41 votes

Half-Life: Alyx

47 comments

  1. [12]
    Whom
    Link
    When I heard there was new Half-Life, I was excited. I'm not as deeply invested as I was back when the episodes were recent history, but it's still something I like a lot. This trailer kicked my...

    When I heard there was new Half-Life, I was excited. I'm not as deeply invested as I was back when the episodes were recent history, but it's still something I like a lot.

    This trailer kicked my ass though. Coolest looking shit I've seen for VR. I've never had a I need to get in on this now feeling with VR up until this point but I immediately found myself looking up headset prices. It'll still probably be a while until I jump in, the cost is just too much, but holy shit this is exciting.

    It's funny, with something as potentially world-changing as VR floating around, it feels like it's been a long time since something truly new has hit gaming. The first few years of the indie explosion are probably the last time I saw things that made me think times were changing. I know it's silly to say about a trailer, but god damn I feel that excitement I haven't in a long time.

    16 votes
    1. [11]
      Bullmaestro
      Link Parent
      I'd seriously advise you to run Valve's VR benchmarking tool to see if you actually have the specs for VR. That's the one thing stopping me from jumping aboard the VR train.

      I'd seriously advise you to run Valve's VR benchmarking tool to see if you actually have the specs for VR. That's the one thing stopping me from jumping aboard the VR train.

      8 votes
      1. Whom
        Link Parent
        Realistically, there's probably a few upgrades in my future before I can justify it to myself. Good thing to keep in mind, though.

        Realistically, there's probably a few upgrades in my future before I can justify it to myself. Good thing to keep in mind, though.

        3 votes
      2. [5]
        babypuncher
        Link Parent
        Can't a 970 handle VR reasonably well? That is a 5 year old card at this point.

        Can't a 970 handle VR reasonably well? That is a 5 year old card at this point.

        2 votes
        1. Weldawadyathink
          Link Parent
          The 970 was the original lowest spec card for the rift and vive. Oculus (and possibly steam vr as well) lowered the minimum to the 960 (and equivalent cards) with Asynchronous Space Warp. This, if...

          The 970 was the original lowest spec card for the rift and vive. Oculus (and possibly steam vr as well) lowered the minimum to the 960 (and equivalent cards) with Asynchronous Space Warp. This, if I understand it correctly, will activate when a frame will not complete rendering in time for the vertical sync. It takes the previous frame render and rerenders it with the headset movement. This makes half frame rate tolerable, but not great. As a reminder, monitors can only display a new frame when they are set to, so you either get full monitor refresh rate or half (or quarter etc). That means with the oculus rift and vive, you get either 45hz or 90hz. The new oculus headsets are 40hz or 80hz. The index can be set to a few different refresh rates, but I don't believe they have dynamic framerate switching. At this point, nothing like gsync or freesync exists on any vr headset.

          So a 970 should be able to handle some vr titles on low, but this game may still outclass it. I think even skyrim vr will make a 970 chug even on very low settings.

          3 votes
        2. [3]
          teaearlgraycold
          Link Parent
          My old 970 used to be around the minimum spec for VR games 3 years ago when I had a DK2. I doubt it'll hold up with Alyx.

          My old 970 used to be around the minimum spec for VR games 3 years ago when I had a DK2. I doubt it'll hold up with Alyx.

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            babypuncher
            Link Parent
            It looks like the minimum requirement for Alyx is a 1060.

            It looks like the minimum requirement for Alyx is a 1060.

            2 votes
      3. [4]
        stromm
        Link Parent
        My son has a Vive. He also has an i7-4970K and had an nVidia 1070 (he gave me that and he now has a 2070). He has something like 170 VR specific games. Most run at best 60fps. The better looking...

        My son has a Vive. He also has an i7-4970K and had an nVidia 1070 (he gave me that and he now has a 2070).

        He has something like 170 VR specific games. Most run at best 60fps. The better looking the game, the lower the FPS you get. I suspect something like HL:A will top out at 30fps even with his 2070.

        He's getting himself an i9-9900K, new MB and DDR4 RAM. It'll be interesting how much difference it makes.

        1 vote
        1. seizethegoddamngap
          Link Parent
          That's puzzling to me. I have a Rift CV1, 6600k, 1070 OC, and I have yet to find a game that keeps me under 70 FPS for even short periods of time.

          That's puzzling to me. I have a Rift CV1, 6600k, 1070 OC, and I have yet to find a game that keeps me under 70 FPS for even short periods of time.

