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Words of Ignorance
Words of Ignorance

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Doomsday Device Dealer


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June 02nd 1988

Half-Life: Alyx Review

Added:May 16th 2020, 18:30:46
Series:[ The Unreal Empire ]
Rating:5/5 (Votes: 2)

So I've played through the new Half-Life game...

Yes, it's awesome. Half-Life: Alyx is not exactly Half-Life: 3, but it is a new and complete
Half-Life game in unity with: "HL3 confirmed" for the future, for real this time. Well, OK,
Half-Life 2 Episode 3 was also officially confirmed, but they never released it.
Whatever, let's hope that Valve has learned to count to 3.

This game is the best VR game to date with only one contender called Boneworks which came out
a few months earlier which was basically a Half-Life tribute. Boneworks does a few things better
and a few things worse. It didn't feel very polished when I played it, yet it was so innovative and
humerous that you knew: young and passionate people were having fun creating this.
The love for the Half-Life Universe was clear and apparently they pitched the project to Valve as
an inofficial HL3, but Valve declined. Now we know they declined because they were dedicated to
Alyx. Several times in Boneworks a spray paint message can be found in hidden places of the map:
"What if this is just a tech demo?" It turned out to be kind of a tech demo for Half-Life: Alyx,
since it landed on Valve's masterclass list of games that show developers which games to learn
from and Valve was obviously inspired by some aspects.

Where is Alyx placed in terms of the storyline?
It's hard to say if Alyx is a continuation or a prequel to HL2. It definitely advances the story of
the HL universe. When you know the ending you know that debate is necessary on that one.

The physics are awesome and without visible flaws. The graphics are the best VR graphics out
there.The atmosphere is incredible and all-in-all it can be put into the horror genre with features
of classicFPS games. Due to restrictions of VR, the gameplay isn't too fast-paced though, you
can only move relatively slowly. In case you're not familiar with VR, getting sea-sick is a real
problem especially if you move fastwithout moving irl. The more you play VR the less of a
problem it becomes, though. Takes quite a while to get used to. Valve made sure it's a pleasant
experience even for VR beginners.
(Unlike Boneworks which went balls to the wall choosing gamemechanics over comfort.
This made boneworks a little better in my eyes since it's the first time I was able to suspend
my disbelief and feel like actually owning a limp ragdoll body capable of jumping instead of
existing as floating hands like in Alyx)

The puzzles needed to open chests, disable mines and upgrade your weapon are 100% 3D based
which is why no 2D port will ever be adequate. I know people are working on 2D ports and after
playing, I know that those will necessarily suck. Also because of the slow gameplay, which is still
excitingly fast for VR but a snoozefest for 2D FPS games. If you get a chance to play it, VR is the
only option to get the experience.
Otherwise you can just watch a let's-play from a youtuber with a VR headset.
Don't bother with 2D ports.

The pace is perfect, the ammo you get on normal difficulty is just right and searching the
3D environment for ammo is not really optional since it genuinely is a scarce ressource.
Still, you always find just enough. Classic Valve perfectionism at work.

The horror parts are lightened up with genuinely funny moments and remarks from Russel,
your audio companion that you physically meet only in the beginning.

This review is already way longer than I ever wanted it to be, so I'll end on this:
They have released the mod developer tools yesterday and I'm sure that there will be
an awesome modding scene soon, maybe even an attempt at a new half-quake? :D

Only time will tell.

May 28th 2020, 15:32:02
And it now has awesome liquid in bottles :D

August 22nd 2020, 04:04:19
having HQ on a VR experience would be so neat, specially for those that really wants to experience sadism in front of their eyes

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