Half-Life: Alyx Reveal Coming Today (Update)

We'll know more about Half-Life's first game in years very soon.

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Update: Half-Life: Alyx was officially unveiled on Thursday, November 21 as a full-length Half-Life game set between the first two games and it's out March 2020. You can pre-order it now and get 10% off.

Learn more about which VR headsets you can play it on, how to pre-order it, or just watch its first gameplay trailer. Have a question not answered here about the reveal? We've collected everything we know about Half-Life: Alyx in a handy roundup, including how to get the game for free. And with the news coming from so many places--including multiple Valve websites and interviews--we've collected all of the Alyx announcements in one place. The original story follows.

Half-Life: Alyx, a new VR game in the Half-Life series, has officially been announced. The new title is described in a tweet as Valve's "flagship" VR title, and will be unveiled on Thursday, November 21 at 10 AM Pacific Time. This has been rumored for some time now, and it appears those rumors are true. Thankfully, we won't have to wait long to find out more, with Valve's reveal now less than an hour away. There's no word regarding a livestream or anything of the sort, but we'll report back with all the details on Alyx as soon as they are shared. [Update: The reveal has happened, and we've gotten a Half-Life: Alyx trailer, release date window (March 2020), and other details, including the fact that it will support all PC VR headsets, even including things like the Oculus Quest. Valve has opened pre-orders and also showed screenshots and other details about what to expect.]

It's been over twelve years since the last Half-Life title, Half-Life 2 Episode 2, which ended on a cliffhanger. We know that a third episode (or possibly Half-Life 3) was in development, but with the series long dormant and Valve seemingly having moved on, it was unclear whether we would ever see Half-Life again. It's possible that Half-Life: Alyx will be exclusive to the Valve Index VR headset, but we won't know for sure until Valve shows their new game off on November 20.

Half-Life: Alyx Reveal Time

  • 10 AM PT
  • 1 PM ET
  • 6 PM GMT
  • 5 AM AET

Half-Life 2, the last full release in the series, received a 9.2/10 in our review (it came out in 2004, long ago enough that GameSpot had not yet abandoned decimal places.) It's often regarded as one of the best games of all time.

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Barighm

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Edited By Barighm

Half-Life, Shenmue, FF7R...So are there any unicorns left in gaming? I can't think of any (well, maybe Panzer Dragoon Saga remaster).

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ChairmanXi

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Only people who think VR is a gimmick are ones who never used a real headset (index,oculus,vive) like it or not It is the future of FPS gaming 100%, I cannot play another FPS on a computer screen again. Keep saying you cant afford VR then go out and buy your 700-1000 dollar phone and 400-500 dollar consoles every few years for those sick "exclusives"

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JSprunk

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Edited By JSprunk

Go fist yourself Valve. Not buying it.

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TehMasterer2

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It won't be exclusive to the Valve Index VR headset. Their headset is, by design, a top-end headset targeting developers and demo booths, not typical gamers. If they want people to play their game, and they're game developers, so of course they do, it'll support Oculus and Vive at a minimum.

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PlaystationZone

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I waited long time for half life 3 and was willing buy next gen Xbox consle if half life 3 be exclusive to Next gen Xbox but we get this VR Half life . I think going cry .

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ecs33

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Honestly, screw Valve. It would have been cool if it was universal to all the headsets but this strange ploy to use their holy grail franchise to get more people to buy their headsets isn't going to work.

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quinnd6

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Edited By quinnd6

Not interested at all.

Wanted a proper half life and they come out with this crap.

It's like they're trolling us.

It would be great if people could boycott Steam and all Valve's products. Too many games are on Steam so everyone is stuck using it.

They're a greedy crappy company like EA now.

Probably worse actually.

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santinegrete

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@quinnd6: my way to boycott valve wasn't all that smart. I just wanted more half life, and I chased the newest spiritual succesor, Metro Exodus, to another store (epic store). Steam won't get a cut of that, but I'm in a store with practices that bother some gamers. But you know what? A game is a game, and Valve did the same with Half life 2 and Steam in 2004.

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quinnd6

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@santinegrete:

Yes I remember that in 2004 and hated it. I hated Steam then I had a dialup connection at the time and it took forever to update and was slow as heck. It took hours before I could play the game. Valve invented this fricking DRM. I have a much better pc now and broadband but Steam still needs updating every time you open it. I don't know why PC gamers including myself have chosen to accept this. Screw Valve they're worse than EA.

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santinegrete

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@quinnd6: because they built a lot of features with time around the DRM management. I hope GOG model still has something to show up, I miss the old retail you could collect.

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NetShark

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Edited By NetShark

I get it, they need to sell their VR headsets. Fine.

But to do that, they're using a game series they notoriously stiffed millions of fans.

