Valve have announced that ahead of the launch on March 23rd, PC users will be able to download Half-Life: Alyx this Friday from Steam. The game supports Valve Index, Oculus Rift, Windows Mixed Media, and HTC Vive.
Half-Life: Alyx releases March 23rd, 10am Pacific Time. https://t.co/NCOLWqSp3e
— Valve (@valvesoftware) March 17, 2020
Valve have released ten minutes of Half-Life: Alyx gameplay videos, showing off a good chunk of the immersive VR gameplay. The first section of the game shows some of the fundamental gameplay elements. The locomotion used here is of the teleporting variety – though as we’ll see in the next video, free motion is also an option – the shooting of the headcrab zombies looks to be impactful, and the interactions with the word satisfyingly physical. Of all the improvements in VR gaming, it’s the believable physics of the world that has come to the fore in late 2019 and early 2020.
Playing as Alyx, you have gloves that are able to pull objects toward you and feature a wrist-mounted inventory. These you can then throw around, place on top of each other, you can instinctively catch things in flight, and so on. There’s also some environmental puzzles based on how VR works. Instead of coming to a blocked door and pressing a button to clear it, you can reach through a smashed window and remove the bar that’s wedging the door shut.
The second video opens with manipulating a holographic puzzle of sorts, connecting the dots while spinning it round in order to open a door. There’s some stunning graphics on show here as you get to glimpse the combine’s structures that dominate the world, before you head back into closer confines filled with icky alien organisms.
And finally, we get to battle the Combine themselves. Pinpoint shooting of weak spots is possible, moving between cover can be done using teleporting shifts, and again the world interactivity is highlighted by hunkering down behind a car and pulling its door open to act as a shield. There’s plenty of on-the-fly weapon modifications, to inject extra power or attach and then fire and explosive at enemies. Oh, and catching grenades in flight and throwing them back is totally a thing.