Monday, March 23rd 2020

Half Life: Alyx Now Released for VR Systems, Receives Acclaim in Reviews

Valve's Half Life: Alyx has been finally released, after the company first teased, and then unwrapped the game back in November 2019. Half Life: Alyx has been completely developed for the VR gaming crown, with a focus on execution that meant for it to finally be VR's killer app - much like Halo was for the original Xbox. Valve describes the game as a full-length release in the Half Life universe, slotting in the 20-year time gap between the events of the original Half Life and Half Life 2.

Of course, to play this game, you need a PC-based VR headset to play the game through Steam. The game has received rave reviews already, featuring a 93 Metacritic score based on 24 critic reviews, and an 8.2 user score. Give it some time before actually looking for guidance in that user review score, though. Valve founder Gabe Newell had this to say: "Half-Life: Alyx represents the culmination of Valve's technological advancement over the past few years. We have built SteamVR, our game engine, our tools, and VR hardware specifically to enable us to ship the best content we know how to create. Today, as we ship Alyx remotely from our homes, we are hoping that everyone stays safe and has a great time playing the game. Please let us know what you think."
Source: Metacritic
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28 Comments on Half Life: Alyx Now Released for VR Systems, Receives Acclaim in Reviews

#1
Regeneration
NGOHQ.COM
A game for the 1% that can afford a VR headset. Still more expensive than my entire PC.
Posted on Reply
#2
brutlern
I'll wait for the standard non-VR FPS version. (Never gonna happen though :p)
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#3
Octavean
Regeneration
A game for the 1% that can afford a VR headset. Still more expensive than my entire PC.
Well how much did your entire PC cost,...?

A Samsung Odyssey+ Windows Mixed Reality HMD probably cost about ~$260 USD with controllers, possibly less. WMR HMD models work fine with Half Life: Alyx. In fact there is every indication that the Valve Dev team went above and beyond to give the best possible gaming experience on a wide variety of HMDs not just the Valve Index. The game is essentially PC VR HMD agnostic. Very different from a something like an Oculus Rift exclusive.

So unless your entire PC cost less then ~$260 USD your statement isn't accurate. If your PC does in fact cost less then ~$260 USD then it likely wouldn't play modern games very well either way.
Posted on Reply
#4
Vayra86
Octavean
Well how much did your entire PC cost,...?

A Samsung Odyssey+ Windows Mixed Reality HMD probably cost about ~$260 USD with controllers, possibly less. WMR HMD models work fine with Half Life: Alyx. In fact there is every indication that the Valve Dev team went above and beyond to give the best possible gaming experience on a wide variety of HMDs not just the Valve Index. The game is essentially PC VR HMD agnostic. Very different from a something like an Oculus Rift exclusive.

So unless your entire PC cost less then ~$260 USD your statement isn't accurate. If your PC does in fact cost less then ~$260 USD then it likely wouldn't play modern games very well either way.
Interesting and informative! Thx
Posted on Reply
#5
Regeneration
NGOHQ.COM
Octavean
Well how much did your entire PC cost,...?

A Samsung Odyssey+ Windows Mixed Reality HMD probably cost about ~$260 USD with controllers, possibly less. WMR HMD models work fine with Half Life: Alyx. In fact there is every indication that the Valve Dev team went above and beyond to give the best possible gaming experience on a wide variety of HMDs not just the Valve Index. The game is essentially PC VR HMD agnostic. Very different from a something like an Oculus Rift exclusive.

So unless your entire PC cost less then ~$260 USD your statement isn't accurate. If your PC does in fact cost less then ~$260 USD then it likely wouldn't play modern games very well either way.
The item you listed is $370 on Amazon (new) and seems to be getting mixed reviews.

There was $279 promotion on Microsoft Store, but it is over now. Item out of stock.

The hign-end brands (Oculus, HTC Vive) are a lot more expensive. 999 Euros for Cosmos Elite.
Posted on Reply
#6
xkm1948
Regeneration
A game for the 1% that can afford a VR headset. Still more expensive than my entire PC.
False.

Mostly good WMR are $200~$300

Rift S which is pretty premium quality was $399 and had lots of sales from time to time

Valve Index is top of the line hence why it costs $1000

HTC is pretty much irrelevant at this point: high price for low spec and yet they wonder why they keep loosing market shares.