All the people that bought 1 and 2, and all the related ones with the understanding of a completed series were discourteously brushed aside.

So even if this is a massive hit, I learned my lesson with Valve. Don't buy into anything with the promise of a finished story. They are likely to just abandon it, not explain why, refuse to talk about it, and move on to something else a decade later.

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MattWoahYeah

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MattWoahYeah  Online

@netshark: So you're a 'glass half empty' kind of guy?

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NetShark

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@mattwoahyeah: I gave a supporting reason why I feel the way I do about this news of a VR only HL related game.

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ecurl143

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It's actually quite a clever business move. Just watch the Vive headsets fly off the shelves now that this has been launched. Huge game sales and more importantly, a big spike in sales of the VR hardware.

All in all, I'm the same as quite a few people here, in that, Half Life was a ground breaking game back in the day, same with Half Life2 to some extent but I just don't get that excited about a new Half Life now that I'm in my mid 50's. There's so much other cool software around that I don't mind being surprised when something drops. And that doesn't necessarily equate to a day 1 purchase either.

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BDRTFM

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Edited By BDRTFM

@ecurl143: Not many people are going to buy a Vive just to play Half-Life VR. The entry fee for one game is way too high. I highly doubt they will be flying off the shelves.

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nikolistary

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A simple announcement has garnered tens of thousands of divisive comments. Some are hyped and can't wait. Some feel betrayed and that it's a disgusting cash grab that alienates 99% of their fan base by going VR only.

Both sides are right to feel how they feel.

Initially, I was more whatever than any emotion. It's been over a decade. We've been living our lives and changing over these years, and also moving on. Half Life is immensely important to me still, but the life-changing feels I got when I played 1 and 2 just dont exist now. I was 13 and 19 when 1 and 2 came out. I'm 34. So when I see stuff like this I'm like, cool, hope it's good. It's how I am with Fallout. These games come out once a decade (or longer), and while I appreciate the time dev's take to make their stuff, I dont have time to sit and stew over any IP.

But both parties are right. When Half Life came out, it was nothing short of groundbreaking. Same goes for 2. The IP has always had a DNA of true innovation. From narrative direction, to physics, to scale. Making Half Life Alyx in VR does make sense in that it's the next logical step for Valve and the IP to continue the legacy of innovation and progress. This game will definitely employ hand and finger tracking. They may even not use VR controllers. Google "grabbity gloves". I think Valve is going to do something next level, as that what Half Life demands.

On the other hand, it is undeniable that Valve is using, possibly exploiting, the Half Life brand name to push the Index. It sucks they're not going the Resident Evil 7 route and doing a full game that is VR and Non-VR, but they're trying to sell their headset as well as make VR more mainstream which will get other skeptical developers off the bench and start making AAA games for once. The Half Life name can do that. This prohibitive measure might actually be a long term saving grace for VR as a whole, as VR in 2019 is still struggling to get full length well known AAA showstoppers. It really might be killer game to make VR impossible to resist.

It's hard on both sides. But I believe it's necessary for VR progress. As well as Half Life's future.

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Cb4sstian

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What the....? VR only? Why?????????? This is more upsetting then diablo on mobile. This might be the dumbest move in video game history.

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lina_baby_doll

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Edited By lina_baby_doll

Well, at least it's not a mobile game...

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Byshop

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@lina_baby_doll: That's the spirit!

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doktron

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they make this VR game, but its too much trouble to make halflife3 ? i'll pass!

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Mogan

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@doktron: I don't think it's a matter of being too much trouble so much as there's nobody there terribly interested in making a Half-Life 3 right now.

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sippio

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A VR experience.

thanks a lot Gabe

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Mogan

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@sippio: Thanks, Ogaben!

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lonesamurai00

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lonesamurai00  Online

I have no doubt that it's going to be a top shelf VR experience since their games are always great, and they have the best hardware on the market.

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WarFox89

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LOL i remember all the pre release hype for the VR thing as the "bliss everyone wanted and waited for decades in gaming that will change completely the gaming industry" ....

i just knew it will be like the 3D gaming BS ... it will come, ignite a hype and will die and be forgotten forever later ....

no one needs or want VR games Valve. Just give us HL3 FFS@

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ecs33

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@WarFox89: I don't think it's as trendy as the 3D phase. There are actually a lot of real use cases with VR. It will stay. It's future in gaming specifically though remains unclear.

That said, I want a non VR Half Life title.

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WarFox89

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@ecs33: well it may has SOME uses probably and foremost in the enterprise scene but i don't think it will ever be a main stream thing in gaming.

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lindallison

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@WarFox89:

VR's incredible and the scene is very vibrant. Lots of experimentation and hashing the language of a completely new paradigm - reminds me of seeing developer's come to grips with the 3D revolution in the back half of the 90's.

