Game Of The Year Countdown – #8 Half-Life: Alyx

Valve has left Half-Life followers within the lurch for almost 13 years; the cliffhanger ending of Half-Life 2: Episode Two in 2007 arrange an epic confrontation that also hasn’t been totally resolved. In any case that point, we puzzled if Valve had forgotten what made Half-Life particular within the first place, however when you discover the digital world of Half-Life: Alyx, it’s clear that Valve hasn’t misplaced its magic contact.

On one degree, it’s a disgrace that solely followers with a VR setup can expertise Valve’s latest challenge. However, Valve’s use of digital actuality is so good that we won’t think about enjoying Half-Life: Alyx on a flat monitor. Easy duties like choosing up an empty can or reloading a gun are extra thrilling in VR, and firefights with Mix troops are extra harrowing since now you can bodily duck and weave amongst cowl. Between these firefights, Half-Life: Alyx maintains its tempo by delivering a sequence of compelling environmental puzzles and exploration challenges that ask you to thoughtfully observe your environment.

Half-Life: Alyx’s sense of ambiance is extraordinary. As Alyx travels throughout Metropolis 17 on a mission to save lots of her father, she explores deserted underground subways, derelict zoos, and crumbling upscale motels. In a single second, a three-legged Strider totters above you, knocking particles unfastened from a close-by constructing. In one other second, you’re being hunted by a blind monster in an deserted vodka distillery. Every new surroundings feels lived-in and stuffed with historical past in ways in which ship your thoughts reeling with marvel.


Because of the magic of VR, the world of Half-Life has by no means been extra interactive. Lots of the environmental puzzles ask you to search out new methods to have a look at your environment. Whether or not you’re reaching over a chasm for the flashlight hanging off a corpse, tiptoeing over mines, or tossing bottles throughout the surroundings to create a distraction, you are feeling like you’re inside a uniquely responsive world. Fortunately, you’re additionally geared up with a pair of gravity gloves that can help you snag objects off the ground with the twist of your wrist, and flinging gear throughout the room had us feeling like a real Jedi grasp.

Valve brilliantly balances Alyx’s scariest moments with a few of the funniest dialogue we heard all 12 months. A resistance member named Russell sometimes is available in over your headset to speak by way of your mission and supply steerage, and these exchanges are actual highlights. All through the marketing campaign, Alyx and Russell discuss every little thing from old-school floppy disks to questionable enterprise plans to membership sandwiches, and Valve’s intelligent writing typically left us in stitches.

This sport is technically a prequel to Half-Life 2, however we wouldn’t classify it as a aspect story because it provides essential world-building parts to Half-Life’s universe and expands on the sequence’ narrative in some thrilling methods. Half-Life: Alyx is a must-play for anybody with a VR headset, not simply followers. Just like the ending of Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Alyx’s phenomenal conclusion is stuffed with promise; we simply hope we don’t have to attend one other 13 years to see that promise fulfilled.

Wish to learn extra about the most effective video games that 2020 needed to supply? We’re counting down our High 10 for the 12 months, so navigate to a different entry utilizing the hyperlinks beneath!

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