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5 questions about Half Life: Alyx we don't have an answer to


In 2020, a number of transfers have already taken place: Cyberpunk 2077 was sent for revision 5 months closer to the real year 2077, The Avengers from Marvel's Avengers will not be assembled until the fall, and Dying Light 2 ... well, I couldn't come up with a normal pun. It was also postponed, but indefinitely. So it's a little weird that Half-Life: Alyx is still gearing up for release in March! And while we've learned a lot about a full-fledged VR game starring Alyx Vance, there are still some key plot, setting and gameplay details that interest us. Here are 5 unanswered questions about Half-Life: Alyx, invented by PC Gamer.

Will we find out the truth about the G-Man?

The game certainly has opportunities to tell us something about a mysterious character whose true origins and motives are never revealed. We don't need to know absolutely everything about him, as this can be speculated on in future parts. But a few more details wouldn't hurt, after all, he has been one of the most recognizable characters since the original Half-Life appeared over 20 years ago, although undoubtedly some of his fame comes from all the lingering questions about him.


I think it would be incredibly difficult to make a full story about G-Men in VR. But it's entirely possible that other characters, such as the Vortigaunts or Alix's father, could fill in some of the man in the costume's story. Almost every important character in the Half-Life universe has either seen him or interacted with him. I repeat, it would be a shame to tell everything about him in only one game, but we would not refuse a couple of details. Even if I don’t know his real name, origin or what is in his portfolio, I would like to know, basically, what exactly does his deal mean?

Will the story get hurt by being a prequel?

The prequels are a pretty tricky thing, since the writers are often shackled by the events that took place before. Let's take the Star Wars prequels, for example. There are several references to the Clone Wars in the original Star Wars trilogy, and that Anakin was already an excellent pilot when he met Obi-Wan. Thus, these two lines were taken as sacred truth, which led to the invention of racing on Tatooine just to make Anakin a pilot, and two entire films about the clones of Bob Fet's father used to create stormtroopers. These are just a couple of reasons the prequels were rubbish, as they stuck with a couple of frivolous details written decades earlier.

Also, the prequels can go all out to explain the origin of something or the origin of someone, even though we don't even need to know that. Think back to Star Wars, did you really care how Han Solo got his last name? And they dedicated a whole film to it.

Half-Life: Alyx isn't just a prequel - it sits between the first Half-Life and Half-Life 2, which means both the past and the future are rooted. This makes it harder to expand the world without conflicting with some of the existing details, and even adding new weapons, technologies, and enemy types may end up looking odd. Where, for example, are Alix's gravity gloves in Half-Life 2? They already seem a lot easier to use than the gravity gun, so why didn't she give them to us in the second part? And so on.


Knowing which characters survive to appear in Half-Life 2, we do not need to worry about the fate of, for example, Eli in HL: A. Even if he is kidnapped [again], we know that everything will be with him OK. We know where the stories of certain characters end, so any danger they might face won't really matter. None of this means that the story still can't be good and reveal the details of the new world, but it makes things harder than they would be in a sequel, where the authors could have free rein.

Another cliffhanger awaiting us?

Valve loves cliffhangers. The original Half-Life, Half-Life 2, and Opposing Force ended up with G-Man putting our heroes on pause, pending future work. And, naturally, Half-Life 2: Episode 2 ended with a situation that has not yet been resolved and may never be resolved.


I'm curious if Valve will take the same route again, ending the story with a snippet or some nagging hint of a future game? I hope they don't. We still do not know anything about the fate of many heroes from the plot of Half Life 2: Episode 2 besides Freeman himself. It would be a shame to see something like that here. I hope Alix's story will be complete, so that at least one character gets a logical conclusion to one story, even if we never see the continuation of the second [Freeman's story].

Will the game set new limits for VR?

Despite all the coolness of the project, we see some difficulties with movement in the game, unlike Boneworks or the upcoming VR game Medal of Honor.


Judging by it, the game does not move the development of virtual reality in this plane the way Boneworks does, with full body simulation, jumps and other complex physical systems. On the other hand, the footage we've seen is still incredibly impressive. The movement of objects as Alix pushes objects aside to look around or find ammo hidden on a shelf already seems much more interactive and believable than the types of interaction you see in many other VR games. In addition, Valve made Alix adequate hands, even though they are floating in the air.

Will Alyx be an example for other studios to try VR?

There is no doubt that the announcement of Half-Life: Alyx has sparked renewed interest in virtual reality. Vlave helmets sold out clean, and those who were just looking for a reason to buy their first virtual headset obviously finally found a great one.


But full-fledged story-driven VR games are quite rare. Bethesda has upgraded Fallout 4 and Skyrim for VR, No Man's Sky is now available in VR, but there aren't really many large, fully featured, built-from-the-ground VR games. We don't know if this will change after Valve's project, but I suspect that the strong interest in HL: A and the sales of all that expensive virtual hardware they produce will encourage more studios to release their own full-featured VR games. We will learn this over the next few years.

And one more mini-question: Will we see the Dog?

If in this game I am given the opportunity to stroke the Dog in virtual reality, I will be ready to forgive her all sins.


The Topic of Article: 5 questions about Half Life: Alyx we don't have an answer to.
Author: Jake Pinkman