Half-Life Alyx available for pre-order

Kenadian

Staff member
Site Admin
#1
Valve has officially announced the upcoming VR exclusive, Half-Life Alyx, will be releasing March 2020.

Half-Life Alyx is a full release VR Game "set between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2. Alyx Vance and her father Eli mount an early resistance to the Combine's brutal occupation of Earth."

The game was built from the ground up for virtual reality and supports a wide range of VR Headsets including Oculus and Windows Mixed Reality.


Valve Index owners will receive the game free including "extra content".

Lastly, Valve has expressed interest in continuation beyond Half-Life Alyx if it's recieved well.

...something tells me it will be.

@Nejtun, @little P, I'll likely need your help making wise VR purchasing decisions as we get closer to release as I won't be missing out on this title.

Personally, I can hardly contain my excitement about this game.

How do you feel about returning the the world of Half-Life?
 
#3
I am very interested in this, Marc told me about it yesterday so I went to have a quick look, Imagine my surprise to find it was already in my library! :D, A lot of people are slamming this already (it's very easy to tell when someone has never used VR)
My concern for this, which is only a minor one, is that the game will not have enough free movement. But Valve being Valve, I have the feeling they will pull out all the stops and steal every decent concept and VR gameplay from any and all of the current games and have this title be full movement, full freedom and most importantly a full game rather than a tech demo.

I really like how each Half Life title has brought whatever computer hardware currently available to it's knees. I think Half Life Alyx will be no different

Many people are complaining that "not everyone has an up to date PC that can run games at <insert graphic settings here> or "omg, we have to pay hundreds/thousands of $$$ just to be able to play X title"
That is how a PC gaming hobby works today!

As for which VR to get @Kenadian I do not personally think Valve's own Index VR headset has a rival for performance, clarity, flexibility or reliability. Some can do ONE job better but at a massive cost in all other areas. If nothing comes out between now and Half Life release then the Valve is the way to go but I would be interested to hear other peoples thoughts on that as I don't think any of us have really discussed which headset is the king of the pile and why!
 
#4
Yeah I saw this pop up on Steam yesterday. When I upgrade my VR headset it'll have to be with a new PC from the ground up as my PC can run an OG Vive at modest supersampling but the Index is an entirely different matter. I have had the good fortune to try an Index HMD at a friends house and my word it is night and day difference from my Vive. The only other HMD I've tried is a Vive Pro at a VR centre in London and although I was impressed with the increase in resolution over my Vive, when I tried the Index it was next level entirely. Something about the refresh rate increase, the FOV increase, the resolution, it all comes together to form what is the best all rounder in the Valve Index, I have no doubt about it. Unless something else comes out before then that trumps the Index on it's combined strengths then I would say the Index is the way to go, especially running it at the higher refresh rates.

Other contenders are Pimax with their wide FOV and higher resolution HMD's, but all you read about is compatibility, reliability and support issues.

HP Reverb has a higher resolution screen but again, same issues as above and problems with colour issues. HP say they've fixed it since pulling it from sale but would you want to risk it? Hmm. The tracking issues can be mitigated if you already have vive lighthouses but in your case you will be buying from scratch so I wouldn't consider the Reverb.

Vive Cosmos? Nope. Not a patch on Index for tracking and refresh rates.

I haven't read or heard about anything solid and substantiated that would rival the Valve Index at this point so I would shoot for that Ken if you are ready to dip your toes in to VR. Man am I jealous of that feeling you will have when you immerse yourself into it for the first time. I wish I could delete that memory of when I first entered Virtual Reality and experience it all over again and again, it really is something.
 
#5
Man am I jealous of that feeling you will have when you immerse yourself into it for the first time. I wish I could delete that memory of when I first entered Virtual Reality and experience it all over again and again, it really is something.
Totally this!!

Also Little P has hit the nail on the head for the Pros vs Cons for each system compared to the valve index, only thing he didn't mention is that it is ideal if you wear glasses too as you can make the gap underneath larger to fit them in!

On that subject there are now many many places that will make you an insert with your glasses prescription for way cheaper than glasses which is an even better solution as it will still be annoying to squeeze your glasses underneath every time you put on the headset. This also gives you the advantage of having the same maximum available field of view as non glasses wearers.
 
#6
When I upgrade my VR headset it'll have to be with a new PC from the ground up as my PC can run an OG Vive at modest supersampling but the Index is an entirely different matter
I put a video up on YouTube @little P that may interest you, the valve index uses way less resources for a better image than my vive pro does. It can even help you get a little more out of your current hardware (possibly :p)
 

Kenadian

Staff member
Site Admin
#7
Thanks for the VR insights @little P and @Nejtun, sentiment echos pretty much where I was already leaning.

I'm still unsure of how VR will work into my other games however as at this time I have no real intention of using it beyond Half-Life Alyx and maybe a few other select titles?

Just thinking of this entire topic has made me very cognizant of how much I rely on my eyes for controlling all aspects in gaming and streaming. I look around a lot and continually need to see my keyboard, Stream Deck, G27, X55, etc.

One area that really concerns me however is how jittery it's going to be compared to my desensitized TrackIR profile. I've looked online, all be in briefly, and haven't found anything really concrete on variable sensitivity within the 6dof space.

This is not only important to me for video production but also because really shaky VR video (which most of it is) makes me physically uncomfortable. The same can be said for TrackIR, if I wasn't able to dumb it down I'd not be able to use it as it adversely affects me physically.

I've watched the Half-Life Alyx video at least a dozen times and love the motion capture in that video. This is exactly what I'm striving for, smooth output.

Is there a way to do this without being put in traction lol?

Financially this is gonna hurt too. It means I'll have to finally pull the trigger on an Index and my Streaming PC. All told it's another $5000'ish I wasn't looking to spend.

F'n gaming, too bl00dy expensive.

I think I'm gonna quit it all together and start streaming needle point or basket weaving or something and quit gaming entirely.
 
#8
Just thinking of this entire topic has made me very cognizant of how much I rely on my eyes for controlling all aspects in gaming and streaming. I look around a lot and continually need to see my keyboard, Stream Deck, G27, X55, etc.
Is there a way to do this without being put in traction lol?
You do not see this motion as your head is also moving, with trackIR the movement is independent of your own body movement so if the "swing" of the camera is too violent then you have to compensate, which can make you ill.

The Index when set correctly has a sharp image edge to edge so in order to see overlays/chat or anything else on the screen you can move your eyes when things are placed correctly so you don't get that "oh, his chat window is on the other monitor" thing.

continually need to see my keyboard, Stream Deck, G27, X55, etc.
luckily your outside buttons do not move (unless possessed) learning where they are by feel is a way to go, maybe adding texture to buttons etc, you don't look at your gearstick when driving a real car right? This however is still tricky and takes a bit of practice.

I think I'm gonna quit it all together and start streaming needle point or basket weaving
this is much cheaper and fully immersive, and 3D AND you can decorate an entire room with it as well as maybe some extra drinking pocket money at weekends at the church sales.
 
#9
https://www.pcgamer.com/uk/best-vr-headset/ this is a good summary too. I hear ya on the cost of it all too man, it's not a cheap form of gaming, but you will be so amazed once you are in there that it will be worth it. I never had any buyers remorse with VR and you know what I'm like with refunds...

EDIT: We should all get together and watch a movie in a VR theatre once you get it all figured out :)
 
#10
Big Picture is pretty nice for this Little P , you can get 4 people with avatars in the same room and you can choose your setting and with some messing about with voice meeter banana you can stream netflix to everyone in the room!
 

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