[Half-Life] After 12 years, there's a new Half-Life game! Half-Life: Alyx out now!

Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
edited March 23 in Games and Technology
Half-Life: Alyx - VR Exclusive Game Coming March 23rd




https://www.half-life.com/en/alyx/



https://store.steampowered.com/app/546560/HalfLife_Alyx/


Black Mesa, a remake of Half-Life on the Source Engine has finally been released after an incredibly long development period. Once a mod, it was released without the endgame Xen portion in 2012 after 8 years of development. Later it was released on Steam in Early Access in 2015 where they've spent the time since revising the game, adding in multiplayer and completely revamping the Xen experience from scratch. While the Crowbar Collective's work isn't done (The 1.5 "Definitive Edition" will be coming later), this represents a huge milestone for them and the end of a long and ambition project, not just in the real of Half-Life, but mods in general.
Patch Notes: https://steamcommunity.com/games/362890/announcements/detail/1717499322286666465
Store Page: https://store.steampowered.com/app/362890/Black_Mesa/

OTHER GAMES
Half-Life 2: Episode 3 - Probably Dead
Half-Life 3 - Probably in Development Probably in Development Hell

Old Games

For a great retrospective on the legacy of Half-Life, this is an excellent documentary from Noclip


If you want to hear more about the creation of Half-Life, including how the development of the game was essentially restarted halfway through the project, check out this article called “Final Hours of Half-Life” that details the history of Valve and Half-Life’s development.

https://www.docdroid.net/nuj22KX/the-final-hours-of-half-life.pdf

(ALSO AT)
http://web.archive.org/web/19991011210909/http://www.gamespot.com/features/halflife_final/

There’s also a sequel article about Half-Life 2 that’s pretty good as well: http://www.gamespot.com/features/the-final-hours-of-half-life-2-6112889/

If you want to play through the older games, here’s some stuff that can enhance your experience.

Half-Life 2: Update
Free mod for Half-Life 2 that includes enhanced lighting, more detailed world shadows, full High Dynamic Range Lighting (HDR), new particle effects, improved fog, bug fixes, and community commentary. Available at: https://store.steampowered.com/app/290930/HalfLife_2_Update/

High Definition Pack – When Half-Life: Blue Shift came out, it included a “high definition” model pack which was eventually ported to steam. In the current version of Half-Life, this can be activated/deactivated in the Video Options menu.

Half-Life: Uplink – Originally a free demo for Half-Life, Uplink has three exclusive levels not found in the main game. You can download a mod version for Half-Life at http://www.halflifeuplink.com/steamlink/

Half-Life: decay – decay was an exclusive addon for Half-Life only released on the PS2 version of the game, but some enterprising fans have ported it to the PC. I won’t lie though, it’s a bit buggy and can be crash prone, but outside of tracking down an old copy of Half-Life for the PS2, this is the only way to check out these levels, also made by Gearbox Software. Available at http://decay.half-lifecreations.com/

Half-Life vs Half-Life: Source
One question I get a lot is which is better: the original Half-Life or the remastering of the game onto the Source Engine. I prefer the original, but I’ll go over the pros and cons of each
Original
+Compatible with HD Pack
+Compatible with mods
+Same engine as the expansion packs, for a more comparable experience
-As with most old software, it has some flakiness running on modern machines

Source
+Better graphics (Crisper visuals, better shaders, better water effects, enhanced backgrounds/skyboxes)
+Better stability
+Better physics (including ragdolls)
+Better AI (Enemies are harder to cheese, allies have much better pathfinding, and less group limits)
-Music issues (Music cuts off during level transitions, which has issues given HL1 was often designed with music right before level transitions.)
-Scripting issues (Monsters sometimes activate before they should, or notice you when they shouldn’t, which can interfere with scripted sequences and dialog)
-Not compatible with classic mods
-No official HD pack

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  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    In the Valley of Gods died for this.
    probably not really, but the timing of the observation is kinda funny

  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    I remain cautiously optimistic.

    It not being a sequel stings a little, but if it gets the Valve team excited to build games in the setting again, fuck it, fine, whatever.

    Fingers crossed and whatnot.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    I would still like to get some sort of official assurance about the status of In the Valley of the Gods, even if it's a "it's missing its 2019 release widow"

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  • SceptreSceptre Registered User regular
    edited November 2019
    OK.

    Don't get too excited. Don't get too excited.

    ah - fuck it.
    OHHHHHHHH YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

    hype off the frickin charts.

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  • CanadianWolverineCanadianWolverine Registered User regular
    You're just making up for my lack of enthusiasm for anything VR, Sceptre, keep up the good hype.

