29 votes

We’re excited to unveil Half-Life: Alyx, our flagship VR game, this Thursday at 10am Pacific Time.

@valvesoftware:
We're excited to unveil Half-Life: Alyx, our flagship VR game, this Thursday at 10am Pacific Time. Can't wait to share it with all of you!

23 comments

  1. [7]
    Macil
    (edited )
    Link
    I'm excited about this. VR really needs games developed specifically for it to really work well. To me, VR is about being embedded in a space and physically interacting with objects. Budget Cuts,...

    I'm excited about this. VR really needs games developed specifically for it to really work well. To me, VR is about being embedded in a space and physically interacting with objects. Budget Cuts, Job Simulator, and Out of Ammo are good examples of VR games that properly use the medium in my opinion. Bolting VR onto a pre-existing game is technically doable but misses the unique parts about VR.

    I'm disappointed how many responses I've seen to the announcement elsewhere that are either accusing of this being a cash-grab (a freemium mobile app is a sure cash-grab; a game in an unproven genre/platform is the polar opposite!), or acting like VR is an arbitrary choice that's cheating VR-less people out of the non-VR Half Life experience that they're obligated to. The Half Life games have each tried to push the envelope, and Valve seems to have been waiting for a new inspiration / way to push things forward before continuing. Valve could have pumped out another Half Life game years ago if that's what they wanted to do, but would anyone want that? It would just be another Duke Nukem Forever.

    12 votes
    1. [6]
      edenist
      Link Parent
      I agree with what you've said, but I suppose I have a bit more sympathy for the VR-less commentators. We've waited for over a decade for another half-life game, so you can't be too surprised that...

      I agree with what you've said, but I suppose I have a bit more sympathy for the VR-less commentators. We've waited for over a decade for another half-life game, so you can't be too surprised that the knee-jerk response is one of entitlement ;-)

      I too am a VR-less gamer, not out of being a luddite - I have spent quite a lot of time with a Vive over the last few years, and quite enjoy it - moreso just out of practicality. I lack the environment [spatially and socially] to adequately use it. So I guess if we're being a bit more pragmatic about it, what we really want to know is "what will this play like in non-VR mode?" and "Will the experience be hampered by not using VR?"

      Because I have to say, I really want to play another Half-Life game ;-)

      5 votes
      1. Macil
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        If the game works well outside of VR, I'd worry that it's not taking advantage of VR enough and probably shouldn't be VR. I totally get the practicality part though. I have a Vive but currently...

        what we really want to know is "what will this play like in non-VR mode?" and "Will the experience be hampered by not using VR?"

        If the game works well outside of VR, I'd worry that it's not taking advantage of VR enough and probably shouldn't be VR.

        I totally get the practicality part though. I have a Vive but currently don't have enough space to use it right. I'm looking forward to the next time that I set it up, and I hope there's more games that take full advantage of it at that time.

        10 votes
      2. [3]
        clone1
        Link Parent
        Sadly I highly doubt it will be playable in non-vr mode. The difference between vr game play and non-vr game play is so vast that they're basically whole separate mediums.

        Sadly I highly doubt it will be playable in non-vr mode. The difference between vr game play and non-vr game play is so vast that they're basically whole separate mediums.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          JakeTheDog
          Link Parent
          Do you have any examples of this? Or just speculating? Because I would be shocked if they effectively made it VR-only.

          Do you have any examples of this? Or just speculating? Because I would be shocked if they effectively made it VR-only.

          1. clone1
            Link Parent
            The vast majority of games that have both vr and flat versions are vr adaptations of existing games (skyrim vr, thumper, elite dangerous, etc). There are a few games that were developed in vr and...

            The vast majority of games that have both vr and flat versions are vr adaptations of existing games (skyrim vr, thumper, elite dangerous, etc). There are a few games that were developed in vr and also support normal gaming like darknet but those are usually simple and played with point and click controls, or a controller, not with full presence, or vrchat, where the flat players have much less control than the vr players. Almost all of the developed for vr games that leverage vr features have no real ability to be translated into a flat game. Examples are beatsaber, robot recall, budget cuts, gorn, blade and sorcery, pavlov.

            I'm pretty sure that this is going to use all of the vr features it can because valve really needs a killer app for vr and to demonstrate their new controllers.