There so much independent effort, creativity and good will I don't think we even need AAA interest to sustain what could comfortably be a niche gaming scene and boon to a variety of enterprise uses.

But its cool Valve has been spearheading the thing by developing SteamVR and now the Index.

Hopefully if they're working with the HL universe again in any capacity HL3 will benefit, if it ever sees the light of day it probably won't be VR only even if it has some VR modes.

HL:Alyx is probably as small or smaller than one of the episodes, something modest enough you'll probably be comfortable sneering at then ignoring it.

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WarFox89

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@lindallison: well you maybe misunderstood me a bit. by 3D gaming i was implying to the Nvidia 3D Vision gaming trend. I think that [IN GAMING] VR will just be forgotten and discontinued support at some point by most companies and software manufactures just as happened with 3D vision gaming trend. We are not there yet for good and complete and comfortable gaming experience with VR. Look for example for some FPS games in VR ...most of the time people are just struggling to operate their weapons and equipment while playing shooters in VR. it's just not working.

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Byshop

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@lindallison: Agreed. There are some awesome VR games out there. There's also a lot of shovelware, but that's not the platform's fault. A good VR can be amazing. If Valve does this right then it could be another Robo Recall or Arizona Sunshine.

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Barighm

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Edited By Barighm

@WarFox89: Speak for yourself. I want VR games. The good ones are really cool and one of the few unique experiences in the gaming world.

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mtb1646

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PC gamers waiting 15 years for another Half Life....Announced as a VR game.... um, FFFFFUUUUU

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Barighm

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Edited By Barighm

@mtb1646: To be fair, we all suspected Valve would use their most anticipated brand to push their hardware. Well, I did, anyway.

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dzimm

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I was excited when I saw that a new Half-Life was finally being developed, and then I lost all interest when it was announced that it's a VR title.

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rickjamesia

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I think people need to remember that Valve isn't limited to only announcing this in the future. Releasing a VR title doesn't mean they can't have other things in the works. They've mentioned many times that they are working on a lot of projects right now, but Valve doesn't really show things until they are nearly done (probably because they like to be flexible when they need to scrap projects or completely rework them. It's not even really unexpected. Valve has said for the past few years that they are working on three flagship VR titles and there had been hints that one of them may be related to Half-Life from previous interviews. I'm not going to lie, I was starting to expect the VR titles didn't exist because it's been so long, but I'm happy to see news.

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Thanatos2k

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Didn't expect this, but honestly it looks like just another tech exploration type thing for Valve, not a real Half Life game. It'll probably be good for what it is, but it's also VR only which of course excludes 95% of the market.

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Sushiglutton

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I for one think this is a great idea! I want VR to make it. Hopefully the geniuses at Valve can set some best practice standards for FPS in VR. Then others can come in and build on it. I think this could be one of the most groundbreaking games we have seen in a very long time.

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ScreamingSatori

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I guess they're not selling enough VR headsets, so they have to do this to force people to buy them.

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Mogan

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@screamingsatori: Gamers are always talking about how they're being forced to do stuff, and for some reason, I just don't think they really are. : p

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rickjamesia

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Edited By rickjamesia

@screamingsatori: It's possible that they have other things to show for non-VR games. The reason this news is coming now is that they told everyone that they were working on three "flagship" VR titles to help things get rolling again in the market, but until now we haven't seen any sign of them. Would it be better if no one ever made any software for it? Maybe no one should make PC exclusive software to force people to buy a PC or console exclusive software to force people to buy a console. They made a big deal about VR so damn right they had better be delivering something big like this.

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Sushiglutton

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Edited By Sushiglutton

@screamingsatori: That's kind of how the hardware business works. You need to make cool software, not to force people, but to make them excited for your product.

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dzimm

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@Sushiglutton: VR, like 3D TV and motion tracking, is a solution in search of a problem.

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Mogan

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@dzimm: I think that's a pretty good comparison.

VR's a cool thing, but it neither improves the way we're already playing video game in a meaningful way, nor is it readily and easily available. I don't think VR will get much beyond a cool niche gimmick until at least one of those things changes.

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analgrin

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@mogan: hmmm, it dramatically improves racing games. Being able to freely look around you to see where cars are, glancing in the mirror out of the corner of your eye. Being able to turn your head to view the apex of the corner, or turn to look where the track goes after the hairpin you're approaching.

The 3D image informing you instantly just how many inches you are away from the car bumper in front and better communicates how far away corners are so you don't have to rely on landmarks for braking points as much. All the little lumps and bumps in the road are communicated to you more as you feel properly encased within the car. Let's you know better when you are on the limit of what the car can do.

It's the same for a lot of simulator type "games" which I get is kind of niche anyway but VR is great for it nonetheless.

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