Is Half-Life Alyx Worth It? That’s probably what many are thinking now that the Half-Life Alyx VR is out. Before the game was even accessible, many were perceiving it as an important step for VR gaming. I have discussed the impact of this game on the industry before the release of the game. Half-Life Alyx delivers everything it promises without any compromises from graphics to story to game mechanics. The final push that the industry needed to make VR mainstream is finally here. With the release of Half-Life Alyx, the expectations for a VR game are now higher than ever before.
The level of intractability and the type of gameplay experience in Half-Life Alyx is something unique to the game. When Valve announced that Half-Life Alyx would be a VR, I was kind of skeptical because I was expecting a traditional Half-Life game. Now that the game is out, I get it now. There was no other way that the game could reach its full potential without the inclusion of VR. The level of intractability and realism that the game has is not possible in traditional video games. You can interact with most of the things that you see on the map. This is the only VR game that can push people to get into virtual reality. The game is providing a single-player experience in a VR with an unprecedented amount of intractability.
Plot of Half-Life Alyx is More Immersive with VR
The setting of Half-Life Alyx wouldn’t have been this much immersive without VR. Is Half-Life Alyx Worth It? Based on the setting plot, let’s find out. The game takes place in City 17 between Half-Life and Half-Life 2, five years before the events of Half-Life 2. This time players will control Alyx Vance who was one of the supporting characters in Half-Life 2. Alyx Vance goes on the quest to save her father Dr. Eli Vance from the clutches of the occupying alien Combine and eventually join the resistance. The game put you in the shoes of Alyx Vance and shows you the world as if you were her.
Characters in the game are lively and every one of them seems to have an impact on the world. They are not just there to propel the player forward. The game provides a single-player story-driven experience in Virtual Reality. Currently, there is not a single triple-A VR that follows the same tactics. All other VRs are there to showcase how games will look in a VR. Every character in the game seems realistic with amazing sound acting and impressions that rival if not surpass any other game. The fact that developers achieved it on VR makes it all the more commendable.
The setting is Less Creepy and More Immersive
The game takes place in City 17 which provides an urban setting. However, the game explores areas of the city that provides otherworldly and different types of setting. There are dark tunnels and panic creating passage which makes it more fun in VR. You will experience the world of Half-Life like never before. The game will take you to different parts of City 17 that are unique to Half-Life Alyx. At the beginning of the game, you will just be looking at your surroundings. Every room has so much detail that exploration becomes as fun as the game itself. Exploration of Half-Life’s world in VR is something that makes you part of that world.
Levels of the game do not offer a lot of freedom but it is still enough to leave you awestruck. Hardware limitation is bottle-necking the game because Valve is trying to make it playable at minimum cost. Even with limited exploration, the game spares no expense to provide an unforgettable experience. When NPCs talk to you it feels amazing because you feel like an in-game character. The acting of NPC such as Russel is making the experience all the more realistic. The intractability that the setting of Half-Life Alyx offers is something extraordinary and awestruck. Is Half-Life Alyx worth it? based on the setting.
Even the General Gameplay is as Fun as The Rest of the Game.
Every aspect of the game is fun because you get to experience it more realistically in VR. Nearly everything in the map is intractable which makes the gameplay experience both fun and realistic. While progressing in the game, you will need to think out of the box. The interaction has a limit but that limit is evident. There will be moments when you forget the limit of interaction and won’t know what to do but thinking out of the box always saves the day. You can pick up boxes or move nearly anything to progress. Just do it as you would in a real scenario. The level of intractability is insane.
While playing the game you will come across many puzzles. You won’t be able to progress without solving these puzzles. For some players, these puzzles could be a nuisance including me but to many, the inclusion of puzzles in VR makes it exciting. The number of people complaining about puzzles in Half-Life Alyx is less than the ones accepting it. In the game, you will be solving puzzles in VR which can make it more fun than a regular game.
