Valve Announces Half-Life: Alyx, Its First Flagship VR Game Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Safari Cracked In China’s White-Hat Hacker Competition
Nov 21

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: After a tease earlier this week, Valve has revealed more details and a new trailer for the first new Half-Life content in over a decade. The “full-length” Half Life: Alyx will hit Steam in March 2020, Valve says, with support for “all PC-based VR headsets.” Pre-orders are already available for $59.99, though the game will be free if you own a Valve Index headset. The game, which Valve says is “set between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2,” has been “designed from the ground up for Virtual Reality” (i.e. you can stop hoping for a 2D monitor release). “Everyone at Valve is excited to be returning to the world of Half-Life,” Valve founder Gabe Newell said in a statement. “VR has energized us.”

Today’s video trailer shows that next year’s Alyx-ization of Half-Life is equal parts abstract and concrete. The VR perspective from today’s trailer doesn’t include any floating body parts or feet; the only part of your virtual self you’ll see, at least in today’s trailer, is your hands, covered in a pair of gloves. Yet we also hear Alyx’s voice, which indicates that this game’s protagonist won’t be nearly as silent as Freeman in his own mainline adventures. Today’s announcement includes video footage that confirms a data-leak examination by Valve News Network earlier this year: a new manipulation system dubbed the Gravity Gloves. And boy do these things look cool. Need to grab or pick something up? Point at whatever that object is (whether it’s close or far away) with an open hand until it glows orange, then close your hand and flick your wrist toward yourself to fling the item in your direction. At this point, you get a moment to physically “catch” the object in question. Point, clench, flick, catch.

Today’s trailer also confirms bits and pieces of the exciting HLA details I’ve previously heard about from multiple sources. For instance, the trailer includes teases of the game’s approach to VR-exclusive puzzles, particularly those that require moving hands around a three-dimensional space. Some of these puzzles will require scanning and finding clues hidden inside of the virtual world’s walls (and moving or knocking down anything hindering your ability to see or touch said walls). Other puzzles will require arranging what look like constellations or grids of stars around a 3D space in order to match certain patterns. And then there’s the matter of familiar Half-Life creatures coming to life for the first time in over 12 years, which means they’re that much more detailed and gruesome as rendered in the Source 2 engine. The Half-Life website specifies that this game can be played sitting, standing, or with “roomscale” movement. Players can use finger-tracking or trigger-based VR controllers and move around the VR environments by “teleporting” from point A to point B, “shifting” smoothly to a new position, or just walking continuously with an analog stick.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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