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Let's pause to appreciate Half-Life: Alyx's shotgun reload animation

With its weird mechanical arm

There's a lot of Half-Life: Alyx to coo over in those three gameplay videos Valve released yesterday. Googheads might be smitten with catching grenades in mid-air, opening a car door to take cover behind, or lifting the lid on a portaloo then reaching in deep with your digiarm. Me, I have simple pleasures: I am well into the needlessly extravagant reload animation on what I believe to be a sci-fi shotgun. Who wants the fiddly task of manually loading shells when you can have a little mechanical arm do it at terrifying speed? Not me.

You get a good look at the shotgun in the video where Alyx fights a load of Combine:

Watch on YouTube

Now let's zoom in a little:

That's great, that. What a cracking little arm that gun has. How weird the whole design is. I also like that the arm is too lazy to pull the bolt itself; that's on Alyx.

One clear advantage of VR is that you could, if you wanted, raise that shotgun right up to your face to watch the mechanism at work. Press it to your virtuaear and listen to the click-clacking. Lovely.

Half-Life: Alyx is due to launch March 23rd on Steam. Valve's own Index VR gear might be sold out with Covid-19 disrupting the supply but it'll also work on Vive, Oculus, and other cybergoggles.

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Half-Life: Alyx


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Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Former Associate Editor

After ten years at RPS, Alice returned to the sea.