          4 votes
        2. babypuncher
          Link Parent
          Alyx only requires a 1060, I doubt a 2070 will only pull 30FPS in this game. The requirements for VR are so steep because games need to hold 90 FPS. I would expect Alyx to average 90FPS on low...

          Alyx only requires a 1060, I doubt a 2070 will only pull 30FPS in this game.

          The requirements for VR are so steep because games need to hold 90 FPS. I would expect Alyx to average 90FPS on low settings with a 1060.

          4 votes
        3. zlsa
          Link Parent
          You can lower render scale in SteamVR settings to dramatically improve framerates. On a 1080Ti (which admittedly is still faster than the 2070), most games I've tested run at 90fps pretty constantly.

          You can lower render scale in SteamVR settings to dramatically improve framerates. On a 1080Ti (which admittedly is still faster than the 2070), most games I've tested run at 90fps pretty constantly.

          1 vote
  2. [3]
    teaearlgraycold
    Link
    I'm not very invested in the story of Half-Life, so I don't mind that this isn't set after HL2. As far as the game itself, it looks like one of the best VR games to ever get produced. It might...

    I'm not very invested in the story of Half-Life, so I don't mind that this isn't set after HL2.

    As far as the game itself, it looks like one of the best VR games to ever get produced. It might actually get me to buy an Index headset.

    10 votes
    1. [2]
      ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      What makes you think this is of high production quality?

      What makes you think this is of high production quality?

      4 votes
      1. teaearlgraycold
        Link Parent
        The environments seem well constructed for the target platform. I see it as a narrative game properly adapted to VR. There's even some interesting-looking gun mechanics similar to HHH. Granted,...

        The environments seem well constructed for the target platform. I see it as a narrative game properly adapted to VR. There's even some interesting-looking gun mechanics similar to HHH.

        Granted, the video is very short and the shots could be a misrepresentation of the remainder of the game.

        7 votes
  3. TheJorro
    Link
    Geoff Keighley said that the game is a 15 hour campaign, so this is a full on game, not just a smaller Half-Life spinoff tech demo.

    Geoff Keighley said that the game is a 15 hour campaign, so this is a full on game, not just a smaller Half-Life spinoff tech demo.

    8 votes
  4. ThiccPad
    (edited )
    Link
    $60 on release, preorder gives 10% discount.

    Set between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2, Alyx Vance and her father Eli discover a secret that leads them into the heart of the Combine's occupation of City 17.

    As Alyx, give humanity its last chance for survival.
    https://half-life.com/alyx

    $60 on release, preorder gives 10% discount.

    6 votes
  5. moocow1452
    Link
    Obvious crack about Valve and the Number 3 aside, it looks pretty impressive. Curious if the world is ready for extended sessions in VR.

    Obvious crack about Valve and the Number 3 aside, it looks pretty impressive. Curious if the world is ready for extended sessions in VR.

    6 votes
  6. LukeZaz
    (edited )
    Link
    Honestly not super hyped right now. That's not to say I don't want this or that the trailer was at all disappointing – it was excellent – just that I'm not really feeling it yet. Might be due to...

    Honestly not super hyped right now. That's not to say I don't want this or that the trailer was at all disappointing – it was excellent – just that I'm not really feeling it yet. Might be due to the fact that I've been following the leaks since they started but it's hard to say.

    I'll edit this post to elaborate some when I get home.

    Edit: So, I got home, re-watched the trailer on my desktop computer instead of my tiny phone, and I take everything back. I am super excited.

    Still, it's worth noting I'm not excited because "Half-Life is back!"; as much as I am very happy that happened, I also did (as I said above) follow the leaks ever since Tyler McVicker first started talking about HLVR. After Valve first mentioned that they were working on VR titles, I felt pretty confident that HLVR would happen, and have ever since, so this never really surprised me. Even so however, this trailer looks AMAZING, and the gameplay even better. I'm really hoping I can save up enough to get an Index for this, because I really, really want to play it.

    6 votes
  7. [4]
    kfwyre
    Link
    Question from someone without a lot of VR experience: what is it like interacting with your hands with objects that aren't really there? For example, the opening shows the player's hand grabbing...

    Question from someone without a lot of VR experience: what is it like interacting with your hands with objects that aren't really there?