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  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    I can’t even pretend to be aware of any VR game that’s succeeded at doing more than playtime in a big room. I guess there’s that one where you’re a sniper in a kayak, but still.

  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    I can’t even pretend to be aware of any VR game that’s succeeded at doing more than playtime in a big room. I guess there’s that one where you’re a sniper in a kayak, but still.

    I heard Resident Evil did a great job in their version.

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  • eelektrikeelektrik Registered User regular
    Blizzard: "I can't believe the backlash we got over Diablo: Immortal, I don't know how we could have botched that announcement more if we tried"

    Valve: "Hold my beer"

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  • MechMantisMechMantis Registered User regular
    No Man's Sky's interface is fucking great if you do it in sitting mode. It wasn't designed for room-scale, and it shows, but I have a feeling that Valve may have put more thought into theirs.

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  • urahonkyurahonky Dayton, OHRegistered User regular
    eelektrik wrote: »
    Blizzard: "I can't believe the backlash we got over Diablo: Immortal, I don't know how we could have botched that announcement more if we tried"

    Valve: "Hold my beer"

    I've heard WAY more positive buzz for this VR game than Blizzard's mobile game.

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  • eelektrikeelektrik Registered User regular
    urahonky wrote: »
    eelektrik wrote: »
    Blizzard: "I can't believe the backlash we got over Diablo: Immortal, I don't know how we could have botched that announcement more if we tried"

    Valve: "Hold my beer"

    I've heard WAY more positive buzz for this VR game than Blizzard's mobile game.

    At least they got out ahead of it and mentioned it was VR in the announcement, rather than surprise everyone with it. I mean, it could be good, but the VR market is still very very small for an exclusive game in a franchise people have been waiting a dozen years for a new entry in, they are bound to piss quite a few people off. It would have to be truly exceptional to be a killer app for an expensive platform, and I am not as confident in Valve pulling that off as I would have been 10 years ago.

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  • urahonkyurahonky Dayton, OHRegistered User regular
    eelektrik wrote: »
    urahonky wrote: »
    eelektrik wrote: »
    Blizzard: "I can't believe the backlash we got over Diablo: Immortal, I don't know how we could have botched that announcement more if we tried"

    Valve: "Hold my beer"

    I've heard WAY more positive buzz for this VR game than Blizzard's mobile game.

    At least they got out ahead of it and mentioned it was VR in the announcement, rather than surprise everyone with it. I mean, it could be good, but the VR market is still very very small for an exclusive game in a franchise people have been waiting a dozen years for a new entry in, they are bound to piss quite a few people off. It would have to be truly exceptional to be a killer app for an expensive platform, and I am not as confident in Valve pulling that off as I would have been 10 years ago.

    Oh my God can you imagine if they announced that there's a new HL game and then it ended up being VR in the reveal? The amount of salt generated would make the ocean jealous.

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  • cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Christmas-Man!Registered User regular
    The understanding was always that the new Half Life had to do something unique or novel or special. HL2 was all the physics, HL1 was AI routines or something, and the joke was always that HL3 would be a VR title or something.

    I just don't know if Valve can succeed where others have had mediocre results in forcing VR as a thing that people care about and adopt widely. Remember when Gabe Newell said Linux was the future of PC gaming?

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  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    The understanding was always that the new Half Life had to do something unique or novel or special. HL2 was all the physics, HL1 was AI routines or something, and the joke was always that HL3 would be a VR title or something.

    I just don't know if Valve can succeed where others have had mediocre results in forcing VR as a thing that people care about and adopt widely. Remember when Gabe Newell said Linux was the future of PC gaming?

    And Steam Machines, and Steam Controller.

    Personally I like VR, but I'm having a hard time seeing how it ever stops being niche. Sony's been going crazy trying to make VR a thing, but even at $200, their set isn't really taking off.

    But I'm sure the 2% of Half-Life's fanbase that owns a VR headset will dig this.

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  • SyphonBlueSyphonBlue Registered User regular
    I bought a Vive for $150 off a friend and I still think I overpaid. I haven't even turned it on in 5 months. The tech is amazing but the games just aren't there. They're all like mobile games; fun for a few minutes, but nothing lasting. I'm excited for more Half-Life, but I'm not exactly holding my breath on this changing my mind about VR. And certainly nobody should buy a VR machine for just this.

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  • urahonkyurahonky Dayton, OHRegistered User regular
    It's kind of a chicken and egg situation, honestly. No one is buying them because they don't think there are enough games for it, but they aren't making games for it because no one is buying it.

    I hope this is the first big game that is a definite "must have" for VR.

