It may not have a 3 in the title, but Valve have today announced that they will be releasing a brand-new game that will bear the title of Half-Life. In place of a number greater than 2, Alyx will be placed after the title of the once great franchise.
Very little is known, other than it will be a “flagship VR game”. No doubt Valve are looking for this to be a big boost for Valve’s own VR hardware, the Index headset and controllers. Whether this could be the killer app that can really bring together the potential of the tech is yet to be seen and with so little known about the game, we can’t even really speculate as to what form the game will be.
Given the title, what we can pretty much guarantee is that the game will feature, probably as the playable character, Alyx, Gordan Freeman’s sidekick from Half-Life 2 and the two subsequent Episode games. Daughter to Doctor Kleiner, Alyx was a part of the resistance against the invaders of Earth, the alien Combine. My expectations are that this will not be a continuation of the Half-Life story, but most likely a prequel, maybe showing events of the Seven Hour war, which led to the occupation of Earth, or the formation of the resistance. It will also certainly feature Dog and, if it is a prequel, I’m calling it now that we will get to construct part of him during the game.
Hopefully, this will be more substantial than the previous VR games that Valve have put together. The Lab was a fun series of mini games, set within the Portal universe (technically, this is also part of the Half-Life universe, but aesthetically they are quite different). It was a sort of Wii Sports of the VR world, but didn’t have much staying power. They also created a short demo for showing the capabilities of the controller for the Index, although that was little more than shaking the hand of a robot and playing Rock, Paper, Scissors with it.
Valve have previously said that they had been working on three different full VR titles. As this is Valve, that doesn’t necessarily mean we will be seeing two other titles soon or maybe even ever, but Valve have championed the platform for a long time. With an invested interest from their own hardware, I wouldn’t be surprised to see another game or two coming from them that will be exclusive to the platform, but don’t count on it being anytime in the next year.
This announcement came shortly after a leak regarding a Half-Life VR game being on route and to be announced on 12th December. The announcement could well have been forced by this leak, but there wasn’t much more info there to be found. Fortunately, we do not have to wait until 12th December, as Valve will be showing off what they have been up to this Thursday.