Valve Are Making a New Half-Life Game – But Only on Steam VR

By Heidi Nicholas,
Half-Life fans have had a long wait. The last Half-Life title was Half-Life 2: Episode Two. This was an episodic game, shorter than the full-length Half-Life and Half-Life 2 games, and came out way back in 2007. A third episode, titled Half-Life 2: Episode Three was planned for release later that same year, only to vanish and never be heard from again. Now, Valve have announced their return to the Half-Life series after over a decade. Half-Life: Alyx will be unveiled on Thursday of this week, at 10am PT. There's just one catch for console players – it seems to be a Steam VR exclusive.


“We’re excited to unveil Half-Life: Alyx, our flagship VR game, this Thursday at 10am Pacific Time. Can’t wait to share it with all of you!” the Tweet reads. Any return to a series which has long been thought dead is exciting news, but fans don't know what to make of the fact that it's a VR game. Some are excited to see the series return, whilst others seem disappointed that it's going to make that return on VR – especially Xbox players, for whom there is little possibility of seeing the game ported to their console of choice given that Xbox doesn't have a VR peripheral.

The general feeling seems to be that there aren't enough VR players to warrant Valve's decision to bring back the popular franchise onto that platform. In addition, some feel that the cost to acquire everything needed to play on VR is too much, and that it's unfair to the original Half-Life fans who might not have the means to play Valve's latest installment. Twitter user @Kek_Dee replied in the comments to defend the game, saying that the original Half-Life succeeded because its source engine was new technology, and that now VR is the "new frontier," Valve will be able to innovate once again. Yet the fact that VR is newer means that it has yet to gain a significant audience, and whilst Valve may want to tread new ground with the direction of their Half-Life series, it's understandable that some fans might feel like they're being left behind.

The Tweet comes from the Valve Twitter account, which was only made in June of this year, and which doesn't seem to have anything on it except for this announcement. As such, we haven't been given much on what Half-Life: Alyx may involve, although the title alone gives us a solid hint. Alyx Vance was a character first introduced in Half-Life 2. She was a hacker, resistance fighter, and friend of the series' silent protagonist Gordon Freeman. Alyx then featured in Half-Life 2: Episode One, and was in Half-Life 2: Episode Two, the series' last instalment. She was a popular character all-round, so a game focusing more specifically on her would be a safe bet.

Sadly, Xbox players will just have to make do with The Orange Box from the 360 days, which bundled the Half-Life series with Portal and Team Fortress.

The Orange Box
The Orange Box

The Orange Box is a bundle that includes five titles from Valve: Half-Life 2; Half-Life 2:Episode 1; Half-Life 2: Episode Two; Team Fortress 2, the sequel to the game that put class-based, multiplayer team warfare on the map; and Portal, the game that blends puzzles, first person action, and adventure gaming to produce an experience like no other.



Check out our Best Xbox One First-Person Shooters Available in 2019 article for a compilation of other great games in this genre.
Heidi Nicholas
Written by Heidi Nicholas
Hey, I'm Heidi! I've just finished studying a Masters in English Literature, but I've been obsessed with gaming since long before then. I began on the PS2 with Spyro, before graduating to the Xbox 360 and disappearing into Skyrim. I'm now a loyal RPG fan, but I still like to explore other genres — when I'm not playing Assassin's Creed Odyssey, or being lured back into Red Dead Redemption 2 or The Witcher 3!