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Half-Life: Alyx

Half-Life: Alyx review

The Half-Life game you wanted

122

2 days ago

Steam saw 2.6 million first-time buyers each month last year

Valve have published their 2020 Year In Review for Steam, and I'm a little shocked at how dramatic some of their statistics are. Seeing as we experienced a global pandemic during which everyone locked themselves away in their homes, it may not come as a huge surprise that more people took up gaming to pass the time. Valve say 2.6 million people bought games for…

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2 months ago

Gabe Newell has blasted Gnome Chompski into space

It is done. Gnome Chompski has shot off to where gnome man has gone before. The little red-hatted fella started life as a bit of a joke in Half-Life 2: Episode Two. Players who carried the garden gnome all the way to the end of the game would be awarded with the achievement "Little Rocket Man" - a title old Chompski truly lived up to…

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Take an educational tour of Half-Life: Alyx with new developer commentary tracks

Half-Life: Alyx is a brilliant game. A remarkable return to form for the long-dormant Valve flagship. But there was something crucial missing from the prequel's launch. That's right - I'm talking about those tiny yellow speech bubbles wot let Valve employees whisper sweet development secrets into your ears. Today, those audio tracks return to Valve's VR shooter, not as those iconic yellow bubbles, but as…

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Gabe Newell is shooting a real Gnome Chompski into space for charity

Do you suppose Gabe Newell himself has earned the Half-Life 2: Episode 2 achievement for carrying a garden gnome to the end of the game? He's planning to snag a real-life achievement, apparently, and has partnered up with Rocket Lab to blast a real Gnome Chompski into space. Not for nothing, Newell is planning to donate to Starship Children's Hospital based on the number of folks…

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5 months ago

Feature: The future Jamiroquai foretold

Everything you need to know about VR before you start

Ever since I squeezed my face into David Braben's Rift hole (humblebrag), I've been a VR convert. I've moved house three times since then, and each time I've managed to tether up some sort of VR system, from the pokiest of rooms to my reasonably spacious home office. That last one is not a humblebrag, as I'm far too humble to do two in one…

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Speedrunner uses VR to crawl under Half-Life: Alyx levels in real life

Speedrunning often involves a lot of running and jumping but that usually takes place in game, which is impressive enough. During this year's Summer Games Done Quick marathon, Half-Life: Alyx speedrunner "Buffet Time" goes full on gaming athlete by actually crawling on the ground to glitch through floors and walls. It's a feat you really need to see for yourself.

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6 months ago

Here’s Summer Games Done Quick 2020’s online speedrun schedule

Despite being delayed, then later moving entirely online due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Summer Games Done Quick is still preparing for some awfully fast gaming next month. The schedule for this year's event has just gone up, kicking off the annual week of charity speedrunning on Sunday, August 16th. Expect your usual bouts of boundary-breaking and donation shouting, of course, but can you really…

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Feature: Want to slamdunk a headcrab?

Best Half-Life: Alyx mods

It’s taken time to build up a decent collection of Half-Life: Alyx mods, but not as long as I thought it would. People were building them before Valve released the proper SDK, and now it's out there are hundreds of levels, weapons and experiments. I had a great time sneaking through forgotten areas of City 17, or taking time out from Combine harvesting to toss…

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Feature: From wheely desks to invisible headcrabs

Five cool things we learned from Valve’s Half-Life: Alyx – Final Hours documentary

I've only ever played bits and pieces of the Half-Life games, but it's been a delight learning the ins and outs of their creation from Half-Life: Alyx - Final Hours. It's a multimedia documentary on all things Valve - their (many) cancelled games, a close look at life during Alyx's development, and the ups and downs the developers went through in making sure Half-Life returned…

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Valve’s list of cancelled games includes a Dark Souls-like RPG, a new Left 4 Dead, and Half-Life 3

Can you imagine a Dark Souls-meets-Monster Hunter RPG made by Valve? I think I would've loved that. Unfortunately, it's on a list of Valve's games that were never meant to be. Of course, Half-Life 3 is sat up on that shelf, too, along with Left 4 Dead 3, and another Half-Life-themed shooter that would've looked very different to what we got with Alyx. It's all…

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The Final Hours Of Half-Life Alyx lets you concoct bespoke alien screams

Thought it may as well have felt as much at the time Half-Life: Alyx didn't pop out of a vacuum. Released today, Half-Life: Alyx - Final Hours is an interactive multimedia docu-book full early prototypes and concepts, deets on what Valve's been up to for the last decade, and a bespoke make-your-own-headcrab-scream audio tool. You know, the usual behind-the-scenes stuff.

