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Half-Life: Alyx

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Valve says Half-Life Alyx will be a ‘one-way journey’ you’ll play for hours at a time in VR

 

The first Half-Life game in 13 years might prove to be the first killer app for VR. In the 23 days since Valve announced Half-Life: Alyx, its first full-length VR game, the company’s Valve Index headset has continually been number one on Steam’s top sellers list — until yesterday, when another VR game called Boneworks surpassed it.

Even though Alyx may be pushing some to spend serious money on VR, the company tells The Verge that it’ll be a traditional Half-Life game in some key ways: it’ll be a linear adventure from start to finish, one that’ll let you save the game whenever you’d like. Valve also suggests that you’ll be able to play it for hours on end — even though you’ll be wearing a headset that’s physically tethered to a computer.
 

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“Today, we generally see playtesters go for 2-3 hours before taking a bathroom break,” programmer Robin Walker told The Verge over email. While the team originally designed the game to be played in shorter bursts, Valve saw that players’ first reactions would often be “Wow, that was the longest I’ve ever been in VR,” and they wound up playing it for longer

 

 

 

How true to life is this trailer? We spotted Jane’s tweet, but want to confirm: is this a representation of what it’s like to play the game, or actual gameplay in motion?

Robin Walker: All the scenes in the trailer were recorded from the game itself, and then we’ve done some post processing, mostly focused on smoothing out the player’s head movement.

 

Are there any multiplayer modes? Deathmatch?

We’re not planning on supporting any multiplayer modes at this point.

 

Is this as linear as traditional Half-Life games have been, or are there open sections of the game?

This is a traditional Half-Life experience, so it’s fundamentally a one-way journey. Half-Life has always been about experiencing a hand-crafted, meticulously designed path, where every space is the result of a team of people thinking about what’s in it and why it’s interesting. Some of those spaces afford multiple ways to navigate through them, but you’re always moving forward overall.

 

Will you need to manually manipulate various parts of guns (and other objects) to use them? Is there a more automated mode for guns?

Half-Life: Alyx’s core combat skill is about using your hands to interact with your weapons efficiently. Reloading is the first of the weapon interactions that you’ll learn. Alyx’s pistol has a multi-step process to reload it, and we see almost all players starting out fairly clunky, doing each step in isolation, but after a bit of practice they start to blend it together. Soon it becomes one single, smooth process, after which we often see them start to put a bit of flair into their movement. But eventually they find themselves having to do it while a zombie is right in front of them, and it all goes to hell. Some players have cited the moment where they fumbled and dropped their magazine at the foot of the attacking zombie as the highlight of their playtest.

So, yes, there’s a fair amount of manual manipulation of weapons, some related to reloading and others related to special functionality. In some cases, the same actions can be performed by buttons on the controller. The rules for this vary between the weapons, because we wanted each weapon to feel like a new and interesting object to interact with, and eventually master. We are aiming to have a wide set of accessibility options for players with limited motor capabilities, so there will be automation options.

 

more @ https://www.theverge.com/2019/12/11/21011315/valve-half-life-alyx-no-multiplayer-linear-narrative-comfortable-vr

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Half-Life: Alyx is coming in March, and we are celebrating early by making all games in the Half-Life Series FREE to play for Steam users, from now until the day it launches!

 

If you already have Steam installed, you can click the following links to start playing now!

  • Half-Life
  • Half-Life 2
  • Half-Life 2: Episode One
  • Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Half-Life: Alyx is set before the events of Half-Life 2 and the episodes, but the games share characters and story elements. The Half-Life: Alyx team believes that the best way to enjoy the new game is to play through the old ones, especially Half-Life 2 and the episodes, so we want to make that as easy as possible.

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