Valve has updated Half-Life: Alyx with three hours of in-game developer commentary. This is a free update for all owners of the game. Players can have all the disembodied hand VR gameplay they had before, but they can now take little time-outs to enjoy the developers’ insights on the creation of the game.
Enabling commentary mode will allow 147 points of interest to appear in the game. Just grab the floating radio headset and place it on your in-game head to listen to the track. Valve warns that it was all recorded during quarantine, so participants had to make do with their home setups. Some of it is not consistently crisp sounding due to these circumstances, but if you listened to the commentary in previous Valve games like Portal 2, you’ll know that the quality of the content is what matters.
Half-Life: Alyx, Valve’s return to the universe of headcrabs and Combine radio static may be great, but if you don’t have the VR gear, you can’t play it. Don’t fret about missing out on the greatest Half-Life since Lost Coast. Valve’s Robin Walker fully expects someone clever will mod the game so even the non-VR plebs will be able to play it. In an interview with VGC, Walker says he’s looking forward to it, because he thinks it will make people appreciate what the studio did even more.
“As a result, what I’m confident will happen is that when people get that butchered version, and they’ll have lost all the things that we’ll have got from moving to VR, they will then understand very clearly why we made that choice.”
You don’t miss what you never had. Later in the exchange, Robin Walker says whether or not Valve’s next Half-Life story is VR-exclusive will depend on the reaction to Alyx.
Valve announced Half-Life: Alyx, the next “full-length” chapter in the saga. It’s not Half-Life 3, or even Half-Life 2: Episode 3, but it’s probably the best we’re going to get. Unfortunately, it’s exclusively a VR game, so fans of City 17 and The Combine will need to own hundreds of dollars worth of extra hardware to play it.
For those that do have a PC-based VR headset, Half-Life: Alyx will take players on a prequel story to Half-Life 2. Alyx Vance, armed with groovy “gravity gloves” and chatty quips, swats leaping headcrabs out of the air like a champ.
Owners of the Valve Index headset will get the game for free when it launches in March 2020. If you’re in the mood to see more, Geoff Keighley of The Game Awards has already posted a behind-the-scenes video.
Valve just updated Half-Life. The small patch addresses a couple of longstanding crash issues, and absolutely does not hide a clue about Half-Life 3 in the game. If you shimmy along the cliff level in Half-Life and look near the third stubby rock just before the helicopter fight, you will not find a hidden number code that leads to a web site with tantalizing clues embedded in a scrambled image of the G-Man. Just because Valve patched an almost twenty year old game does not mean anything fishy is going on. Do not bother looking for the reversed audio file of Gabe Newell ordering the next chapter of Gordon Freeman’s journey. It doesn’t exist.
If anyone finds anything suspicious, please contact your nearest Black Mesa Communications Liaison.