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8 months ago

Of course somebody recreated PT as a VR mod for Half-Life: Alyx

Half-Life's always had horror in its veins. From body-horror aliens lurching down steel corridors to Ravenholme's infested nest of parasites, sawblades and the living dead, the series has been pushing spooking with its shooting since day one. Sporting more intimate, high-fidelity spooks, Half-Life: Alyx is no exception - and with a modding kit out in the open, it was only a matter of time 'til…

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Play Half-Life: Alyx as a more traditional shooter in this VR-free mod

Since the moment Half-Life: Alyx launched in VR, folks have been trying to detach it from its headset requirements. To be fair, I get it - that the first Half-Life game in a decade would be restricted to expensive tech felt a little demoralising. But this weekend, one modder brought that dream closer to reality by quietly releasing Pancake Base, a mod that aims to…

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Half-Life: Alyx’s bottles now have sloshing liquid, and it’s a bit magic

Infants have long known the joys of shaking a bottle to watch its contents slosh and bubble, and now Half-Life: Alyx players can experience that joy too. Valve last night updated the VR explore-o-shooter with fancy new mock bottle fluids, and even as someone whose body wholly rejects VR I am captivated watching players play with bottles of booze. It's like a real beer, but…

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Half-Life: Alyx gets proper mod tools and Steam Workshop support

Half-Life and modding are basically synonymous. Whether it's painstakingly remaking the original in Black Mesa or spawning entirely new multiplayer genres in Counter-Strike, Gordon Freeman's misadventures are as much a platform for new works as they are solid shooters in their own rights. This weekend, Valve brought Half-Life: Alyx back into that lineage with Steam Workshop support and the beta release of HL:A's editing tools.

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Feature: One Off The List

The 12 most useful inventions in PC games

If you plumb the depths of human ingenuity you will resurface with a wet box of penicillin and 100 million bits of different-coloured plastic. We people are very good at making useful things, and then killing ourselves with them. But videogames, my friends. Videogames hold the solution to our self-destructive ways. That tech utopia your pal Start-up Stan is always talking about is in reach,…

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Feature: Should have been called the Google Clipboard if I'm honest

I played Half-Life: Alyx on a Google Cardboard (sort of)

I've been flitting between lots of different VR headsets over the last month or so, in my quest to find the best VR headset of all. But who needs to spend upwards of 400 quid when the £12 / $15 Google Cardboard can also be used to play big SteamVR games like Half-Life: Alyx? Yes, you read that correctly. Thanks to the magic of VRidge,…

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9 months ago

Half-Life: Alyx’s only melon can’t be eaten without cheats

Hard to imagine worse things to eat while in VR. Do you really want sticky fingers clutching your index controllers, melon juice splashing over your expensive electronics? It's probably for the best, then, that the one watermelon in Half-Life: Alyx is impossible to find in normal play - a sweet, tantalising snack tucked away only for those brave enough to break out the cheats.

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If you didn’t backflip while juggling in Half-Life: Alyx, did you really play it at all?

I was gearing up for a second playthrough of Half-Life: Alyx this weekend. I really wanted to use the physics engine to have a little fun this time around, so I took a peek at some inspirational Let's Plays to see what I could try. Then I uninstalled Alyx and put my headset away. I can't even juggle in the real world, never mind doing…

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Feature: One Off The List

The 9 tastiest dinners in games

Everyone’s a cook now, is that it? A few weeks in lockdown and you’re all suddenly artisan bakers and Bon Appétit Kitchen presenters? Sorry, I don’t buy it. Put the chickpeas down, Jeff. We all know what happens when you let things “simmer”. However, there is a world in which your cooking really does impress. Where it comes out of the pot scrumptious and hot…

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