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Half-Life: Alyx gameplay revealed with announce trailer

Half-Life: Alyx gets gameplay trailer and behind-the-scenes video.

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Half-Life: Alyx

Half-Life: Alyx gets gameplay trailer and behind-the-scenes video.

Half-Life fans have been waiting 15 years for a follow-up to Half-Life 2. Half-Life: Alyx isn’t technically that. As a prequel to 2, it won’t tie-up any of the plot threads left dangling by Episode 2.

But, that said… more Half-Life!

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Valve unceremoniously announced the game on Monday night, with the company’s first tweet from its official Twitter account. That tweet promised a more in-depth look at the game on Thursday. At 10 a.m. Pacific time, we got that closer look, as the announcement trailer dropped simultaneously on Valve’s and The Game Awards host Geoff Keighley’s Twitter.

Half-Life: Alyx Revealed

This first look shows off some of the gameplay, which includes shooting, physics powers, translucent arms and some puzzly bits. The setting is intriguing and significantly higher fidelity than anything before seen in the Half-Life universe. The environmental art for the futuristic, but derelict, City 17, is impressive. All the gameplay shown — complete with dim lighting and jump scares — seems to suggest that this entry will lean further and more consistently into horror than Half-Life ever has before.

The trailer also teases the return of the G-Man a mysterious, recurring, interdimensional character from the previous games.

However, some of the juiciest information was included in a behind-the-scenes video that Keighley tweeted out at the same time. In it, the Game Awards host talks with three Valve employees about the three-year-long process of creating Half-Life: Alyx.

Behind the Scenes

Keighley off-handedly confirmed something that we had speculated about on Tuesday: that Campo Santo, the team behind Firewatch, which was acquired by Valve last year, is now working on Half-Life: Alyx. It’s unclear, at this time, what that means for their previously announced first-person adventure game, In the Valley of the Gods.

Keighley also stated that Jay Pinkeron and Erik Wolpaw, co-writers of Portal 2, are working on the project, as well.

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Additionally, David Speyrer, a software developer at Valve, stated that the team had considered creating a Portal VR game, as well. The team, though, worried that Portal’s kinetic gameplay would make many players sick.

The team stated that Half-Life: Alyx likely wouldn’t work without VR, as the game relies heavily on tracking a player’s head and hand motions. They alluded to a wide variety of motion controls required for something as simple as opening a door.

We’ll know more on Dec. 12, when Valve plans to dole out more information at The Game Awards. But, from what we’ve seen so far, it looks like VR may finally have its killer app.

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Andrew King is a journalist, critic, poet, stand-up comedian and museum caretaker living in Illinois.

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