Now Valve have formally announced the upcoming Half-Life: Alyx, we can pore and coo over its first screenshots in shiny 4K resolution. The VR exclusive (which Valve tell us really does need to be VR, else "for all intents and purposes it would be an entirely different game") is set a few years before the return of Gordon Freeman and stars Alyx Vance as she helps build resistance against City 17's alien occupiers.
It's been twelve years since the last game in the series and this one takes the action to Valve's Source 2 engine, so if you squint real hard it's almost like you're looking at a remake of Half-Life 2 too.
The Combine Citadel is still under construction at the time of HL: Alyx but already dominates the skyline and certainly is a sight (click screens to embiggen, obvs):
The surrounding buildings where humans live are looking real fancy too, though that's more 12 years of technological progress at Valve than better living conditions in City 17.
Residences do look worse in ways, mind. What's that goop over on the right-hand side?
Something even goopier is in the sewers. This looks like a Headcrab zombie was snared by a Barnacle then fed on by spacefungus. It's going to be an awful fungus puppet, isn't it?
It is great that Alyx's gadgets (and the avatars for our motion controllers) are apparently named Gravity Gloves. Looks like the UI is on those wee displays too. And it's great that Alyx had these years before Gordo arrived and started lugging around a Gravity Gun. Perhaps he swore off manual labour after what happened the last time he pushed alien matter.
The remaining screens are only in 1440p, not 2160p, because that's how Valve have 'em, okay. If you enjoyed vandalising the computers in Dr. Kleiner's lab, get a load of this offering of monitors in Russel's lab (according to the filename):
This seems to be the scamp himself:
Some good trashed machines:
And oh look, let's close on something awful:
Hell, have the moving pictures one more time too:
This is all broadly how I remember City 17 looking but, as I check Half-Life 2 screenshots today, no, no it really did not.
Half-Life: Alyx is coming to PC VR goggles in March 2020 via Steam. It will cost £46.49/€49.99/$60 but folks who own Valve Index cybergoggles will get it for free.
Disclosure: I have a pal or two at Valve, though I've no idea what they're working on these days.