‘Half-Life: Alyx’ Post-credits Scene Clearly Sets the Stage for More ‘Half-Life’ in VR


Half-Life: Alyx launched on Monday to critical acclaim. The worst part about the game? After waiting so long, it’s over all too soon. But, Valve has left a very significant tease that the game won’t be the last Half-Life VR game.

Before we get started, here’s your SPOILER WARNING. If you haven’t finished Half-Life: Alyx we suggest you read no further, but do be sure to check out wait until after the game’s credits to see a key additional scene.

Still with me? Ok. So you’ve either finished the game already, or aren’t bothered by serious spoilers.

The end of Half-Life: Alyx very significantly changes the ending of Half-Life 2: Episode 2.

G-Man shows Alyx that fateful day in her future and gives her the chance to change the outcome. She does, and prevents the death of her father, Eli Vance.

If you wait out the credits, you return to the scene where Eli was just saved, this time as Gordon Freeman. While at the end of Half-Life 2: Episode 2, Gordon and Alyx were just about to head off to find and destroy the research vessel Borealis, this time Alyx is nowhere in sight. Eli is angry and wants to set off right away apparently to rescue Alyx and hands Gordon his iconic crowbar saying “Come on Gordon, we’ve got work to do.” As the player, you grab the crowbar and hold it for just a brief moment before the scene fades out.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Valve is telling us with this scene that they want to make not just more Half-Life, but specifically more Half-Life in VR… maybe even Half-Life 2: Episode 3, or even Half-Life 3, considering the way they set the stage with this scene.

There was distinct lack of any crowbars in main portion of Half-Life: Alyx itself, and Valve clearly wanted to wait for this scene to give the player the opportunity to hold one. Had they simply wanted to allude to future Half-Life titles not in VR I very much doubt they would have done it this way.

“We’ve got work to do.” | Captured by Road to VR

We spoke with Valve ahead of the launch of Half-Life: Alyx and asked it the studio was still working on the other two VR games of the “three full [VR] games” it had confirmed were in development back in 2017. The studio told us that, in fact, there weren’t two other VR games currently in development. Instead, the developers told us that the studio was waiting to see what the public’s reaction to Half-Life: Alyx was before it would commit to more VR games.

'Half-Life: Alyx' Tops 'Fortnite' and 'Warzone' with 300K Concurrent Twitch Viewers on Launch Day

Seeing that Half-Life: Alyx has received near universal acclaim from critics, it seems that Valve may be happy enough with the reception to forge ahead with more Half-Life games in VR, but it isn’t ready to say for sure just yet.

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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."
  • impurekind

    From the few hours of the game I’ve played so far, more Half-Life in VR can only be a truly good thing.

    • Especially if we get to use the crowbar. firearms were amazing in this game, but I really want more crowbar-melee action

  • Bumpy

    Does anyone expect one and done nowadays?

    DLC is no doubt incoming.

  • wheeler

    I keep reading people saying things like “Valve won’t make HL3 VR exclusive.” That seems absurd to me. Why would Valve spend a decade on platform development, R&D, hardware, and now software only to make their most anticipated title a flat game? Especially now after the success of HLA with critics and users? There are many rumors and leaks that Valve had attempted to make HL3 in the past (even a project database leak with a project titled “HL3” and that featured a large roster of well known names) but they couldn’t pull it off. IMO, short of some revolution in AI or something, we’ve basically exhausted the flat medium to the point that a flat HL3 would never live up to the hype (and AI developments are independent of the medium/interface anyway).

    In addition, Valve’s argument is that VR does something for gaming that the flat interface cannot (even with Valve’s rather limited mechanics in HLA, it would still be a very boring experience on a flat screen) and that there are such dramatic differences between the two that it doesn’t make sense to make a cross-medium product. E.g. they were specifically talking about this in the Eurogamer interview the other day where they described how delighted they were that they could justify adding so many details and nuaces to VR environments because users actually bothered to look and fiddle with them (and, just as important, that behavior did not go away over time–it wasn’t just the VR honeymoon). In the past they could not justify it because flat users just speed right past everything–absurd amounts of developer time/investment would just be ignored.

    They have a massive opportunity here given their position. It is remarkable to me how good HLA is despite its mechanical shortcomings, so if they can now give VR mechanics (e.g. like near field interactions with AIs and melee combat) the “Valve treatment”, then this could truly be an expression of the revolution in gaming that VR so often purports to be (and, let’s be honest, many of us into VR are just as enamoured by its potential vs with what we actually have now). They have the developer talent and VR know-how, the engine and development tools, and the resources. Pair that with next generation VR HMDs–recently they basically reaffirmed that they still want to do an Index followup–that have eyetracking and foveated rendering, more advanced motion controller haptics, wireless, and perhaps even variable focus (doubtful about this one for 2nd gen), and you’ll have an experience that basically no gamer can deny as a fad.

    The fact that you are handed a crowbar is a hint not just about taking on the role of Gordon but it basically demands that they address the melee combat problem, and this combined with the near universal critique about limited mechanics makes me confident they’ll address this. My only other worry comes back to Valve’s “Never Move The Player” thing which–despite the accomodation (concession?) of a smooth locomotion option–still feels like it’s really holding the game back in that what one can actually do in the game is clearly designed around the constraints of teleportation first (vs comfort-optimized smooth locomotion with teleport accomodations/counterparts added afterward). There is so much more that is possible with VR locomotion so I hope they expand on that and push new players HLA–this will be a great game to get your VR legs in.

  • Justin Davis

    This article headline is a spoiler.

  • Joheg

    I would NOT enjoy having a main HL game be in VR since I cannot afford VR at all and I really would want to play it.

    • matrim cauthon

      The next game is going to be years away and there is already a standalone vr headset that costs as much or even a little less than a new console… quit holding back change and progress. Valve wouldn’t be making any new games at all if it wasn’t for vr, so you can either stop whining and buy a headset or move on. It’s vr or nothing for valve as has been evidenced by their lack of making games until now.

    • kuhpunkt

      But you can afford a proper gaming pc?

  • Guest

    I am surprised that no one saw G-Man on the left.

    • Ramund_Hin_Unge

      Other than one small Reddit post, I can’t find anyone else discussing this. I’m certain more people noticed but there’s no discussion for some reason.

  • Well, that ending surprised me as well… it may mean that the plot of Half Life 2 changes, in some timelines of some universe :) . Anyway, let’s see if a sequel will actually happen. They have set the stage for a possible future episode, but knowing Valve, it is also possible that they won’t do that

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  • Jim P

    I bought the game but was hoping for the new cards to come out so I can play on highest settings.