What the Heck Is Half-Life Alyx?


Image Courtesy of Push Square

Alexander Jansiewicz, Staff Writer

To any dedicated PC gamer, the name Half-Life is quite reputable for several reasons. With a first game that reached 1 million sales per year since launch and a sequel that has 35 Game Of The Year Awards, the Half-Life franchise has definitely earned its prime spot in the Gaming Hall of Fame. Although the franchise’s graphics and visuals certainly don’t compare to that of The Witcher III, Battlefield V, Metro Exodus, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, or Star Wars: The Fallen Order, the game’s storytelling and puzzle-solving make up immensely for the graphics. You learn new controls throughout the game as the lore evolves and you learn about the intricacies of Black Mesa, City 17, and how a new rebellion, aided by aliens (vortigaunts), will go against the government, also while more aliens (zombies, headcrabs, and antlions) come and try to disrupt the peace.

Just recently, Valve announced a new VR title within the franchise, contrary to many people’s premonitions. The exclusivity is also a shocker; all of the games previous to this title have all been without VR, so having a VR-exclusive title within the Half-Life franchise is certainly a bummer. Not to mention, the game takes place between the original Half-Life and Half-Life 2, eliminating many PC gamers’ dreams to have Half-Life 3 after so many years.

However, the story and lore behind the game seems extremely promising. The time setting, especially, could help to sew back minor holes in the story and introduce more lore within the gap of story building between Half-Life 1 and 2, especially with how the resistance against the Combine started up. It will also be interesting to see how the game plays out in terms of graphics and puzzle-solving. Of course, the graphics will be improved notoriously considering the new engine, but I wonder how interactive the environment will be. Will one have to scramble for bullets within shelves in order to fight off Combine forces? Who knows?

Overall, this game makes me WISH I had a VR headset. The trailer is extremely promising and I can’t wait to see what it will bring in the near future. All I need is time, and a popular YouTuber to upload a gameplay series of it. Only then will I be a happy man.