    For example, the opening shows the player's hand grabbing the side of a pillar while leaning around it, which looks quite cool in-game, but does it translate to real life at all? What's stopping your hand from just going right through the pillar? Does it feel real, or are you just awkwardly hovering your hand in the air since you can't really push off the pillar or use it for stabilizing yourself? Is the illusion convincing enough that it doesn't matter? Do the controllers have some sort of haptic feedback that helps with this?

    5 votes
    1. zlsa
      Link Parent
      In my experience, the game with the best VR interaction mechanics is Lone Echo, where you grab the environment and pull yourself through the game in zero-G. It feels a bit light and airy, but...

      In my experience, the game with the best VR interaction mechanics is Lone Echo, where you grab the environment and pull yourself through the game in zero-G. It feels a bit light and airy, but still very good. The controllers do have vibration motors, which really helps when implemented correctly in the game.

      In most "physics-based" games, your hands are actually simulated physics objects, and the position of your real-life hands (and controllers) is merely a suggestion. In some games, as your real hand goes through a wall that your virtual hand doesn't, the game will draw your real hand position as a ghostly outline, so you can always see the location of your real hands.

      I don't think it'll be a huge deal; many things in VR look weird or uncomfortable in videos, but feel totally normal in VR.

      5 votes
    2. papasquat
      Link Parent
      You get somewhat of a feeling of solidity in VR. Obviously you wouldn't be able to lean on stuff, but you unconsciously walk around tables and are careful not to hit your head on things that are...

      You get somewhat of a feeling of solidity in VR. Obviously you wouldn't be able to lean on stuff, but you unconsciously walk around tables and are careful not to hit your head on things that are in VR even though you go right through them. I've had the vive since it was released, and I still catch myself trying to lean on desks and walls every so often.

      4 votes
    3. Deimos
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      It can be a little strange sometimes, but the level of immersion is usually really good overall, even when things don't "feel" quite right or you should really know that it's not matching up with...

      It can be a little strange sometimes, but the level of immersion is usually really good overall, even when things don't "feel" quite right or you should really know that it's not matching up with reality. I haven't been able to try them yet, but I imagine the Valve Index controllers will be even better for hand interactions since you can completely let them go and they stay attached to your hands.

      There was a good article in Eurogamer earlier this week related to this: A new Half-Life would have to be VR, which talks about the immersion level. It starts off with a story about something that happened to multiple people that I've seen others mention in the past too: hitting your head on the floor while trying to look through an opening in a game. Everyone should know perfectly well that doing it can't be possible, but it's so easy to get immersed enough that you try anyway.

      4 votes
  8. [19]
    ntgg
    Link
    I really wish that VR wasn't like a $3,000 + room investment. It is probably gonna be at least 5 years until I could maybe play this, when hopefully the price comes down and I hopefully move into...

    I really wish that VR wasn't like a $3,000 + room investment. It is probably gonna be at least 5 years until I could maybe play this, when hopefully the price comes down and I hopefully move into a place with close to enough room. Looks like the most compelling experience other than Beat Saber to use VR for me though.

    2 votes
    1. [3]
      seizethegoddamngap
      Link Parent
      You can get a VR ready PC + HMD for under $1000 now.

      You can get a VR ready PC + HMD for under $1000 now.

      8 votes
      1. [2]
        clone1
        Link Parent
        I wish more people understood this. Everyone's like "Cool but I'm not a millionare", but the reality is it's far cheaper to get into vr than it used to be. $600 pc (if you don't have one) plus...

        I wish more people understood this. Everyone's like "Cool but I'm not a millionare", but the reality is it's far cheaper to get into vr than it used to be. $600 pc (if you don't have one) plus $400 headset.

        5 votes
        1. Tygrak
          Link Parent
          But that's a lot for a huge amount of people, in most places except the US and a few countries in west Europe. For me it's like a quarter of what I earned in a year. Looking forward to when VR is...

          But that's a lot for a huge amount of people, in most places except the US and a few countries in west Europe. For me it's like a quarter of what I earned in a year. Looking forward to when VR is accessible for people not in the US.

          4 votes
    2. Nexu
      Link Parent
      Do you have a desktop computer with a CPU made in the past 5 years? At least 8GB RAM? You're over half way there. Samsung Odyssey+ is $250 new from Samsung right now.[1] You can get an NVIDIA RTX...

      Do you have a desktop computer with a CPU made in the past 5 years? At least 8GB RAM?
      You're over half way there.

