Half-Life Alyx Release date: Gameplay, PC, VR, Steam, PS4, Xbox, Graphics, Latest news & more

Valve’s virtual reality first-person shooter is coming in 2020. But what else do you need to know?

by Talal Musa

The next Half-Life game is on its way (much sooner than you think), and from what we have seen of it, it is set to revolutionise VR gaming.

Here we cover everything about the VR experience, but we just received some news on the release date and system requirements.

Let’s get cracking.

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Release date

Half-Life: Alyx will launch in March 2020 – The exact date of Half-Life Alyx’s launch has been a mystery until now – but it turns out that the game will release on 23 March 2020.

We also know that the game will cost $60, but is free to anyone who owns a Valve Index VR headset.

FREE GAME: Half Life Alyx will be free to those who own a Valve Index VR headset

Look away now console fans, there’s nothing confirmed for you – Alyx seems, for the immediate future anyway, a PC exclusive.

Who knows, though, hopefully, it’ll find its way on to the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

And you won’t need a monster rig to run it.

Half-Life: Alyx system requirements

The Index itself demands for 8 GB RAM and a GTX 970 at minimum.

However, a closer look reveals it won’t take a beast of PC to meet the minimum specs:

MINIMUM:
OS: Windows 10
Processor: Core i5-7500 / Ryzen 5 1600
Memory: 12 GB RAM
Graphics: GTX 1060 / RX 580 – 6GB VRAM

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It won’t just be limited to Valve VR hardware – Alyx will compatible with the HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality, Oculus Rift, and Oculus Quest if you have the PC link cable.

Plot

Alyx is set between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2.

It sees Alyx and her father Eli taking to the streets of City 17, battling the Combine with the help of fellow resistance fighters.

Interestingly, instead of the original Half-Life hero Gordon Freeman’s silent demeanour, Alyx will be a fully voiced character.

FOR THE RESISTANCE: Half Life: Alyx will see you help the resistance battle the Combine on the streets of city 17

“Early on we decided it was important that playing as Alyx felt different to playing as Gordon Freeman,” Valve designer Greg Coomer told PC Gamer.

“Alyx being an active participant in conversations made it much, much easier to incorporate narrative into the game in natural ways, and as a result there’s a higher density of storytelling over the course of the game.”

Gameplay

New Half-Life: Alyx will feature “all the hallmarks of classic Half-Life” including “world exploration, puzzle-solving, visceral combat, and an intricately woven story that connects it all with the characters iconic to the Half-Life universe.”

It’s also a full game and will be around the same length as Half-Life 2 – so don’t think for a second this is some sort of VR tech demo. 

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From the gameplay we’ve seen, shooting looks incredibly responsive – blending cover mechanics with the freedom to improvise and adapt depending on the environment.

Graphically, it looks the part, too – thanks in part to the brand new Source 2 engine, the very same tech powering Dota 2.

New trailer

The Half-Life: Alyx reveal trailer dropped at the end of 2019 – so we can expect to see more gameplay features and demos land in the build-up to release in March.

Review

The Half-Life: Alyx review will likely land around the same time of launch, if not a little before – so expect scores to be up around then.

Development

According to Gunpoint creator and former PC Gamer editor Tom Francis, this is the largest team Valve has had employed on a single game.  

“Half-Life: Alyx is the largest game team we’ve had yet,” Coomer told PC Gamer.

“About a third of the people on the project have worked on previous Half-Life games, some all the way back to the first Half-Life.”

That’s all of the details we have for now but check back in for our weekly updates.

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Talal Musa

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