Half-Life: Alyx Is A "Full-Length" VR Game, Takes Place Before Half-Life 2

Valve Index owners will get Half-Life: Alyx for free, but it also works on Oculus and more.

As promised, Valve has divulged the first details on Half-Life: Alyx, a new VR game in its beloved Half-Life franchise. We've also gotten the first trailer and screenshots for the game, which marks the first new entry in the Half-Life series in more than a decade. It's set for release on Steam in March 2020 and will be playable on "all PC-based VR headsets," including Oculus devices, and it's set between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2.

"Alyx Vance and her father Eli secretly mount the resistance to the brutal occupation of Earth by a mysterious alien race known as The Combine," reads Valve's official description. "As Alyx, players take the fight to the Combine to save the future of humanity." You can check out the first screenshots of Half-Life: Alyx below, along with the first trailer, which showcases some gameplay and numerous signature elements of Half-Life, including headcrabs and the G-Man.

Half-Life: Alyx is described as a "full-length" experience that has been designed from the ground up for VR headsets. It features "all of the hallmarks of a classic Half-Life game: world exploration, puzzle-solving, visceral combat, and an intricately woven story that connects it all with the characters iconic to the Half-Life universe."

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."

He added that Half-Life arriving on VR is "the culmination of a lot [of] things we care a lot about: truly great games, cutting edge technology, and open platforms. We can't wait for people to experience this."

Half-Life: Alyx screenshot
Half-Life: Alyx screenshot
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Half-Life: Alyx is now available to pre-order for $60 (US), although pre-purchasing it gets you a 10% discount, bringing it down to $54. Those who own Valve's Index VR headset will receive the game for free. Beyond March 2020, it does not have a more specific release date.

The last Half-Life game to be released was 2007's Half-Life 2: Episode 2, which ended on a cliffhanger. Rumors of a third episode--sometimes also thought to be Half-Life 3--have popped up numerous times over the years. As of yet, however, a continuation of the Half-Life story hasn't happened.

Valve's Index, meanwhile, was released in June 2019. Among it's more noteworthy features are individual finger tracking, pressure-sensitive gripping, and enhanced display technology. As part of our hands-on with the Valve Index, GameSpot's Michael Higham said "it's easy to see how Index can push VR gaming forward. However, like all enthusiastic-level platforms, it comes at a significant cost."

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