      • Samsung Odyssey+ is $250 new from Samsung right now.[1]

      • You can get an NVIDIA RTX 2060 SUPER for about $400 and that will allow you to run most titles at a solid 90FPS.[2]

      • $650 and you've basically got the essence of the current VR experience that is available. Improvements to this setup would be a higher spec HMD like the Index, with external tracking using lighthouse/basestations, and a controller with finger tracking like Knuckles. But this is all extra.[3]


      • [1] I have this HMD. It's great; easily the best value headset available right now. The tracking is fine, but of course you will get better results with external lighthouse/basestation trackers.

      • [2] I currently use a GTX970; so a lot lower spec than current ideal builds for VR. Lots of games struggle at higher quality settings, but I still enjoy these games if I bump the settings down. I also feel the 90FPS rule of thumb is wildly overblown; I play most of the time on 50-60FPS for multiple hour sessions and I'm none the wiser. It's crowd mentality repeating magic numbers and convincing themselves and others that it's impossible to enjoy VR below 90FPS. That's just not true. The point I'm making here is that, regardless of your opinion on FPS in VR you can get a card that has been benchmarked with good performance for about $400 dollars right now.

      • [3] This is of course hugely subjective and really boils down to what you want out of the experience. I'd argue that you can get a great experience with a current "mid-range" setup like the one I described above. Personally, I don't think the difference between the Samsung Odyssey+ and Valve Index HMDs are enough to warrant the price difference. However, of all these extras I would say the biggest impact comes from good 360 hand tracking with external lighthouse/basestation sensors, and the finger tracking of the knuckles.

      5 votes
    3. [13]
      zlsa
      Link Parent
      VR is expensive, but you don't need a $3000 monster PC. You can build a very capable VR-capable PC for ~$1300 (and I'm sure <$1000 if you waited for sales,) and you can buy the Oculus Rift S (a...

      VR is expensive, but you don't need a $3000 monster PC. You can build a very capable VR-capable PC for ~$1300 (and I'm sure <$1000 if you waited for sales,) and you can buy the Oculus Rift S (a very good midrange VR headset) for $399 (or $349 during Black Friday,) bringing the total to <$1700. (Plus, if you already have a gaming PC, it's quite possible you can just upgrade the CPU and GPU and bring that up to spec.)

      Disclaimer: that build was thrown together in a few minutes and is not tested in any way. It does exceed min spec for most VR games by a good margin, though.

      4 votes
      1. [9]
        aymm
        Link Parent
        My personal issue is that Oculus belongs to facebook though, and the only good alternative I know of is the Vive

        My personal issue is that Oculus belongs to facebook though, and the only good alternative I know of is the Vive

        4 votes
        1. [7]
          tesseractcat
          Link Parent
          What about the Windows Mixed Reality headsets? Those are decent and very affordable.

          What about the Windows Mixed Reality headsets? Those are decent and very affordable.

          3 votes
          1. aymm
            Link Parent
            I have to admit I haven't taken a closer look at them yet. Partly because I currently don't have space for a decent VR/AR setup, so I've been following the developments in the space, but only loosely

            I have to admit I haven't taken a closer look at them yet. Partly because I currently don't have space for a decent VR/AR setup, so I've been following the developments in the space, but only loosely

            3 votes
          2. [5]
            spctrvl
            Link Parent
            I own one of those. The headset itself is fine, but the controllers kind of suck at tracking. They hardly work at all with your hands out of LoS, and the tracking is best described as serviceable...

            I own one of those. The headset itself is fine, but the controllers kind of suck at tracking. They hardly work at all with your hands out of LoS, and the tracking is best described as serviceable when your hands are in LoS. I'd like to get some index controllers to replace them, but when you add the base stations that's like $600.

            1 vote
            1. [4]
              tesseractcat
              Link Parent
              I disagree, I have a Lenovo Explorer and the tracking is fine. The tracking is basically perfect with my hands in LOS, and they track fine for like 2 seconds or so out of LoS. This could be a...

              I disagree, I have a Lenovo Explorer and the tracking is fine. The tracking is basically perfect with my hands in LOS, and they track fine for like 2 seconds or so out of LoS. This could be a Bluetooth issue on your end, since I've had some issues as well, and when the Bluetooth connection is bad the controllers get kind of glitchy, they'll periodically stop tracking, act slidey and vibrate a little bit. If you're using a Bluetooth adapter, make sure it's not plugged into a USB 3.0 port, as it can cause interference. It could also be a lighting issue, make sure your environment is varied enough and there aren't any large reflective surfaces like mirrors.

