Half-Life: Alyx, the VR game set in the long dormant shooter franchise, may not have been what some fans wanted and expected when they heard a new game in the series was coming, but Valve says that this game signals a proper return to this universe for the company’s development teams.
“We absolutely see Half-Life: Alyx as our return to this world, not the end of it,” Valve developer Robin Walker told Game Informer.
In the interview, Walker said that developers on the Alyx team all started at Valve at different points in the company’s history, meaning the team’s experience with the Half-Life series ranged from seasoned veterans to having only ever worked on the series in VR. Having done so, the team is eager to live in this world a little bit longer, in whatever form that may turn out to be.
“Half-Life means a lot to us, and it’s been incredibly rewarding to refamiliarize ourselves with its characters, setting, and mechanics,” Walker said. “There are Half-Life: Alyx team members who have been at Valve since Half-Life 2, and quite a few who go back to the original Half-Life. There are also people on the team for whom Half-Life: Alyx is their first time working on this series at all – and many of them certainly hope it’s not the last.”
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Whether this is the long-awaited Half-Life 3 is yet to be seen. The hypothetical sequel has ascended to meme status over the past 13 years since the launch of Half-Life 2: Episode Two left the series on a cliffhanger that seemed like it would never get resolved. But it does mean that fans should at least be hopeful that something else is coming, Half-Life 3 or not. Walker said it would be good for fans to touch up on Half-Life 2: Episode Two’s story before playing Alyx, but whether that means there’s closure coming for fans eager to know what happened after is unclear at this point.
Unfortunately for some of us, since the game is in VR that means we can’t all play it without getting horrible motion sickness. Did the game have to be in VR? Probably not, but Walker says that Alyx began through experimenting with Half-Life 2 assets in VR, so it was just a natural progression from messing around with the tech to making the game that is coming out.
“It was very clear from those first experiments that VR was going to be very fertile ground for Half-Life,” Walker said. “So in the simplest sense, the game feels like Half-Life because it is Half-Life. VR has opened up a lot of new avenues to expand Half-Life’s existing framework as well as introduce plenty of brand-new ideas, but those underlying bones are unmistakable.”
Whatever Alyx brings to the Half-Life universe, fans won’t have to wait much longer, as the game will launch on March 23.