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  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON IndiaRegistered User regular
    I have no real interest in VR and I will have no interest until I am rich or it is orders of magnitude cheaper than it is right now. So my excitement is somewhat muted. I'm looking forward to In the Valley of the Gods more - I'm guessing it's not canceled, just potentially renamed cuz there's a movie or something with the same name coming out soon.

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  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    Rumors on the new Alyx game, as reported by Ars Technica:
    The game's name confirms what has been loudly rumored for months: that you will play this game from the perspective of Alyx Vance, a character introduced in 2004's Half-Life 2. Instead of stepping forward in time, HLA will rewind to the period between the first two mainline Half-Life games.

    ...

    A data leak from Valve's Source 2 game engine, as uncovered in September by Valve News Network, pointed to a new control system labeled as the "Grabbity Gloves" in its code base. Multiple sources have confirmed that this is indeed a major control system in HLA.

    How do they work? We've gotten hints that they might more accurately be described as "Magnet Gloves," in that they let players magically point to and attract distant items to your hands. Instead of having to walk all the way to an object in VR or bend over to grab something from the floor, HLA players will have a handy point-and-snag system. And we're told that these are spiritual successors to HL2's Gravity Gun, in terms of revolving around realistic physics. Maybe that means we can, or cannot, grab certain items due to real-life physics systems or obstacles.

    ...yep, going back to that physics mine.

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  • urahonkyurahonky Dayton, OHRegistered User regular
    That sounds great, honestly. I've always wanted to see what happened between 1 and 2.

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  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    edited November 2019
    If we're really lucky, this choice of timeline will give Valve a chance to still blueball everybody on actual fucking ending to the franchise by having the sequel to this game take place between HL2 and HL3, but never fucking getting to HL3 (again).

    Personally, I couldn't give less of a shit about this simply because it's new Half-Life material that has nothing to do with actually wrapping up the franchise they've left hanging for years. I like VR but that is a total zero-interest draw for me, since I have no idea when I'll be getting PC VR and it's still stupidly expensive. I'm not going to be at all surprised if Valve gets a bunch of negative flack for this, simply because the vast, vast majority of PC users don't have VR and don't want anything from the HL setting other than HL3.

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  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    I have no real interest in VR and I will have no interest until I am rich or it is orders of magnitude cheaper than it is right now. So my excitement is somewhat muted.

    It's getting better at least. My 4 year old PC is (according to the Oculus Rift test tool) VR capable at the recommended requirements (as in, substantially beyond the minimums), though I have yet to put that theory into practice yet.

    $350'ish US (looking at the Rift S and Quest) is certainly an expensive peripheral, no doubt about it. There are some cheaper options, and I'm hoping that with Black Friday we'll see some kinds of deals (game bundles at least, if not the 15% or so off that some shops had last year, which isn't huge but is better than nothing).

    I agree, it's a reach on an already expensive hobby. I keep wavering between getting a Rift (for future proofing for HL VR, which I'm at least interested in, and all the free Beat Saber tracks I could ever want) or PS4 VR (which is like 20% cheaper, at least before the sales start in earnest).

    Hopefully the tech will keep getting better and also cheaper. Even if today is not that day, and seems unlikely to have a massive drop in price in the next 4 months, who knows what the black friday sales of 2020 will be?

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • Handsome CostanzaHandsome Costanza Ask me about 8bitdo RIP Iwata-sanRegistered User regular
    I'm going to be real angry about this and declare HL dead..... and then buy it day 1.

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  • The_SpaniardThe_Spaniard Registered User regular
    edited November 2019
    The understanding was always that the new Half Life had to do something unique or novel or special. HL2 was all the physics, HL1 was AI routines or something, and the joke was always that HL3 would be a VR title or something.

    I just don't know if Valve can succeed where others have had mediocre results in forcing VR as a thing that people care about and adopt widely. Remember when Gabe Newell said Linux was the future of PC gaming?

    Valve has always used the Half-Life franchise to push new tech, platforms, and ideas. Half-Life 1 was a pioneer for cinematic shooters. Half-Life 2 wasn't just about a new level physics and graphics in games, but also a Trojan horse for Steam. The Half-Life 2 expansions were used to push the idea of episodic gaming.

    Valve has said from the start that they plan on developing major VR experiences, so if you were Valve and you were planning on making a AAA VR experience, what franchises would you consider?

    I could understand people being so angry if they straight up announced that Half-Life 3 was going to be VR, but this is a spinoff prequel title. Are they not even allowed to make spinoffs the way that they want, or do they have to deliver Half-Life 3 before they have permission to? Though I do get some of the annoyance of this being the first Half-Life title being announced in over a decade and instead of 3 it's a VR side-story. Not a problem for me though, I have my Index ready to go and play day one.

