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
Add your own comment

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

#26
Octavean
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 .

This is a prequel to HL2, calling it HL3 would be odd IMO.
Which is why I said Valve can’t count to 3,....

Valve went from HL 1 to HL 2 to HL 1.5,....

Shall we try it with Team Fortress now,....? How about “Portal” or “Left 4 Dead” (and no, the “4” in the title of “Left 4 Dead” doesn’t count because they skipped “3”,... :) )


We know why Valve went with a prequel. This is not HL3 and at this point the expectations for HL3 would be off the charts. ValVe wanted something that they could resurrect out of their exclusive game library that would generate demand for the tech that they collaborated on with HTC as well as their in-house Valve Index. The fact that their Valve Index initiative sold out not once but twice since Half-Life: Alyx was announced (as well as other HMDs from other manufacturer being difficult to keep in stock) seems to suggest they got what they wanted.

Grudgingly or not, I’d have to say that’s not bad for a company that can’t count to 3,....

Imouto
The praise comes from VR evangelists starved for content. It is just one gimmick after another.
I'm going to go ahead and agree that there haven't been enough full featured full length VR games. Certainly not in the same category as the Half-Life franchise.

However, I can't speak to that which I have not experienced so I can't say whether or not Half-Life: Alyx is worthy of praise from a gaming perspective. I can say its one of the games I really want to try though. As far as I can tell there are a lot of people who want to try this game with specificity.
Posted on Reply
#27
Regeneration
NGOHQ.COM
Octavean
I'm going to go ahead and agree that there haven't been enough full featured full length VR games. Certainly not in the same category as the Half-Life franchise.
The VR userbase isn't big enough to hit mainstream and be financially worthy for AAA titles developers/publishers. 1.3 million out of 90 million is 1.7 percent.

First of, you need high-end hardware that is VR capable.

And then you have Oculus, a start up that was financed by crowdfunding, then sold to Facebook, and HTC Vive selling VR kits in a rip off price.

VR has a negative reputation of "extremely over-priced gimmick like 3D glasses".

Half-Life Alyx could be a good promoter for VR, but the prices must go down.

Even the budget ones (Lenovo, Odyssey) are in the 300+ range at the moment and out of stock.
Posted on Reply
#28
Octavean
Regeneration
The VR userbase isn't big enough to hit mainstream and be financially worthy for AAA titles developers/publishers. 1.3 million out of 90 million is 1.7 percent.

First of, you need high-end hardware that is VR capable.

And then you have Oculus, a start up that was financed by crowdfunding, then sold to Facebook, and HTC Vive selling VR kits in a rip off price.

VR has a negative reputation of "extremely over-priced gimmick like 3D glasses".

Half-Life Alyx could be a good promoter for VR, but the prices must go down.

Even the budget ones (Lenovo, Odyssey) are in the 300+ range at the moment and out of stock.
I don’t disagree with those numbers.

However I won’t sign on to an assertion beyond that. You do not need high-end PC hardware and you do not need a high-end HMD, this is just false. This assertion is just as wrong as saying you need a high-end 4K, 6K or 8K monitor to play typical PC games and it’s also just as wrong as saying you need a high-end RTX 2080 Ti or Super to play PC games. Nor does one need the best HMD that money can buy to play VR games. One might want the best but one does not need the best to play VR titles.

There are plenty of gamers using 1080p monitors or even lower resolutions as well as entry level video cards or midrange video cards Etc,.....and there is nothing wrong with that! Naturally you get a better experience if you have more money to burn but that is often true of many (but not all) things.

It’s also worth pointing out that it might be more expensive to source some computer hardware in some countries with respect to others, so there may be regional consideration. Timing can also be an issue. There is also the issue that not everyone has the same tolerance to pain when it come to what is and isn’t considered expensive.

As for VR games, it’s clear there needs to be some work done here especially so for AAA. However, there are some really enjoyable titles out there that yield some great experiences. I don’t know for certain that Half-Life: Alyx is one of them but I suspect that it is.

I would like to buy Half-Life: Alyx and Doom Eternal right now but I’m a little hesitant to drop ~$120 USD on video games just now. If the Economy slows and there are signs everywhere that it is, then the prudent thing is to be a little more conservative with the spending. I’m not used to spending ~$120 USD on a couple of video games at the best of times. Truth be told I often wait for games to drop in price.

I wouldn’t spend ~$500 to ~$1000 USD for an Index or any other HMD and I’m sure many other people wouldn’t either. None of this changes the fact that Valve was selling out of their ~$1000 HMD offering though. Therefore there is a demand for it regardless of what we might say or feel about it.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment