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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!

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.

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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Earn Double Gold Points on the Nintendo eShop for the next month

A new Nintendo eShop promotion gives players Double Gold points for buying Nintendo Switch games.

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Nintendo eShop Double Gold Points Fest
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

A new Nintendo eShop promotion rewards players with Double Gold points for buying Switch games.

The Nintendo eShop Double Gold Points Fest has launched in today in Europe. During the promotion, selected games give customers double the usual amount of My Nintendo Gold Points on selected games. In some cases, this is the equivalent of getting up to 10% of your money back, albeit in Nintendo’s digital currency.

The first games to be included are Square Enix’s masterful JPG, Dragon Quest XI, the brilliant Snipperclips – Cut it out, together!, and puzzle adventure, Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy.

Three new games will be added to the promotion every Thursday until July 30, 2020. We’re not sure if the promotion is coming to North America but update this page if we get confirmation.

Nintendo eShop Double Gold Points Fest – Week 1

  • Snipperclips – Cut it out, together! – 200 EU / 180 UK
  • Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition – 600 EU / 500 UK
  • Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy – Deluxe Edition – 400 EU / 350 UK

And what can you do with Gold Points? Well, they can be redeemed against future game purchases on the Nintendo eShop. Recent titles we’ve enjoyed include Star Wars Episode 1: Racer and The Eternal Castle.

They can also be exchanged via the My Nintendo website for Nintendo 3DS game discounts and digital themes. Read our roundup of the latest rewards to see what’s on offer.

If we’re honest, we’d rather a nice big eShop sale. But if you were thinking of picking up one of the included games, the Gold Points Fest is a nice bonus.


More from Thumbsticks

Check out the Thumbsticks new releases page for weekly Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 updates. You can also follow us on Facebook, Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard.

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The Sims 4 is free to play on Xbox One this weekend

The latest Xbox One Free Play Days promotion features two new games, including The Sims 4. Trust us, you’ll need more than a weekend.

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Xbox One - The Sims 4
Microsoft / EA / Thumbsticks

The latest Xbox One Free Play Days promotion features two new games, including The Sims 4. Trust us, you’ll need more than a weekend.

The Sims 4 is a big game, a fun game, and, for its keenest players, almost a way of life. Speaking as someone who has put over 200 hours into Animal Crossing: New Horizons without even thinking about it, there is something both comforting and compelling about life simulation games. If you like experiences where the most mundane of tasks gives as much pleasure as saving the universe, The Sims 4 is worth a look.

The Sims 4 is now free to play on Xbox One until Sunday, July 12 at 11:59 pm. That’s just enough time to scratch the surface of the game and see if grabs you. There’s a 75% discount on the standard edition to tempt you into a full purchase. There are also savings to be had on many of the game’s expansions and content packs. Just make sure you have plenty of free time in the calendar.

Online sandbox RPG Citadel Forged is also free to play for the next four days. Again, it’s probably just enough time to see if you click with the game’s loop of heroic activities and busywork.

Save progress and achievements in both titles are carried over to the purchased copies.

Xbox Free Play Days Discounts

Citadel Forged

  • Standard Edition – 60% off

The Sims 4

  • Standard Edition – 75% off
  • Deluxe Party Edition – 75% off
  • Dogs & Cats Bundle – 50% off
  • City Living Pack – 50% off
  • Dine Out Pack – 50% off
  • Discover University Pack – 50% off
  • Get Famous Pack – 50% off
  • Get to Work Pack – 50% off
  • Pack Bundle – 50% off
  • Get Together Pack – 50% off
  • Island Living Pack – 50% off
  • Jungle Adventure Pack – 25% off
  • Outdoor Retreat Pack – 25% off
  • Parenthood Pack – 25% off
  • Realm of Magic Pack – 25% off
  • Seasons Pack – 25% off
  • Spa Day Pack – 25% off
  • StrangerVille Pack – 25% off
  • Vampires Pack – 25% off

For more Xbox One games, you can grab savings of up to 90% in this this week’s four new sales.


Visit the Thumbsticks sales page for more video game deals, and our new releases section for the latest PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch games. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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You can buy Ellie’s Taylor 314ce guitar from The Last of Us Part II

The gorgeous, limited-edition The Last of Us Part II Taylor 314ce costs $2,299 and is available to pre-order now.

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Limited Edition The Last of Us Part II Taylor 314ce
Taylor / Sony

The gorgeous, limited-edition The Last of Us Part II Taylor 314ce costs $2,299 and is available to pre-order now.

For a game about revenge, the gentler pursuit of playing guitar is surprisingly prominent. From singing songs to your girlfriend with a guitar found in an abandoned music store to chilling out after a stressful day in your theatre base, Ellie will play the guitar any chance she gets.

But it’s the guitar she receives as a gift from Joel in the game’s prologue that is the most meaningful, for obvious reasons.

We first see Joel, finding the guitar while out on a run with his brother, Tommy. He sits, cleaning up the fretboard, while confessing to Tommy the events of the first game and of Salt Lake City. And it’s a lucky find, too: a tobacco burst Taylor 314ce, with a unique moth inlay and faux tortoiseshell pickguard. For the world to end and then, over 20 years later, find a two grand Taylor guitar among the rack and ruin, in good enough condition to restore and play? What are the chances?

Now the chances of you owning one for yourself has improved, as Taylor has worked with Sony and Naughty Dog to produce a limited-edition Taylor 314ce. It’s a one-to-one reproduction of Ellie’s guitar in-game and it’s a Taylor so, you know, it’s going to be an incredible instrument.

You can pre-order The Last of Us Part II Taylor 314ce from Sony right now, with orders open until the end of July and the guitars due to ship from late August. These won’t be available from Taylor or in music stores, however, nor will they be available outside of North America. Sony only plans to ship them to the USA, Canada and Mexico.

The Last of Us Part II Taylor 314ce costs $2,299, which might sound like a lot, but it’s only $300 more than the regular Taylor 314ce. We don’t know how limited edition the guitars will be, for that matter, but if you were already planning on dropping two grand on a beautiful Taylor acoustic guitar? Then you might feel comfortable scraping together the extra to make it a limited edition.

I’d like to pretend I’m not upset that I can’t get one of these in the UK. But I am. I am upset, Sony.


Read more about The Last of Us Part II – including a range of features and guides – right here on Thumbsticks.

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Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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Save up to 70% in the PlayStation Store July Sale

Some massive PlayStation 4 games are on offer in the new PlayStation Store July sale.

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PlayStation Store sale - God of War
Sony / Thumbsticks

Some massive PlayStation 4 games are discounted in the new PlayStation Store July sale.

A brand new PlayStation Store sale starts today that slashes the price of some top PS4 titles. An impressive selection of PlayStation exclusives are included, headlined by the mighty God of War. The 2018 game is both action-packed and emotional, and a stunning reinvention for Sony’s long-running franchise.

Other discounted exclusives include Marvel’s Spider-Man, Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds, MediEvil, and the oft-overlooked Concrete Genie.

Other titles to get big price cuts include Dark Souls III, the excellent remaster of Assassin’s Creed III, Generation Zero, and the inventive apis mellifera adventure, Bee Simulator.

Visit the PlayStation Store for the full lineup of games in your country. Here are some more picks from your dedicated team of, erm, gaming expects here at Thumbsticks. The sale ends on July 22, 2020.

PlayStation Store July Sale Highlights

  • AO Tennis 2
  • Arca’s Path VR
  • Assassin’s Creed III Remastered
  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  • Bee Simulator
  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
  • Code Vein
  • Concrete Genie
  • Crash Bandicoot Bundle – N. Sane Trilogy + CTR Nitro-Fueled
  • Dark Souls III
  • Devil May Cry 5
  • Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
  • Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise
  • FlatOut 4: Total Insanity
  • For Honor Complete Edition
  • Generation Zero
  • Ghost Recon Breakpoint
  • God of War
  • Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds
  • Journey
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man
  • MediEvil
  • Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered
  • No Man’s Sky
  • Resident Evil 7 biohazard
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  • Strange Brigade
  • Watch Dogs 2 – Deluxe Edition
  • WRC 5 eSports Edition

Bookmark the Thumbsticks deals page to get updates on the latest PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch savings. You can also follow us on FlipboardFacebookGoogle News, and Twitter.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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PES 2021 loses the rights to two big football teams

Konami has confirmed that the eFootball PES series no longer holds the official rights to two Italian football teams.

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eFootball PES 2020 keyart
Konami

Konami has confirmed that the eFootball PES series no longer holds the official rights to two famous Italian football teams.

The Japanese publisher has issued two – rather curt – statements related to Italian Serie A teams AC Milan and Inter Milan, saying:

“Thank you for playing eFootball PES 2020 and your continued support. Our licensing contract with AC Milan/Inter Milan will not be renewed. The representation of the Club will not be affected in eFootball PES 2020.”

The statement confirms that both clubs will remain in the franchise’s most recent entry, eFootball PES 2020. Footballers used in the game’s myClub mode are also unaffected rights loss.

The news comes following a string of high-profile licence acquisitions by the series. In recent year, popular teams including Arsenal, Bayern Munich, and Juventus have all inked partnerships with Konami.

The series also acquired the eFootball prefix in an attempt to align it with the growing eSports scene. We still call it PES, though. My gran still calls it PES. My gran’s dog still calls it PES.

The official announcement of eFootball PES 2021, including its release date and official team lineup, is expected within the next month.


More video game news from Thumbsticks

Follow us on FlipboardFacebookGoogle News, and Twitter for more video game news.

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Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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