Half-Life 3 has been the running joke in the gaming community, especially since Valve seems to have a tough time getting past a second game in any franchise. That all changed when Valve revealed Half-Life: Alyx, though many shared their concerns that the VR focus would pull away from what gave this series the magic to start with. For those that have those concerns, there is a light at the end of the tunnel: original Valve writer Marc Laidlaw had a key role with Alyx as a consultant.
“He's been super generous with his time throughout the development of HL:A, Answering many questions from Erik [Wolpaw], Jay [Pinkerton], and Sean [Vanaman] as they hammered away on the story,” Valve revealed in a recent AMA on Reddit. “As is always the case with Marc, we send him an email, and he sends us a response, and then roughly 40 more replies to his own email.”
It's been 18 years since Laidlaw left Valve and while there were many rumors surrounding his departure, it's good to see that whatever did happen seems to be buried - at least when it comes to creative integrity and doing a beloved franchise the justice it deserves.
What a lot of people need to realise too when it comes to Alyx is that Valve literally changed the gaming industry when they first debuted Half-Life. The release of this game shook development to its core, changing how devs approached shooters and narrative director. Even the creator of BioShock mentioned that those games were heavily influenced by the Valve staple and it's because of that impact that the company has stated in the past they would not release another Half-Life unless they could do it right.
With technology changing and generational releases become less and less relevant, Valve looks to be trying to recreate that new spark that they did with this franchise's inception, making a totally immersive and choice-heavy experience that will impact gamers on a much deeper level than just a regular shooter.
According to Valve, "Playing as Alyx Vance, you are humanity’s only chance for survival. The Combine’s control of the planet since the Black Mesa incident has only strengthened as they corral the remaining population in cities. Among them are some of Earth’s greatest scientists: you and your father, Dr. Eli Vance.
"As founders of a fledgling Resistance, you’ve continued your clandestine scientific activity—performing critical research, and building invaluable tools for the few humans brave enough to defy the Combine."
Between the challenging new puzzles and horrifying storyline, Alyx aims to give a new Half-Life experience while providing something entirely new to the fanbase at the same time. As for which platforms Half-Life: Alyx will be compatible with for those that don't want to shell out a ton of cash for Index:
Half-Life: Alyx is available to pre-order now through Steam exclusively on PC.