Also, I would not call 1.3 million active VR users "the 1% of steam"
www.roadtovr.com/analysis-monthly-connected-vr-headsets-on-steam-record-high/
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#7
u2konline
So when is a new half life gaming and more important Left 4 Dead 3? and what the hell happen to their card game and why not just release a offline version? come on get with it Valve.
Posted on Reply
#8
Regeneration
NGOHQ.COM
xkm1948
Mostly good WMR are $200~$300
Fine, please recommend one that gets 4.5+ user's ratings in that price range.
Posted on Reply
#9
xkm1948
Regeneration
Fine, please recommend one that gets 4+ user's ratings in that price range.
www.amazon.com/Samsung-Electronics-Wireless-Controllers-XE800ZBA-HC1US/dp/B07HS7R1RT

virtualreality/comments/9spss7
buildapcsales/comments/egmnxe
u2konline
So when is a new half life gaming and more important Left 4 Dead 3? and what the hell happen to their card game and why not just release a offline version? come on get with it Valve.
This IS the new Half Life game
Posted on Reply
#10
Regeneration
NGOHQ.COM
That's $70 above the price range and seems to be getting a lot of negative feedback too.
Posted on Reply
#11
Octavean
xkm1948
False.

Mostly good WMR are $200~$300

Rift S which is pretty premium quality was $399 and had lots of sales from time to time

Valve Index is top of the line hence why it costs $1000

HTC is pretty much irrelevant at this point: high price for low spec and yet they wonder why they keep loosing market shares.
Quite right!

I'll also add this link"Half-Life Alyx Hands-On! Tested on 8 VR Headsets" which helps drive home the point that you don't need a specific HMD to play:


The Valve Index is the best option but again as you said if you want the best then you have have pay for it. Everyone should be able to understand that. Just because there is a superior option doesn't mean no other option exists.

Would I like to have an RTX 2080 Ti, sure but I'm unwilling to spend RTX 2080 Ti money for said card. So I have to settle for something more in the realm of an RTX 2060 Super or 2070 Super,...(whenever I upgrade assuming I don't wait for Ampere or a more affordable version of Ampere)

These are still good options. No need to abstain from playing PC video games because I won't pay for an RTX 2080 TI. That's just nuts,....
Posted on Reply
#12
xkm1948
Regeneration
That's $70 above the price range and seems to be getting a lot of negative feedback too.
Before COVID19 it was constantly on sale around $250.

If you are trying to find negative you will ALWAYS find negative.

Seems you already has a strong attitude against VR. In that case I say don’t even bother spending money as nothing will satisfy you anyway
Posted on Reply
#13
Octavean
u2konline
So when is a new half life gaming and more important Left 4 Dead 3? and what the hell happen to their card game and why not just release a offline version? come on get with it Valve.
Valve can't count to 3,........
Posted on Reply
#14
Regeneration
NGOHQ.COM
xkm1948
Before COVID19 it was constantly on sale around $250.

If you are trying to find negative you will ALWAYS find negative.

Seems you already has a strong attitude against VR. In that case I say don’t even bother spending money as nothing will satisfy you anyway
There is some serious flaming on Samsung site regarding that headset.

I never experienced VR, and for me it's a gizmo like 3D glasses. If they want to prove its the real deal, prices must be in a reasonable range.

$500-1000 for a HMD is a rip off. I won't spend that much on something that may disappoint me.
Posted on Reply
#15
Octavean
xkm1948
Before COVID19 it was constantly on sale around $250.

If you are trying to find negative you will ALWAYS find negative.

Seems you already has a strong attitude against VR. In that case I say don’t even bother spending money as nothing will satisfy you anyway
I see Half-Life: Alyx and its reception as a Logic Tree.

There are a few main branches individuals will likely fall into:

1) Gamers with an existing interest in VR and just about any upcoming VR game
2) Gamers with an existing interest in Half-Life and just about any upcoming HL game

Natrually there can be some overlap here.

At this point most of us would have had to have been living under a rock not to know that a new Half-Life game was inbound. Living under a rock isn't necessarily a bad thing figuratively speaking given the current situation we find ourselves in.

Having said that, very few of us can likely say we were caught unaware. People with VR HMD's made their choice to opt into VR. People without VR HMD's made their choice to opt out of VR. People who thought that they needed a $1000 HMD to play Half-Life: Alyx were woefully misinformed and that might have effected their choice when the getting was good for the lower cost HMD's.

However, it should be noted that the announcement of Half-Life: Alyx caused a number of HMD's capable of playing it to go out of stock,......for an extended period of time. Those in the know were at an advantage there. Looking for a cost effected option on or near the release of Half-Life: Alyx would seem to be folly.

