Before Half-Life: Alyx, Valve Considered A New Portal VR Game

Before settling on making a new Half-Life game, Valve considered making a third Portal game first.

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Valve has released the first trailer for the third Half-Life game, Half-Life: Alyx, a VR title scheduled to release for all SteamVR-compatible headsets in March 2020. The upcoming game wasn't always scheduled to be related to Half-Life, however. The project began with Valve just wanting to create a big VR game--deciding the franchise to explore came second.

"We explored different franchises," Valve software developer David Speyrer told Geoff Keighley in a Half-Life: Alyx development documentary. "We kind of ruled out multiplayer just because of the small audience for VR, and other issues as well with VR avatars and things like that. We settled on Portal or Half-Life as interesting. And Portal is so much about flinging yourself through space and through portals that we thought, 'Well, we're just going to make people sick with this game.'"

"A full-on Portal game seemed challenging," he continued. "And then we looked at Half-Life and the DNA of that product and a bunch of the elements seemed really enhanced by VR. Half-Life is about this cadence of story, combat, puzzle, exploration, interaction, environmental art--vistas, things like that. And they all seem to be enhanced or reinvented in interesting ways by VR."

Half-Life: Alyx is a full-length game set prior to the events of Half-Life 2. In a statement, Valve founder Gabe Newell said, "Everyone at Valve is excited to be returning to the world of Half-Life. VR has energized us. We've invested a lot of ourselves in the technology. But we're also game developers at heart, and to be devoting ourselves to a VR game this ambitious is just as exciting."

If you're already on board to play a new Half-Life game, Half-Life: Alyx is already available for pre-order. The game costs $60 USD but pre-ordering it nets you a 10% discount--knocking the price down to $54 USD. Half-Life: Alyx is free for all Valve Index VR headset owners, whether you already own the headset or decide to buy it down the line.

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