The Half-Life franchise isn't going back into hiding after Half-Life: Alyx ships. Valve promises this is just the beginning.
Valve is returning to game dev in a big way with Half-Life: Alyx, its new VR-exclusive game. It's the first new Half-Life title in almost 13 years but it certainly won't be the last. In a recent interview with Game Informer, Valve's Robin Walker says the series will live on.
"We absolutely see Half-Life: Alyx as our return to this world, not the end of it," Walker said. "Half-Life means a lot to us, and it's been incredibly rewarding to refamiliarize ourselves with its characters, setting, and mechanics."
This isn't the first time Valve said this. Back in November 2019, Valve confirmed Half-Life: Alyx is just the starting point for the series' resurgence.
"It's probably no surprise that many people at Valve have been wanting to get back to the Half-Life universe for a long time, and this experience has only reinforced that," Valve's Dave Spreyer told The Verge in 2019.
"In the process of creating Half-Life: Alyx, we've had to explore new ways to tell stories with these characters and this world, and we've discovered a lot of new gameplay experiences that go beyond what we've been able to do before.
"Of course, we'll have to wait and see how people react to Half-Life: Alyx once it's out, but we'd love to continue pushing forward."
Alyx is a kind of waypoint between Episode II and Half-Life 3. It's a vital release that serves two purposes: Ease the team back into the franchise and give them lots of practice, and to sell VR headsets.
The VR-exclusive is powered by the new Source 2 engine and features impressive graphical effects, lighting features, and a robust FPS system that should inject new interactivity into the virtual reality world. In short, Half-Life: Alyx is a practice run for more Half-Life games.
"Back in 2016, when we started this, Half-Life 3 was a terrifyingly daunting prospect, right? I think to some extent VR was a way we could fool ourselves into believing we had a way to do this," Valve's Robin Walker said in 2019 interview with Geoff Keighley.
"By starting with VR then trying to think about Half-Life and how it worked, and playtesting those experiences, you're immediately in a space where we have something we understand well, like Half-Life's core gameplay, and then a new platform with new prospects and new possibilities."
Everything we've seen so far tells us Half-Life: Alyx will be VR's first killer app and could redefine the platform as a whole.
Valve could do the same with Half-Life 3...and now we have even more hope that it could actually happen.