoint too. And let’s be frank, half life 2 was the first truly great game ever made that everyone with good tastes should be able to enjoy.

        • RockstarRepublic

          Sure it was great, but calling it a breakthrough is a bit hyperbolic. For HL2, compared to HL1, the physics as a game mechanic were what some could say is the advancement. Facial animation for the time was good too. Graphically though it was about on par with a lot of other games at the time. You could even say that Vampire the Masquerade, which used the same Source engine did a lot of the facial animations better… There were a lot of great looking games around that time that were also using physics, HL2 just pushed it to another level.

          This isn’t to put down HL2 by any means either, I picked up my collectors edition of it back then and played it as soon as people could get steam working…which back then it was a horrible piece of DRM. Great game all around.

          The most important thing to take away from HL1 and 2 are not some magical breakthrough but just good game design, a unique form of story telling through the environment rather than the person, and the way the engine inspired a mod scene that changed the way modding was seen in the game development world. Games like Counter Strike and Team Fortress were literally HL1 mods that fans made, which eventually were turned into commercial products.

          Other engines at the time had strong mod scenes too, Quake and Unreal come to mind, but none of them took off quite like Half-Life’s mod scene.

          I would not call any of that a great technical breakthrough, but simply smart execution of a game engine and a great game that brought a lot of modders to the forefront.

          • aasdfa

            youre an idiot. lol hes 100% correct valve takes advantage of new tech and pairs it with a great title every time. the physics processing in the HL series was so far ahead of its time and it was really the first game to have a first person shooting with an in depth story line which is now a cornerstone in the gaming industry.

          • Blanca

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          • MosBen

            Forget the down voters. You’re right. Valve games have always been good looking, but rarely, if ever, have they been the games that pushed hardware the hardest, nor did they rely on fancy or unique tech.

          • G-man

            pushing hardware and technological breakthrough aren’t the same thing

      • Gus Bisbal

        Your the life of the party every where you do aren’t ya. Come on admit it. Everybody loves your positive vibe and everybody is sorry to see you leave.

      • Patrick Hogenboom

        Correction: Half-Life was the first game that did not consist of levels but played as a continuous world in which you could backtrack all the way back to the beginning if you liked.
        This was definitely a technical breakthrough, maybe even more in game design terms, but technical none the less.

        • RockstarRepublic

          …you mean like System Shock? No there were other games you could do that in if I remember correctly, though not all were in the same genre.

          I’d hardly call it a breakthrough, as that would be hyperbole.

          The modding scene is perhaps the most notable, so you could attribute the state of the engine (modified Quake engine) and the solid attention driven game design as being noteworthy, with the story telling approach being the most genre changing (innovating).

          In fact HL modding could be argued the most technical achievement made so far, not the game itself but the actual mod scene that came from it and the tools offered by Valve. At the time, both Quake and Unreal had heavy mod scenes, but nothing quite like what HL pulled off with some of those mods later turning into commercial products on their own.

          • Patrick Hogenboom

            My correction stands corrected ;)
            I agree on the modding point, completely new games originated out of that

      • NooYawker

        I think they kept trying to come up with something different for HL3 but as the years went by the anticipation and expectations exceeded reality. No matter what they released would have been disappointing. I think VR is the only way we’ll get HL3.

        • RockstarRepublic

          That’s entirely possible, or perhaps it had more to do with the state of their game engine. Its also possible that they never felt the need due to all the money they were making from selling 3rd party games on steam.

          I am perfectly fine with Half Life being VR only going forward, though according to reports Valve isnt even considering making a HL3 unless HL:Alyx does well and given Valve’s super slow development cycle even if they do make a HL3 it might take them many years. We may have to hope the modding community does the usual magic, which in turn lights the fire under Valve’s arse, kind of like what they did with Counter Strike and Team Fortress 2.

          • Ellie 187

            Alyx is Half life 3… its a prequel to half life 2. its a full game, its the third in the series.. for all intents purposes its HL3

          • RockstarRepublic

            By that logic, the following Half-life 2 episodes were “half life 3”. In fact Half-life blueshift and opposing force, would be half-life 2 and 3. Sorry I don’t buy the idea that Alyx is half-life 3, and even Valve themselves have stated its not Half-Life 3. It is a spinoff, a sidequel.

      • The Bard

        Nothing “happened to be interested in”. VR is like being born in a new world. It is another dimension.

  • Quite exciting! Now *this* you can hype up. Unlike several recent VR games, which seem to float on a river of bull****, this will actually be amazing.

  • JesuSaveSouls

    Valve really is open minded and innovative entrepreneurs.Making this game exclusively available to all vr platforms not secluive to just valve index.They are open to modding too that they are including source 2 tools.

  • Jimmy Ray

    I’m just happy to add this to my sweet library of VR games I know it will be awesome.

  • MosBen

    I’ve got a Quest, which I think is a very nice piece of kit, and a Rift CV1, which I would like to replace, but I need to build a new PC first. At this point, it’s really looking like the Index is going to be the go-to headset for the time being, so if I can manage to scrape enough money together in the next 12 months or so, that’s probably the direction that I’ll go.

    • The Bard

      Odyssey+ has better specs than Index, beside tracking, which on Odyssey+ is just very fine for all games. Rift / Rift S is shit compared to Odyssey+. Get Odyssey+ for like 299 USD on Amazon. Will be a huge jump up. Valve Index has lower resolution than Odyssey+ and LCD panel. Wider FOV sure, but worse screen. Not worth for 300% of Odyssey+ price. Odyssey 2 if it comes out will be the thing to buy, surely.

      • G-man

        no it doesnt.

      • Ellie 187

        120hz vs 90hz is a big deal. VR feels better the higher the refresh rate.. feels more fluid and comfortable

        as far as OLED vs LCD … you don’t even notice the difference much unless you are really looking for it… but the lack of ghosting on LCD and adding subpixels improves the clarity quite a bit.

        So no.. the odyseey doesn’t have better specs at all.. not even close.

  • David Kiley

    You should really say the first title in 13 years, because it is coming out next year, and was only announced this year…

  • JesuSaveSouls

    The fortunate early beta testers have early Christmas gifts…If they do that at all.