Half-Life: Alyx trailer shows the G-Man is back for March 2020

It may not be Half-Life 3 but the first gameplay trailer for VR title Half-Life: Alyx promises everything you’ve ever wanted from a new sequel.

Not for the first time this week, if you take into account Shenmue 3, the impossible seems to have happened and a video game sequel many expected never to see is about to become a reality… a virtual reality anyway.

Half-Life: Alyx isn’t Half-Life 3 but it is instead a VR spin-off set between Half-Life 1 and 2.

As you might guess from the title, you play as Alyx Vance, who together with her father Eli is attempting to ‘mount an early resistance to the Combine’s brutal occupation of Earth’.

The trailer looks great and Valve has hinted at a lot of interesting details, telling The Verge that the game will last as long as Half-Life 2, which ran to at least 13 hours on a first go.

That’s extremely long for a VR title and since the whole game exists partly to drum up interest in the Valve Index headset you can guarantee Valve will be pulling out all the high-tech stops.

You won’t actually need Valve Index to play the game though, as it will work with any PC compatible headset, including Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

Everyone will get Source 2 tools for modding the game but if you have a Valve Index you’ll also be able to explore environments from the game in your SteamVR Home space, use alternate gun skins, and access exclusive Half-Life: Alyx content in CS:GO and Dota 2.

The game is up for pre-order now on Steam for £46.49, although it’ll be 10% off (£41.84) up until launch in March 2020. Valve Index owners though, will get it for free.

The trailer looks much closer to a traditional Half-Life experience than many were expecting, although the floating hands are somewhat surprising and a little distracting. But we guess that means full virtual bodies still aren’t really viable.

What’s most interesting for long-term Half-Life fans is Valve’s curious statement that you should play Half-Life 2: Episode Two before playing the new game, which seems to make little sense since it’s set sometime afterwards.

Is that a hint that Half-Life: Alyx will attempt to resolve the cliffhanger ending from Episode Two? Or does it just mean there’ll be a few references that you might not otherwise notice?

The G-Man is in the game and he’s always seemed to have control over dimensional travel, and has managed to stop time on at least one occasion, so perhaps time travel will figure as part of the story?

There’s no way to tell at the moment, but thankfully it won’t be long till we find out for sure.

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