Half-Life: Alyx is likely soon to see an update which would add in-game developer commentary similar to previous Valve games.

Fans of Valve games will likely recall the optional in-game developer commentary first added to Half-Life 2: Lost Coast and in later titles like Half-Life 2: Episode One, Episode 2, Portal and others. Half-Life: Alyx is very likely to get a similar mode in an upcoming update.

YouTube channel Valve News Network spotted a listing for a password-protected branch of Half-Life: Alyx called ‘Commentary Beta3’ that was last updated three days ago, compared to the most recent public version of the game which was last updated four months ago. The channel says the appearance of the branch means the update is likely to launch in the near future.

In prior games Valve’s developer commentary mode would spawn little ‘speech bubbles’ throughout the game world which players could click on to play audio recordings of the developers offering up behind-the-scenes commentary on specific parts of the game. It’s not just off-the-cuff remarks either—in Portal 2 the total duration of developer commentary was around 40 minutes of scripted insights.

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Valve News Network suggests that the Half-Life: Alyx developer commentary mode is likely to work a bit differently than prior games. Rather than the ‘speech bubbles’, the channel says that previously data-mined files point to floating versions of the headset—which Alyx wears to communicate with Russell—as the vehicle for delivering the commentary. And considering that this is Valve, I’d say there’s at least a 25% chance that the studio gives the commentary audio a little ‘radio distortion’ filter to make it sound like it’s actually coming out of the headset.

For fans of Valve’s work, the developer commentary would likely be a strong pull to play through the game again to discover the insights shared along the way about how the game ended up in its final form. And if that doesn’t do it for you, maybe some of the game’s mods will.

Earlier this year we published an interview with one of Alyx’s developers which gave us a very interesting glimpse in the studio’s development approach. We also got a deluge of behind-the-scenes details—including what happened to other VR games that Valve was working on—from an interactive book published in July called The Final Hours of Half-Life: Alyx.

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  • TechPassion

    Why not release Alyx episode 2 instead ? ;)

    • Rosko

      Because they didn’t sell many copies.

      • Octo

        500.000 copies at $50 a pop is not bad, not to mention that the Alyx announcement boosted the sales of Valves Index headset by quite a margin. I would think in the end it was a profitable game for them, and a good thing for VR in general as many agree it’s the best VR experience currently available.

    • drowhunter

      i hope they do and its VR just so I can watch Pancake lovers riot

  • Gonzax

    Great news, I love devs comments. Time to replay it for the third time once the update is out.

  • PRBox

    Any excuse to play this again.

  • xyzs

    No update for the past 4 months.. disappointing form Valve to abandon their best piece of games so fast. There are still many bug fixes and optimizations and improvements to be made, not to mention workshop tools…

    • Caven

      An article provides evidence that Valve will soon be releasing an update to Half-Life: Alyx–pointing specifically to a beta branch updated just three days ago–and your takeaway is that Valve has abandoned further development of Half-Life: Alyx?

      • xyzs

        The update adds audio comments, wow super useful.
        That doesn’t change the absolute silence for the past months about the rest.

    • Baldrickk

      *blinks*
      Alyx is one of the most polished games out there already.

      I wouldn’t agree with anyone saying it’s perfect but what game breaking bugs do you see?
      What optimizations?

      • xyzs

        I had to restart the game around 4 times because during levels loading screen, I had the VR viewport freezing. In the level where you discover a bedroom, I had a couple crashes. It’s fine but not in a state where updates are not needed anymore. Also, they didn’t give as polished workshop tools as promised. I understand the game is great, but that is not a reason to tell me I am wrong because I expect a bit more.

        • Octo

          Well, updating a game for years is fucking boring for developers..let them move on to more exciting projects.
          You paid for the game as it was released, not for x years of updates. I don’t think I had any crashes and I was on a minimum requirement PC.

  • nishanth12

    Nice. That’d be a reason for me to revisit the game

  • That’s a very smart idea to make players play again this title

  • Pablo C

    For how long will Alyx be the Crysis of VR

    • RobbersAndRavagers

      Considering I beat it twice with my 1050ti, I’m going with never.

      • drowhunter

        you think it will work on my 1050?

  • Pingers Bingers

    There’s only one update I want to see: One that adds proper locomotion, or at least the ability to mod it in.

    As is you move at a snail’s pace to compensate for the fact that it was made as a teleport game, and even with locomotion selected a lot of it requires teleport regardless – you have to teleport rather than jump over gaps, or teleport rather than vault through windows.
    At the very least the option to use improved locomotion in workshop content would be much appreciated.