From a post I made in in other forum in August 2018:
Lenovo Explorer G0A20001WW Black VR Headset

»www.newegg.com/Product/P ··· -Product

Cheapest I have seen so far for a WMR HMD. Marked down from ~$349.99 USD to ~$99. That is without the controllers though,...

With Controllers its a solid ~$199.
There is no question that there were and still are cheaper options out there.

Again we are in trying times and unfortunately some things will be more expensive as well as unavailable. We should be thankful if its just the luxury items rather then the necessities.

There are a lot of people who were going to be ticked-off because they were waiting for a new HL game and want nothing to do with VR. So there is a "possibility" that many who are negative about HL:A are coming from there. You can't sell them on VR so don't even try,.....
Posted on Reply
#16
KainXS
I have the odyssey+ and have had the rift S and used a Pimax 5k and I would say the only complaint I have is the controllers for the odyssey+(and most WMR) are annoying but you can use different controllers with most headsets anyway. The Rift S and odyssey both have their pros and cons but I would say neither is bad, just different but you definitely don't need to go buy an HMD that costs 1000 dollars or have a 2080ti or something to play VR games.
Posted on Reply
#17
Regeneration
NGOHQ.COM
Glad to hear the Odyssey+ isn't that bad.

RTX 2080 Ti is for 4K, maximum quality, ray-tracing gaming. There are plenty of awesome cards in the 100-300 USD range.

Now with VR, you have most known players, Oculus and HTC Vive, selling VR headsets in insane prices. What costed them 50-100 bucks to produce, they sell for 500-1000 USD.

I'm a stand up kind of a guy, I wouldn't touch VR for a rip off price.

I'll wait for a new stock and grab something in the 200 price range.
Posted on Reply
#18
Mussels
Moderprator
Regeneration
Fine, please recommend one that gets 4.5+ user's ratings in that price range.
they wont, because people are tech snobs.

I had a HP WMR with poor reviews and had zero problems using it
Rift S has poor reviews because of tracking issues at launch that got resolved

both let me competitively play VR games with no issues, despite being 'budget' and lower rated options
Posted on Reply
#19
Octavean
Currently any HMD that uses inside-out tracking rather then outside-in will experience some level of occlusion of the hand controllers (in specific situation). Still, the overall experience should be fairly good and about ~90 to ~95% as good as more robust outside-in tracking options,...give or take.

Having said that, it seems a little unrealistic to buy even one of the cheaper HMDs just to play one specific game like HL:A.

People who buy a gaming PC usually do so because they love games “Plural“ and want to play games,....not one specific game. Likewise one would think that people that buy a gaming console do so because they primarily want to play games “Plural”. You don’t really get much of a return on investment with that kind of singular focus of one specific game. Someone that bought a VR HMD way before HL:A and played many games before its release with plans of playing many VR games after its release would clearly get more out of their HMD purchase.

Even a relatively cheap ~$200 to ~$300 HMD is relatively expensive if the whole purpose for buying it is for one game rather then a plethora of VR games.
Posted on Reply
#20
Mussels
Moderprator
Anyway: my systems beefed up, my VR is ready, just awaiting my next pay to grab alyx ($85 Au!)
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#21
The Quim Reaper
Please let us know what you think.
..I really don't think you'd want to hear what I think about Valve's treatment of Half Life and its fans for the last 15yrs, Pal.
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#22
Houd.ini
This is the push that VR gaming and game developers need, hopefully. HMDs and controllers are going to get less expensive as soon as the market picks up .
Octavean
Valve can't count to 3,........
This is a prequel to HL2, calling it HL3 would be odd IMO.
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#23
Nater
and now I'm even more confused as to what to buy (if at all, sounds like the market needs to mature still) to get into VR gaming.

*edit*

I predict(wish) Nintendo makes a HUGE splash here in the next 3 years. Hopefully they don't turtle up and go mobile only.
Posted on Reply
#24
Mussels
Moderprator
Nater
and now I'm even more confused as to what to buy (if at all, sounds like the market needs to mature still) to get into VR gaming.

*edit*

I predict(wish) Nintendo makes a HUGE splash here in the next 3 years. Hopefully they don't turtle up and go mobile only.
Rift S is my big pusher for the best value offering and getting into VR, not needing external tracking is a hell of a huge assist - the only negative is it can be fussy with USB support (example: my B450 board has 3 seperate USB 3.x controllers, and only two of the rear ports work correctly. once you learn which ports work fine, its very simple to work around that)
Posted on Reply
#25
Imouto
The praise comes from VR evangelists starved for content. It is just one gimmick after another.
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