You will be using multi-tool for short-circuiting and other hacking puzzles. Solving puzzles seems important because you will be doing it in real-time. While moving you won’t pass through stuff but rather collide with it. Everything in the world has a real impact on your gameplay experience. Is Half-Life Alyx worth it? Based on general gameplay.
The Environment is The Star of the Show
As I said before, nearly everything you see is intractable. You have to move your hands to get the job done. You can’t pass through anything and will collide with everything on the map. Everything on the map is legit and noteworthy. Health is visible on gloves, so UI won’t bother you by taking a portion of the screen. In the beginning, you will have to bend your body to pick up stuff but once you get the gravity gloves all you need to do is flick your hand. Gravity gloves replace gravity gun from Half-Life 2. Gravity gloves are not that powerful but you can use them to pick up all the small things.
You have to use resins to upgrade equipment. Resins are not evident on the map so you have to search for them. Exploration in the game is rewarded with resins to upgrade your equipment. Some resins are easy to find but if you want full upgrade then you have to look for them. Sometimes you would need to solve puzzles to get resins which can get annoying.
Half-Life Alyx offers two types of mobility options for the player to move around. The first type of movement is traditional VR teleportation while the second option is free movement through the use of buttons on the controller. The inclusion of free movements offers a sense of freedom and exploration that will hook you up from the start. Even with free movement, you have to use teleportation for jumping or leaping. The freedom and intractability of the environment make the game realistic. Is Half-Life Alyx worth it now?
Combat of Half-Life Alyx is Top Notch
There are three types of guns in Half-Life Alyx, Pistol, Shotgun and SMG. You can use resins that you collect to upgrade your weapons. Initially, all three weapons won’t have any attachment but with upgrades, guns will be a lot better. Aiming becomes easier with attachment because you will be aiming realistically in VR. Weapons will have more ammo, faster reload and stuff like that. The first weapon that you get in the game is a pistol. After that, you will get a shotgun and SMG. You can also use grenades to take down multiple enemies. You can even take grenades from living enemies using gravity gloves and use them on enemies.
The most amazing element is the use of the environment in combat. You can pick up different things to use them as cover. Doors of cars, sheets or anything that you think work best for you. The more creative you are, the better you can use environmental interaction in combat. Just like normal gameplay you can get creative in combat and think outside the box. Environmental destruction is a great addition to the already immersive combat of the game. You can also use gravity gloves creatively in combat. The environment can be used advantageously in combat to overpower your enemies. Is Half-Life Alyx worth it now?
Enemies are Dumb but Enemy Verity is Fairly Good.
The AI of enemies in Half-Life Alyx is not that good. Enemies will just follow a specific pattern and even small irregularities can throw them out of balance. You can crank up the difficulty to make the game harder but enemies will still be dumb. Interaction and creative combat of the game are not in integration with the AI of the game. The movement of your body is necessary to move your character. You have to play the game while standing and would need just enough space to duck and move a step. Enemy verity in the game is fairly good.
Is it Your Type of Game?
Half-Life Alyx is a Triple-A VR title that is delivering all that it promised it would. Unlike other VR titles, Half-Life Alyx a full-fledged gaming experience in a VR setting like none other. It’s a single-player story-driven experience in a VR that is setting a new bar for VR gaming. Every element of the game is perfection and the limitation of hardware is preventing it from being even more immersive. Half-Life Alyx is showing the caliber of VR and what gaming in the future would feel like. Valve developed the best VR game possible with the current hardware limitation.
Now let’s answer the question “Is Half-Life Alyx worth it?” If you want to experience the future of gaming then this is the game for you. In case you are a fan of Half-Life series then it is still the game for you. This is also the game for anyone interested in top-notch VR gaming.
You can only run it on a mid-tier to high-end PC with a VR headset. The game can be played on nearly every VR headset but if you want to experience its full potential then Valve Index is the way to go. It’s not for players who don’t own a good PC or a VR headset. In short, it is the game for all PC players who own or wants to buy a VR headset.