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Half-Life: Alyx, Microsoft's accessibility efforts, and more PC news this week

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The player holds their hands up as Combine aim guns at them in Half-Life: Alyx
Image credit: Valve

Valve are making a new Half-Life and... what else happened this week? The announcement of Half-Life: Alyx kind of blotted out everything else, including the launch of Google Stadia. That platform launch is less exciting than a game not even out for four months. Read on for more of the week's PC gaming news. Do also check The Weekly Updates Update for word on patches for Borderlands 3, Red Dead Redemption 2, Barotrauma, and more this week.

Valve announced Half-Life: Alyx, a VR exclusive

Set between Half-Life and Half-Life 2, it stars Alyx Vance causing trouble for the Combine in City 17. Valve told us told us "It's very difficult to imagine [it] in a non-VR form" so it seems it really is only for gogglords.

Valve also spoke the name "Half-Life 3"

...but only to say the whole idea of it seemed incredibly daunting when they started on Alyx. Though Valve did vaguely tell The Verge that they'd love to "love to continue pushing forward" with their return to Half-Life, so who knows?

Valve confirmed "hardly anyone" is working on TF2

But that's hardly a surprise. They've been simply keeping the 12-year-old game alive with bug fixes, minor tweaks, and regular events for ages. I was surprised that this seemed such a shocking revelation to some this week.

Google Stadia launched

Google doubled the launch lineup of their cloud gaming platform less than a day before it came out but, uh, so what? It's been a bad launch for a questionable product.

Some reviewers have found it hiccupy even on superfast connections, invite codes to register names went out late to some people who pre-ordered the Founders Edition to do just that, and don't forget you still need to buy games to play them. Some folks casually assume that all games are included with the optional Stadia Pro subscription (and I get why they might think that) but nnnope.

Microsoft have shared their accessibility guidelines

Covering everything from subtitles and inputs to haptic feedback and difficulty, this is a whole lot of careful thought and research that many developers could benefit from - and put out into the world free for all. That's grand, that.

Logitech launched Xbox Adaptive Controller add-ons

Speaking of Microsoft's really-quite-good accessibility efforts, Logitech now have a big cheap pack of buttons, pedals, triggers and things to plug into Microsoft's modular controller.

Word on the next Saints Row coming next year

This is vague and minor but hell, if Valve can announce a new Half-Life let's have more wild dreams. Saints Row 4 is such wonderful foolish fun that hell, yeah, give me more.

Shenmue fella vows to keep trying to finish the series

And now that Shenmue 3 has finally launched, after so much time and doubt, there's whispers of a fourth. Long-time co-director Yu Suzuki included a wee letter to fans in 3's credits, saying "For as long as there are those who wish to see Shenmue live on, I will never give up on my own personal journey to complete its story." Hell, after Shenmue 3 actually came out, anything could happen. Our Matthew is currently playing Shenmue 3 for review, by the way. Maybe he'll have completed his capsule collection by the time 4 is out.

Amy Hennig started a new studio

The former creative director of Uncharted (who recently oversaw the cursed Star Wars game of Visceral Games) is building a new team with executive producer Julian Beak at film production company Skydance Media. She said, "Our goal is to create inviting and innovative experiences with the high production values and visual fidelity that will set the standard in this new media landscape."

Arkane veterans started a new studio

Raphael Colantonio, former president of the Dishonored and Prey studio, and Julien Roby, a former executive producer there, have revealed the existence of WolfEye Studios. They don't have anything to show yet but did talk about their "proven passion for immersive games that feature original worlds and strong audio" and said they wanted to "go deeper with the simulation and gameplay possibilities by focusing on interactions more than we ever did in our past games." They'll announce their first game in December at The Game Awards.

Deathgarden ending development, so now it's free

Behaviour, the studio also behind Dead By Daylight, are ending development on their asymmetric multiplayer shooter because it flopped. They're tried to reinvigorate it, but this didn't work. So with one final update, they've called it done and made the game free for everyone for as long as they keep the servers up.

Freebie: Serial Cleaner on Humble

Subscribe to their newsletter and you'll get a Steam key for the stealth game where you try to clear up bloody crimescenes before the police discover 'em. Our former Alec (RPS in peace) adored the look and premise but found it "really annoying". Still, it's free.

Freebie: Bad North on Epic

This is that cute roguelikelike real-time tactics game about defending wee islands from Vikings. Very pretty.

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