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Half-Life: Alyx. When VR is better than reality

After 13 years of hard work, Valve has made it. The Half-Life: Alyx. Many game series have VR adaptations or side frames, but Valve has kept its promise and presented the next part of Half-Life’s story in a package that can help you increase your VR skills. You can interact with literally everything! Gamers admit that the new game “is struggling with the internal hardware limitations of VR, the lack of headsets because of the pandemic, and the complexity of creating a game for the new platform. However, Alyx should be a worthy addition to the Half-Life universe.

The plot 

Alyx is not a direct continuation of the tale of Half-Life, but it takes place five years before the Half-Life 2 events. You also don’t play as Gordon Freeman, the series protagonist, but as Alyx Vance, his Half-Life 2 friend. Alyx is a 19-year-old rebel in this prequel fighting a guerrilla war against a group of alien invaders known as the Combine. Alyx Vance – the daughter of a former colleague of Gordon – a member of the resistance, who considers Gordon Freeman an almost mythical character. Alyx tries to find out about the Combine superweapon, which he stores in City-17. In the future, the resistance understands that this is not about some kind of device, but about a person. This is shown in the scene after the credits but from the point of view of Gordon himself. Gamers believe that the ending of the new game hints at the continuation of the plot. Fans are considering that Half-Life: Alyx can be considered the link between the second episode and the alleged third part of the game. 

The game features an impressive set of tonalities. It is an absolute survival game at some points, with Alyx fighting zombies and headcrabs in the grim darkness of sewers and subways in the area. Through first-rate voice acting and a script filled with genuinely funny jokes, Alyx and her com-linked partner Russell add levity even to the darkest moments.

What you need to play it

On the game page, there are only the minimum system requirements, which are: 12 GB of RAM, a video card of the GTX 1060 / RX 580 or higher level, a CPU i5-7500 / Ryzen 5 1600 or more, and a VR helmet that supports Steam VR.

Some awesome features

Alyx has several VR-enhanced instruments at her fingertips to assist her search. A pair of gravity gloves allow her to move objects with a wrist flip, which can then be captured in mid-air by pressing the grip buttons on the controller. In addition, Alyx has a remote tool to hack electrical systems and many different armors that all have to be handled shot and reloaded using virtual hands. 

VR brings sensory depth to the unusual technology used in the game. Many terminals you come across are secured by virtual hands-manipulated holographic protection systems. These hacking puzzles make excellent use of VR software, though one may argue that the designers of Alyx are too fond of hampering your progress with them.

Sure Half-Life: Alyx won’t be a super mainstream game, but it’s always a pleasure to see when people do their work with dedication. The largest team in the history of Valve worked on the game, a third of the developers worked on Half-Life 2 and Half-Life. Mark Leidlo (screenwriter of the original Half-Life and Portal dilogy), who left Valve, helped writers work on Half-Life: Alyx. And the results are truly spectacular. You can dive in the Half-life experience with the video below. Stay healthy! 

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