    Also, 100% this tweet:

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  • cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Christmas-Man!Registered User regular
    Grabbity Gloves sure would solve the issue of VR locomotion, but it doesn't sound very innovative when every other VR game does the same thing so you don't have to move around and get sick.

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  • SatsumomoSatsumomo Rated PG! Registered User regular
    Having owned an Oculus, I can say that VR is one of the best immersive experiences, and would be a perfect way to tell a story.

    The only thing I never liked about it was having to setup the headset and sensors. It was always a chore to set everything up, so something like the Oculus S that doesn't use sensors (But then has much less accurate VR space behind you) is a huge step in the right direction. The PS4 VR is annoying that it has so many things to plug into as well, and the resolution of course.

    I will definitely be picking VR up again either with the S or something similar with some improvements comes along.

    urahonky
  • NosfNosf Registered User regular
    No one is asking for that big breakthrough VR game because no one is really talking about VR anymore.

    Maybe this is their "fuck off about half life already" moment.

  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    Here we go.

  • PeewiPeewi Registered User regular
    Don't forget the trailer itself:

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  • eelektrikeelektrik Registered User regular
    It looks good, but don't know when I will get a chance to play it, so it dampers the excitement quite a bit.

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  • augustaugust where you come from is gone Registered User regular
    That seems fine.

    Pac Man's character is difficult to explain even to the Japanese -- he is an innocent character. He hasn't been educated to discern between good and evil. He acts more like a small child than a grown-up person. Think of him as a child learning in the course of his daily activities. If someone tells him guns are evil, he would be the type to rush out and eat guns. But he would most probably eat any gun, even the pistols of policemen who need them.
  • KoopahTroopahKoopahTroopah The koopas, the troopas. Philadelphia, PARegistered User regular
    edited November 2019
    Just seeing a new trailer for a new Half Life game gives me the heebie jeebies. That being said, fuck it looks awesome. Might be time to finally pick up a VR system.

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  • TetraNitroCubaneTetraNitroCubane Registered User regular
    edited November 2019
    According to the game's website, if you own or purchase an Index, you get the game for free come March.

    The game's cost is of course piddlingly small in comparison to an Index, but it's kinda a nice surprise if you already own one, or it's your choice for a new VR purchase.

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  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    My takeaways from that interview

    -I didn't hear much about what's going to set this game apart from the million other VR shooters, except that it's a Half-Life game.
    -Sounds like the rumors of Campo Santo working on this game are true. (I'm not super worried, In the Valley of the Gods is a game that doesn't need to worry about looking outdated when it comes out, so a bit of a delay is manageable)
    -"Developing Half-Life 3 is a scary prospect" implies to me that Valve doesn't have any idea how to make make the next few years any more productive on the front of producing a Half-Life 3 than the last 12 years were, so :razz:

    Trailer looks nice at least, that Gman is ridiculously high rez.

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  • SyphonBlueSyphonBlue Registered User regular
    Peewi wrote: »
    Don't forget the trailer itself:

    This looks really good! I just want to play it with kbm though!

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  • SniperGuySniperGuy Also known as Dohaeris Registered User regular
    Looks pretty good. I love the half-life universe so I'm definitely playing that. I've got a vive I get to use from work so it won't be as shiny as if I had an index, but I'm just happy I get to play it.

    I should really get some of those knuckles controllers sometime.

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  • yossarian_livesyossarian_lives Registered User regular
    Hey that trailer looks pretty cool! Too bad it’s a fucking VR game. I guess valve doesn’t want it to succeed.

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  • Lucid_SeraphLucid_Seraph TealDeer MarylandRegistered User regular
    Me: "I don't even remember why the Half Life games were such a big deal, like, the universe wasn't even that interesting. I can live without another game set in that universe."

    Trailer: "Don't worry, it's unloaded!" "..." "Well, it's unloaded now!"

    Me: "... damn you."

    So yeah this actually looks very interesting and like it takes excellent advantage of VR controls. Unfortunately, I have that particular issue with VR where I can't do any of it without wanting to vomit. It's not even the motion itself; something about the 3D setup. Basically ANY 3D interface fucks up my brain. Can't watch 3D movies, can't do VR.

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  • SniperGuySniperGuy Also known as Dohaeris Registered User regular
    Hey that trailer looks pretty cool! Too bad it’s a fucking VR game. I guess valve doesn’t want it to succeed.

    This seems like a weird statement. There's lots of very successful VR games. Valve has their own headset they want people to buy!

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  • NosfNosf Registered User regular
    Looks ok, too bad almost no one is ever going to play it. Thanks for pretty much nothing Valve!

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