            3 votes
      3. HoolaBoola
        Link Parent
        To Be honest, there will always be the ***-less people. People who want to play Mario Bros but don't have a Nintendo console etc. I myself have never been able to play Half-life games, or much any...

        To Be honest, there will always be the ***-less people. People who want to play Mario Bros but don't have a Nintendo console etc. I myself have never been able to play Half-life games, or much any games, due to not having proper hardware for it.

        Nevertheless, I'm still excited for new games and technologies.

  2. Deimos
    Link
    Ars Technica has an article trying to gather together all the information known so far, as well as some new info from sources they have: Half-Life: Alyx: What we know about Valve’s upcoming...

    Ars Technica has an article trying to gather together all the information known so far, as well as some new info from sources they have: Half-Life: Alyx: What we know about Valve’s upcoming full-length VR game

    9 votes
  3. MimicSquid
    Link
    It's no HL2.3, but it's amazing that there's anything at all. Do you think this story will get more than halfway through before falling into a black hole?

    It's no HL2.3, but it's amazing that there's anything at all. Do you think this story will get more than halfway through before falling into a black hole?

    6 votes
  4. [13]
    Rez
    Link
    I don't have any particular nostalgia for the Half-Life franchise but I've been waiting for an excuse to pick up VR, so this may be it.

    I don't have any particular nostalgia for the Half-Life franchise but I've been waiting for an excuse to pick up VR, so this may be it.

    6 votes
    1. [12]
      ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      How is this your excuse when there are so many excellent VR games out there? Blade & Sorcery, Beat Saber, Pavlov – and that's just the one I know. If you wanna try VR, surely there are better...

      How is this your excuse when there are so many excellent VR games out there? Blade & Sorcery, Beat Saber, Pavlov – and that's just the one I know.

      If you wanna try VR, surely there are better choices for starting than a game you know nothing about!

      3 votes
      1. [5]
        Gaywallet
        Link Parent
        Just want to say if you enjoy rhythm games @rez then you will absolutely enjoy beat saber. It's the first rhythm game since DDR that's really had me playing frequently. Not a huge fan of blade &...

        Just want to say if you enjoy rhythm games @rez then you will absolutely enjoy beat saber. It's the first rhythm game since DDR that's really had me playing frequently.

        Not a huge fan of blade & sorcery or pavlov, but I'll add to this list with a few:

        Hellblade
        Moss
        Tetris Effect
        Rez Infinite
        Super Hot
        Chronos
        Sairento

        And that's just touching on a few of the games I have/played that are VR only or were greatly improved by the VR experience. There's honestly games in just about every genre out right now so there's probably something up your alley.

        3 votes
        1. [4]
          Deimos
          Link Parent
          If you don't mind DDR-style music, I highly recommend Airtone as a VR rhythm game too. Here's a comment I wrote about it a long time ago: Harmonix's VR rhythm game Audica just came out of Early...

          If you don't mind DDR-style music, I highly recommend Airtone as a VR rhythm game too. Here's a comment I wrote about it a long time ago:

          It's designed for VR and has "programmed" songs, not auto-generated ones like Audioshield and co. (those can be fine too, but they're not really the same). It feels good to play and gets challenging pretty quickly. There's a decent amount of content too, I've played about 4 hours and have probably only unlocked about 15 of the 25 total songs so far (and there are 3 difficulties available on each, I can barely do the hardest difficulty at all yet).

          I think my only complaints would be all "interface" things and not really the game itself:

          • The English voice-acting is awful, but you can switch it to Japanese after the intro/tutorial.
          • There aren't any "profiles", so my wife and I can't keep our scores/progress separate. Not a big deal, but would have been nice.
          • Restarting songs is a bit slow and you have to do a quick "calibration" thing at the start of every song to set which direction you're facing. That's a bit annoying when you're trying to get a high score or a "perfect" rating and you need to keep restarting often.

          Other than those minor issues though, it's really good.

          Harmonix's VR rhythm game Audica just came out of Early Access recently too. I haven't played the released version yet so I can't give a personal impression, but Harmonix always knows what they're doing.

          2 votes
          1. [3]
            Gaywallet
            Link Parent
            Yeah I've had Audica for a little while now, Harmonix has always known what they are doing. Unfortunately it's not very good exercise like beat saber is, and with my shoulder issues it's a bit...