              I'd warn against using Lighthouse stations + Index Controllers with a WMR headset, because while it is technically possible, from what I've read you have to sync the tracking coordinate systems every time you want to play, and overall it's a pain.

              2 votes
              1. [3]
                spctrvl
                Link Parent
                I've done all of those things, room lighting/variance isn't the issue as I've tried it in a bunch of locations, the headset itself always tracks fine, and the controllers are always a little...

                I've done all of those things, room lighting/variance isn't the issue as I've tried it in a bunch of locations, the headset itself always tracks fine, and the controllers are always a little squirrely. I've also only used the USB 2 ports for bluetooth, and tried all of them, plus on a USB extension cable; the latter probably helped things the most, but tracking still wasn't great. I guess it's possible the bluetooth adapter I've got is just crap, I picked a recommended one but I could always have gotten a dud, and it's the last variable. Admittedly, I haven't used the headset in several months for other reasons, so I haven't bothered to get another one to see if that was the issue, especially since I didn't know my tracking was supposed to be better.

                Thanks for the heads up on the index controller thing. Honestly I don't think it even makes sense financially, even if it were flawless technically. You'd end up saving maybe $200 on a $1000 setup in exchange for a lower quality headset.

                2 votes
                1. [2]
                  tesseractcat
                  Link Parent
                  Yeah, I've always had some issues getting the tracking working well. Another thing that helped was updating Windows, updating to 1903 fixed a lot of the tracking issues I had before. Regardless, I...

                  Yeah, I've always had some issues getting the tracking working well. Another thing that helped was updating Windows, updating to 1903 fixed a lot of the tracking issues I had before. Regardless, I think that all the WMR headsets should have shipped with a Bluetooth adapter builtin, like the Odyssey+ headsets.

                  2 votes
                  1. spctrvl
                    Link Parent
                    That might be my issue then, I don't believe I've used my headset or even booted into my windows install since before that update! And yes, they absolutely should have. That and integrated...

                    Another thing that helped was updating Windows, updating to 1903 fixed a lot of the tracking issues I had before.

                    That might be my issue then, I don't believe I've used my headset or even booted into my windows install since before that update! And yes, they absolutely should have. That and integrated rechargeable batteries for the controllers, fiddling with rechargeable AAs makes me feel like a time traveler, and not in a cool way.

                    2 votes
        2. zlsa
          Link Parent
          The Vive is now $400 for a refurbished unit (as it's been discontinued by HTC); if you don't mind Microsoft, you can get a WMR headset for <$300 and often ~$150 (but it won't be as good all-around...

          The Vive is now $400 for a refurbished unit (as it's been discontinued by HTC); if you don't mind Microsoft, you can get a WMR headset for <$300 and often ~$150 (but it won't be as good all-around as a Rift S, Vive, or Index.)

          2 votes
      2. [3]
        Jedi
        Link Parent
        What price range would I be looking at if I wanted to hit 120Hz for the Index?

        What price range would I be looking at if I wanted to hit 120Hz for the Index?

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          seizethegoddamngap
          Link Parent
          That would put you into the $3,000 PC territory for sure.

          That would put you into the $3,000 PC territory for sure.

          4 votes
          1. zlsa
            Link Parent
            Remember, you can always lower the render scale in SteamVR's settings. This will (obviously) lead to games being blurrier, but it dramatically lightens the render load, and it still doesn't look...

            Remember, you can always lower the render scale in SteamVR's settings. This will (obviously) lead to games being blurrier, but it dramatically lightens the render load, and it still doesn't look too bad.

            1 vote
    4. ThiccPad
      Link Parent
      The game can be played on a seat or the usual analog stick, or body movement.

      The game can be played on a seat or the usual analog stick, or body movement.

      1 vote
  9. [2]
    Happy_Shredder
    Link
    Looks cool. I'm disappointed it's VR; I'm yet to try any VR tech that doesn't look like shit.

    Looks cool. I'm disappointed it's VR; I'm yet to try any VR tech that doesn't look like shit.

    1 vote
    1. zlsa
      Link Parent
      What VR headsets have you used? I've used the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift CV1, and Oculus Quest; and I don't think any of them "look like shit" at all.

      What VR headsets have you used? I've used the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift CV1, and Oculus Quest; and I don't think any of them "look like shit" at all.

      9 votes
  10. ThiccPad
    Link
    Still waiting for episode 3...

    Still waiting for episode 3...

    2 votes
  11. Wendigo
    Link
    I need to get a sugar daddy....

    I need to get a sugar daddy....

    1 vote