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Half-Life: Alyx is familiar. It looks a bit similar when compared to the franchise’s previous installments. You get a gun, fight zombies controlled by horrific headclubs, reap extremist combines, solve puzzles and try to free the world from multidimensional alien hijacking. On paper, it’s hard to pinpoint the very noticeable difference between Half-Life: Alyx and the 16-year-old game Half-Life 2. Still, Half-Life: Alyx is different from what I’ve never played before. Yes, it’s a VR game, and the immersiveness that comes from it defines the experience. But beyond virtual reality, video games are created with great care and are so attractive in their execution that familiarity and simplicity make a brilliant stroke.
At the opening moment of the game, you have time to interact and play with the world. Before you get a gun, one of the first things you can arm is a marker. Using my real hand and Vive’s controller, I picked up the marker and started drawing on the window with it. I could clean it with an eraser or stain it with my fingers. This moment seemed trivial at first glance, but it actually serves as the basis for what comes from rewiring the brain and opening up to the possibility that the game will run in the next few hours. Did.
From there, Half-Life: Alyx threw me into a vast hole in the dark with a flashlight, providing a small level of visibility. There, a terrifying monster surrounded me, and when I panicked and groped to reload the gun, horror crippled me. I was physically quivering in real life while my head was flying towards my face in the air, so I was vaguely afraid to drop the magazine on the ground. After a while, I was hacking the terminal in a thrilling mini-game, but stabbed into the sharp sunlight of city 17 and rushed into a shootout with an extremist combine. At the old depot, I woven ducks around the environment, physically crouching and uncovering, looking through the narrow openings in the environment.
This is a gameplay experience that can only be truly understood, felt and evaluated in VR. It has also been enhanced with the implementation of Gravity Gloves. Half-Life: Alyx can tweak one of Half-Life 2’s most obvious weapons, the Gravity Gun, to fit your hand and pull or pull items to catch them in the air. Nothing is more satisfying than holding a wooden board in your hand and using it to hit the head club through the window. Just thinking about it makes you smile. And I haven’t talked about Jeff yet … but I won’t ruin it for you. Know that Jeff is great and absolutely scary.
By the end of the game, I pulled the grenade out of the air and threw it back into a group of enemies. I quickly grabbed a sneaky thing with one hand and fired a shotgun with the other. While accompanied by a pulsing, hypnotic beat of Alyx’s incredible drums and bass-focused soundtrack. This game will take you from a moment of horror to a puzzle-solving, bruxist shootout. New enemy types will be introduced regularly along the way.
The real magic of all this is that the game will never confuse you with tutorials. It doesn’t hold your hand. The design is so elegant and the mechanics feel so natural that learning to play Half-Life: Alyx is just something that feels instinctively. At the same time, you will not be completely lost. The game always subtly guides you to where you need to go next, without making you feel guided in any way. Alyx’s pace is perfect. This is a testament to its pure game design and intensive execution. From using markers at the beginning to reaching John Wick’s level of confidence by finally loading a gun, the game teaches you everything without saying anything.
Beyond virtual reality, video games are created with great care and are so attractive in their execution that familiarity and simplicity make a brilliant stroke.
The iconic world established by Half-Life 2 is even more thanks to Alyx’s writings and characters, including one of the greatest companions in recent memory, Russell (voiced by Rhys Darby). It will be concrete. Russell is a resistance member, inventor of Gravity Grove, and supporting Alix’s journey. His comical Quip calms your nerves in a tense scene, and Derby’s delivery makes Russell’s voice a pleasing blanket in more scary moments. Other scenes add weight and depth to Alix’s character and her perception of the alien-dominated world (the world she was born and raised in). These moments are warm, grounded, humane and otherwise useful for lonely journeys. You feel the bet of a world dominated by a repressive regime in a way that players could never have done like Gordon Freeman. As Alix, you live her life as a member of the Resistance. A spy hiding in clear sight until the first stab in the head on a desperate journey to save her father.
All this is booked by the conclusion that pull the rug from under your feet, give you a hand to help you get up, and the sucker hits you just as you could find your foothold. It has been. A long time after removing the headset, it’s a breathtaking and breathtaking ending. And not only can the last moments of the game permeate my memory forever, but it also re-contexts the entire franchise. Half-Life Alyx reinvents the franchise in a way that points the way to the future of the series, without giving too much.
Whether or not you have an existing affinity for Half-Life, Half-Life: Alyx is a must-see. But the difficulty of experiencing it lies in that barrier. Currently locked to PC and VR requirements. However, anyone who can play Half-Life: Alyx definitely agrees to set a new standard for VR games. Its excellence hopes to pave the way for more developers to explore VR and provide a meaningful experience.
As I mentioned, Half-Life: Alyx is familiar, but the game is unique and unique because its design, mood, pace, gameplay, writing, characters, horror and comedy are so holistic. Is distinguished as. Valve games are rare these days, but Alyx has its own confidence and awareness, demonstrating that the studio is still one of the best when it comes to game design. And not only can you achieve it all, but you can also revive the legendary, seemingly dead franchise and offer something different from the others you play this year.
It’s a half-life. It doesn’t have to prove itself as anything else. But again, it has established itself as one of the most influential and important franchises in the media.