            Yeah I've had Audica for a little while now, Harmonix has always known what they are doing. Unfortunately it's not very good exercise like beat saber is, and with my shoulder issues it's a bit worse given that I have to often hold my arm extended for long periods of time rather than getting to relax it or let it drop.

            I'll be sure to check into Airtone a bit more, thanks for the rec.

            2 votes
            1. [2]
              Deimos
              Link Parent
              Have you played Audica recently? I believe they removed the need to keep your arms extended a while back (I haven't played after that point, but I saw it in some of the update notes).

              Have you played Audica recently? I believe they removed the need to keep your arms extended a while back (I haven't played after that point, but I saw it in some of the update notes).

              1 vote
              1. Gaywallet
                Link Parent
                It's not that you have to, it's that at higher difficulties you don't really get a chance to relax. Swinging the arm (such as in beat saber) is fine because I can use other muscles to propel my...

                It's not that you have to, it's that at higher difficulties you don't really get a chance to relax. Swinging the arm (such as in beat saber) is fine because I can use other muscles to propel my arm while keeping my shoulder relatively relaxed... however, when I need to hold my arm extended at a certain height and sweep slowly to shoot a few targets in a row, it's problematic. I still play it, I just cant play it for as long a period of time as I can beat saber.

                2 votes
      2. [6]
        Keegan
        Link Parent
        How hard is Beat Saber? I see people doing it all the time but I don't feel like I'd be coordinated enough to do it. In videos it just looks overwhelming.

        How hard is Beat Saber? I see people doing it all the time but I don't feel like I'd be coordinated enough to do it. In videos it just looks overwhelming.

        1 vote
        1. [3]
          DataWraith
          Link Parent
          If difficulty is your only concern, you should definitively give it a try! Most of the videos on Youtube are done in the highest difficulty settings (or even custom maps, which tend to skew to...

          If difficulty is your only concern, you should definitively give it a try!

          Most of the videos on Youtube are done in the highest difficulty settings (or even custom maps, which tend to skew to insanely hard) because that's what looks impressive.

          The base game has five difficulty settings

          • Easy
          • Normal
          • Hard
          • Expert
          • Expert+

          Easy and normal are quite doable even for someone playing for the first time. Hard is challenging, you'll have to practice the songs. Expert is very hard; sometimes the notes come almost faster than I can physically move -- but I'm not a very fit person. Expert+ is beyond my abilities.

          The game also has a practice mode that lets you slow down the songs or disable obstacles.

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            Keegan
            Link Parent
            Ah I see. That makes sense that people that I watched must have been playing at a higher difficultly. I just watched another video of someone playing for the first time and it seemed manageable at...

            Ah I see. That makes sense that people that I watched must have been playing at a higher difficultly. I just watched another video of someone playing for the first time and it seemed manageable at lower levels.

            1 vote
            1. Gaywallet
              Link Parent
              Almost guaranteed the videos you saw were all expert+. Clips of streamers and other people doing what is well beyond the capabilities of most - this is usually the case with most games and...

              Almost guaranteed the videos you saw were all expert+. Clips of streamers and other people doing what is well beyond the capabilities of most - this is usually the case with most games and uploaded videos online.

              4 votes
        2. [2]
          ThatFanficGuy
          Link Parent
          Not a clue. I can't run a VR set even if I had one. All I know is that it's a good game, one I might enjoy were I to have the resources for it. Watching the game, I feel like most of my sensory...

          Not a clue. I can't run a VR set even if I had one.

          All I know is that it's a good game, one I might enjoy were I to have the resources for it.

          Watching the game, I feel like most of my sensory overload comes from the disconnect between the game and myself. It's like when you watch someone move the cursor in a video: you mind throws errors because of the discoordination between the change and the effort you need to put in but didn't. If I were to actually play it, I reckon my confusion would be significantly less prominent.

          Even so, there is an easy mode to every track. You might wanna give that a shot and see how you feel if you ever get a chance to demo the game.

          3 votes
          1. Keegan
            Link Parent
            Yeah if I get the chance to demo a VR set at a tech store or something I'll definitely try it.

            Yeah if I get the chance to demo a VR set at a tech store or something I'll definitely try it.

            1 vote
  5. mrbig
    Link
    I hope it's also playable without VR.

    I hope it's also playable without VR.