Half Life Alyx

So after a thirteen year hiatus there will be more Half Life. Since the announcement is a couple days old and this is Icrontic, I can only assume that Half Life is a dead franchise in the hearts of gamers, or Icrontic has finally grown up and has more important shit to do.

I'm not big on VR so I'm a bit disappointed, but maybe someone here is excited about it? Bueller... Bueller...


  • KwitkoKwitko Sheriff of Banning (Retired) By the thing near the stuff

    Waiting on HL3. Everything else is garbage.

  • @Kwitko I think this is going to be a proof of concept test. Half Life 2 was proof of concept for, if we force people can we make them download our delivery service and ultimately control the fate of the PC games market. The episodic content was a proof of concept that failed in their eyes, it didn't generate the way they had hoped and they just sat waiting around for the next big thing, which I guess is VR...

    I sort of hate VR. Look, it's impossible to look cool in a VR headset. It's not much different than just sticking the "kick me" sign on your own back rather than wait for a bully to do it. I also have no idea how I'd play it with progressive lenses. So I guess, maybe I'm just too old, too old to begin the gaming... In my mind though, this is the Half Life 3 proof of concept test, they will go into development on it as soon as they figure out of they can get people to buy hardware based on the strength of a Half Life title. I think Valve has set itself up to fail.

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI

    All of the above. I gave up on the franchise years ago. I just can't find it in my heart to be excited about this, even after the initial burst of excitement hearing the sounds and seeing the sights of City 17 again. I'm not anywhere near wanting a VR setup in my life and I'm definitely not going to buy a VR setup for one game, and I.... it's just been so many years. It's really hard to care anymore.

  • LincLinc Bard Detroit

    It’s not gonna convince me to get a VR setup.

    But I won’t pretend for a minute I still wouldn’t buy a new Half Life game for PC and play thru it like my life depended on it.

  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX

    Same as Linc. No chance I'll buy VR for this, or any other, game. But a full-fledged PC title? I'd be obsessed...

  • WinfreyWinfrey waddafuh Missouri

    The fact that they are giving access to development tools makes me wonder what the modding community will do. When Half-Life was in it's heyday, a couple mods called Counter-Strike and Team Fortress Classic made a tremendous addition to the gaming world.

    I'm excite. Maybe it will happen again?

  • JokkeJokke Bergen, Norway

    Well, at least we can be sure it wont be an Epic exclusive.

  • CycloniteCyclonite Tampa, Florida

    Bunch of grumps in here. :-p

    I'm excited about it. I certainly don't play VR games as much as non-VR games, but I've got a couple headsets. If you haven't experienced modern VR with a decent game, I don't think it's worth immediately writing VR off.

    I ended up buying an Oculus Rift a few years ago since the price for entry was reasonable. I went in with a lot skepticism. Since then, I've introduced a lot of people to VR: many who were excited, and a good chunk who were skeptical. When the Oculus Quest came out, the majority of those skeptical (and some additional new intros) ended up ordering a Quest within the next few days/weeks. The cost of entry for VR now for the experience you get is phenomenal in my opinion. Most of us already have beefy-enough PCs to handle wired VR, and if you don't, the Quest is a fantastic headset. And when you're ready for a beefy PC, Oculus Link should hopefully be in a more mature state.

    Anyway, back to HL: Alyx. I can't see this as a headset-seller, but if you already have one - or are already interested for other games/reasons - and are any sort of HL fan, I think it's great. The articles I've read indicate it should be of a similar length to HL2.

    As far as "looking cool" with VR, why not enjoy the technology instead of worrying about how you look to others? Until eSports became more mainstream, we certainly didn't "look cool" sitting behind a computer screen. We did it anyway, and we had a blast. I'll run with the "how you look" aspect, though. One thing I found important to my experience was being able to play around while alone. If you're trying someone else's system, don't do it with a large group around. Someone's going to poke at you, and it ruins the experience.

    For anyone I've introduced to VR, I try to do a few things:

    1. Make sure there are a very limited number of people around and outside the immediate area. You don't want people prodding the person in VR, and you don't want the audience getting smacked.
    2. Show them the headset and controllers outside of VR. Explain the controllers a bit, show them how to hold them, etc. They can't see outside the headset once it's on.
    3. Once they're in VR, place their hands appropriately on the controller and have them feel out the buttons.
    4. Have them move to the sides of the playspace so the guardian border pops up. Let them feel the walls (if your space has them) so they have a sense of their playspace.
    5. Run them through the tutorials.

    This is a good 15-20 minute process per person and may not be the super exciting stuff that everyone advertises, but now they know what they're doing. I let them play from there (Superhot VR is the favorite every time).

    To wrap this up, I've had some really great experiences in VR: It's amazing how a small playspace can turn into this huge, beautiful world. I've found myself just sitting there absolutely calm, admiring the world around me. Then I've stood up, fired up Pistol Whip, and turned into John Wick. After that, I became a rhythm Jedi in Beat Saber. Sure, to anyone outside VR, I looked like a wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tubeman, but I felt like a badass inside VR.

  • I really enjoy media that fills in a backstory. I would have been excited to play this HLA. However, VR doesn't agree with me... physically or financially. I'll follow @Winfrey on the hope that a mod is released for a non-VR version.

  • edited November 2019

    @Cyclonite I'm mostly tongue in cheek when I talk about the concern for looking cool in the headset. I do think that is a barrier to mass adoption though. There is a reason Nintendo never tried the power glove again. I just don't think many people want to wear a video game. It's a similar problem to 3D televisions at home. In the theater for two hours at a time, sure, people were at least facinated enough to try it, slap the glasses on for a bit, but making it part of your nightly routine? Nobody wants to pop on glasses that doesn't have to.

    Another thing I see is it potentionally alienating some people with specific eyesight conditions. I wear a multi level progressive lens. I've been diagnosed with early stage macular degeneration. I'm getting to the point where staring at things at a short distance is very difficult for me, I need correction to do it. I'm not quite sure how the headset is going to be when I have to find a specific focal point in the lens to see. I'll have to try it again sometime, the last time I tried a headset my vision was better so I'm not entirely sure if that's as big a problem as I imagine it is.

    I like that the market has an option and I suppose I don't resent certain VR specific experiences. Certain gaming enviornments are obviously made for it, but in this case it feels like Valve has this carrot on the end of the stick that they hope will force the sale of some really expensive hardware. I'm not sure it's going to work. I will admidt though, this is the first time I've ever really envied the gamers with VR.

  • CycloniteCyclonite Tampa, Florida

    @Cliff_Forster Eyesight conditions are a fair point. I've done a bit of reading around corrective lenses with VR, as I wear single focus glasses currently. Considering that VR is technically a single distance at which to focus, I wonder if single-focus lenses would be sufficient to help you see properly in VR. I know it certainly doesn't help the cost-barrier, but you can get prescription lenses for the current headsets (as an example): https://widmovr.com/

  • kless001kless001 Midwest-USA

    Wouldn't turn down more of Half Life 2's magic. Highway 17 was the most immersive experience ever. Do more of that. I'm not even asking for 2020 graphics.

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