Valve has announced that it’s been working on a flagship VR game, Half Life: Alyx, slated for release in March 2020. It marks a return to the Half Life franchise after years in the cold, but will be exclusive to PC-linked VR headsets.
The announcement came after a few days of speculation since Valve teased the game through social media, and features a trailer that looks appropriately impressive.
The game is set between the events of Half Life and Half Life 2, meaning that it isn’t exactly the next chronological part of the series that gamers have been clamouring for since time immemorial (or 2007, depending on how you measure it).
However, Valve says that it’s very much a full-length entry in the franchise, stacking up at around the same duration as Half Life 2. It’ll feature a story in which players take on the role of Alyx Vance, your companion in previous games in the series, as she and her father Eli try to inspire resistance against earth’s alien invaders, the Combine.
You’ll be wearing new gear called “gravity gloves” in-game, to manipulate the environment and grab equipment and physics objects, as you can see in the trailer above.
As a VR exclusive, the game won’t be coming to flat screens, but isn’t limited to Valve’s own Index headset, thankfully. It’ll work on a range of PC-linked headsets including Oculus devices. It’s also playable in a variety of styles, from sitting to standing and at room-scale, depending on your preference, and with different options for player movement. That’s a bonus, since different options tend to work better for different people, on the potential nausea front.
Half Life: Alyx, as you might expect from a flagship title, comes with some chunky minimum spec requirements for your PC, including a minimum of 12GB of RAM. You can pre-order it from Steam now for an introductory price of $53.99, with full price at $59.99 – although it’s free for any Valve Index owners.