Valve announces new ‘Half-Life’ game


Illustration by Lillie Busch.

“Half-Life” fans everywhere can finally be excited for another entry into the series. On Nov. 18, Valve announced a new “Half-Life” game “Half-Life: ALYX.”

“ALYX” is the first “Half-Life” game to be released since “Half-Life 2: Episode Two” in 2007. The announcement trailer was released on Nov. 21.

“ALYX” is going to be a virtual reality game. The game’s Steam page says a VR headset is required to play the game, which will allow the player to play the game in many new ways. VR gameplay will allow the player to rummage through shelves to find healing supplies and ammo.

“ALYX” is set between the first “Half-Life” and “Half-Life 2.” From what it looks like in the trailer, the game focuses on the start of the resistance against the game’s enemy, the Combine Empire

‘Half-Life’ starts the series off with an event called the Black Mesa Incident, where aliens from another dimension invade the earth. 

Between the first and second game, a war between humans and the Combine, called the Seven Hour Hour, takes place where the Combine take control of the earth.

You play as Alyx Vance, a woman who was young during the Black Mesa Incident. Alyx’s father is Eli Vance, a scientist at Black Mesa and a major character in the “Half-Life” series.

The official website says the Vances are relocated to City 17, the main location of “Half-Life 2.” The father and daughter continue their scientific activity to create weapons and conduct research to fight the Combine. 

What I noticed from the announcement trailer is the voices for Alyx and Eli are different from the rest of the games. It was reported that the voice of Alyx was changed because she is younger than she is in the other games. 

Eli’s voice was changed because original voice actor Robert Guillaume died in 2017.

The beginning of the trailer has “headcrabs,” little creatures that latch onto people and turn them into zombies. Headcrabs are scary enough in the normal “Half-Life” games, so having one sneak up on you in VR is going to be even worse.

One of the first scenes shows City 17 with the prominent Citadel under construction by the Combine. From the start, the trailer makes it seem like the point of the game is to find a superweapon that can take down the Combine and rescue Eli Vance.

A few examples of the puzzles that “Half-Life” is famous for are shown. Combat through the use of VR is also shown, having the player in the trailer heal themselves and shoot at zombies from behind a wall.

At one point, the trailer shows the player throwing a cup at a soldier and making them stumble; it will be interesting to see how VR plays out in the “Half-Life” universe.

If you own or buy a Valve Index VR Kit before the end of 2019, “Half-Life: ALYX” will appear in your game library for free in March 2020. Other offers given for owning a Valve Index include a “Half-Life: ALYX” theme for the SteamVR Home space, alternate gun skins for the game and special “ALYX”-themed content for “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.”  

For the time being, “Half-Life: ALYX” is going to be released for PC only in Mach 2020.

In an interview, an employee of Valve said the group would have to see how fans react to “Half-Life: ALYX” before they promise any more games in the series.