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Half-Life: Alyx

Half-Life: Alyx review

The Half-Life game you wanted

122

2 days 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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1 week ago

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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3 weeks ago

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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1 month ago

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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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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2 months ago

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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If you like a lot of headcrabs, Half-Life: Alyx now has a horde mode mod

The lack of an SDK hasn’t stopped people from working on mods for Half-Life: Alyx. We’ve already had one this week that sort of lets you play the game without VR. Today, I discovered XenThug, a horde mode map that throws an ever-growing number of Half-Life enemies at your face. I’d be playing it right now if I weren’t writing this.

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Now you can beat Half-Life: Alyx without VR thanks to this mod

It was only a matter of time. Shortly after Half-Life: Alyx's release, modders were already tinkering with ways to play Alyx without VR. Now there's a mod that will actually let you complete the game entirely with a regular display, though it sounds like a slightly finicky experience. This likely won't be the end of the road for VR-less Alyx, but it's certainly a milestone.

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Tall Half-Life: Alyx testers struggled with low-hanging pipes, and devs thought it was a bug

Movement is make or break for VR games. A convincing, non-nauseating solution is vital, and Half-Life: Alyx does an admirable job of navigating through that. Valve have explained how they got there, in a new video that brings up sound design, pathing fiddliness, and why they had to ditch a certain system because tall testers kept hitting their virtual heads on low-hanging pipes.

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Look what everyone’s been up to in Half-Life: Alyx

Half-Life: Alyx is so densely packed with trinkets and goodies to fool around with that it seems it was inevitable folks would cook up some gags with the VR props. RPS have decided that it has some of the most satisfying physics in PC games and that's quite clear when you see all the shenanigans folks have been pulling off inside this sandbox masquerading as a…

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Half-Life: Alyx’s level editor “is the team’s focus now”

Sandboxes are made for playing in and it's no wonder players are eager to get their hands dirty. Half-Life: Alyx has some of the most satisfying physics, and the level-editing tools Valve had planned to release with the VR game are sure to inspire some creativity. The Hammer editor didn't launch with Alyx as intended, but a Valve member has shared that it's the team's…

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Feature: VR is here to stay

The best VR games on PC

Virtual reality has had a bit of boom since the release of Half-Life: Alyx last month, so we've updated our list of best VR games to help reflect that. Indeed, whereas VR games used to be a wasteland of mini-games and glorified scenery wallpapers, there are now more great games than you'll ever have time to play. To help you sort through the good from…

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Watch this Half-Life: Alyx player’s excellent juggling tricks

You've all sat through your Half-Life: Alyx VR maths lesson, right? Good. Time for a treat.YouTuber "ChrisQuitsReality" has put together an impressive performance of bottle-tossing, plate-flipping, grenade-groping and chair-chucking, with the occasional use of Alyx's gravity gloves for added flair. He is a juggling wizard, and you will appreciate him. Unless you really want to avoid mild environment spoilers.

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Modders are already working to bring Half-Life 2 into Alyx

If Black Mesa actually getting finished left you lost without a fan-made refresh of an old Half-Life to cheer on, rejoice: the new hotness is bringing Half-Life 2 into Half-Life: Alyx. Several modders are already showing off their progress in bringing Gordon's adventure to Alyx's shiny new VR game, though it's all hella far from finished. Hey, we all need something to believe in. Come…

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Feature: One Off The List

The most satisfying physics in PC games

An obscenely rich teenager throws his VR controller across the room in a fit of blind panic while playing Half-Life: Alyx. It leaves the window of his bedroom at 5m/s. It falls 10m vertically and hits his neighbour’s greenhouse, smashing the glass. How many metres did the controller travel horizontally before coming to a stop in the tomatoes? Use a kinematic formula to determine your…

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Feature: What it means for Half-Life 3 and where VR goes from here

We talk Half-Life: Alyx with Valve in “the meanest interview ever”

It's taken 13 years, but we finally have a new Half-Life game. It may not be the long-awaited Half-Life 3, but as you've probably seen from our Half-Life: Alyx review, Valve's first foray into virtual reality shows they're a developer that are still very much at the top of their game. But Half-Life: Alyx isn't just the work of a talented team of developers. It's…

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People already got the basics of Half-Life: Alyx working outside VR

It was inevitable that fiddlers and modders would try to make Half-Life: Alyx into a regular ol' non-VR game, and yup, they're already encouraged by preliminary digging. Fans have poked around with debug options and got Alyx running without cybergoggles and with basic FPS keyboard controls, though that's a long, long, long way short of Alyx being playable the same as any ol' Half-Life. Valve's…

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