Gaming

Everything we know about Half-Life: Alyx - release date, details, deals

by Scott Robertson

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Half-Life is officially returning in the form of 'Half-life: Alyx,' a virtual reality game centered around series character Alyx Vance and her father Eli before she meets the voiceless protagonist Gordon Freeman. Here’s every little detail we know about the upcoming game.

When is Alyx coming out?

Valve has announced the official release date for the VR title: March 23, 2020. It will release for the Valve Index, the HTC Vive, the Oculus Rift, and the Windows Mixed Reality VR programs.

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Prior to that release date, players who haven’t played any games in the Half-Life series can experience all of them for free. This includes the original, the sequel, and the two Half-Life 2 episodes. Half-Life Opposing Force and Blue Shift are also free to play until March 23.

The original Half-Life features scientist Gordon Freeman and his escape from the Black Mesa facility, while the sequel trilogy focuses on Freeman’s adventures with Alyx Vance and the resistance.

How to purchase & play Half-Life: Alyx

Half-Life: Alyx can be pre-ordered directly from its Steam page for $53.99. As mentioned above, it requires a VR headset to play. However, fans can score the game for free with a purchase of Valve’s VR headset, the Valve Index.

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Unfortunately, the Valve Index is currently sold out in all forms. In a follow-up tweet to the official release date announcement, Valve explained they would have “more information on upcoming Valve Index availability soon.”

What is Half-Life: Alyx about?

According to the Half-Life: Alyx website, the game will take place between Half-Life 1 and 2, and will focus on Alyx and her father Eli as their scientific research paves the way for a resistance movement against the authoritarian Combine.

Alyx will seemingly take place in City 17, a dystopian urban environment that Gordon Freeman arrives to by train in the opening moments of Half-Life 2. The city will be completely interactable and finely detailed, as the website describes some of the actions you can perform:

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“Lean around a broken wall and under a barnacle to make an impossible shot. Rummage through shelves to find a healing syringe and some shotgun shells. Manipulate tools to hack alien interfaces. Tear a headcrab off your face and throw it out the window.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2W0N3uKXmo

All the game’s VR tools and components on the Source 2 engine will be available on the Steam Workshop and Valve’s level authoring tool, Hammer, allowing creative members of the community to design and share levels with everyone else.

While not technically Half-Life 3, and while a VR game was not how fans expected the series to return, there's still plenty of excitement regarding Alyx, as many hope it becomes the breakthrough title that sells the game industry on virtual reality.