We were all a bit shook when Half-Life: Alyx was announced as a VR-exclusive game and had a ton of questions. Would it be a full-length game? Would Valve deliver something heretofore unseen on a VR platform? What will the gameplay be like? We'll, we've got some of those answers: it's a full-length title, and thanks to Adam Savage's Tested, we've got 30 minutes worth of gameplay. Check it out below.
The team at Tested played about three to four hours of Half-Life: Alyx, and tried out the game on eight different VR headsets. Ultimately, this showcases just how important the headset and controllers that you use are. In the game, you can pick up crates and break them over the ground and weapons are hit-scan (when fired it instantly hits whatever you're pointing at) without any aim assistance, so you want a headset that feels accurate. And since there's nearly 15 hours of gameplay, according to the team at Tested, you'll want your headset to be comfortable. "You don't want to have a pain in the neck," Tested's Will Smith says.
Inside out headsets have a disadvantage because of the limit of what the camera can see, and the mechanics in the game also dictate what kind of controller would work best. Reloading requires you to reach behind your head and grab a magazine, then drop the empty magazine out of your gun, slam the new one in, and rack the slide either with a button or with the other controller. "If the controller heads are too big, you can't get close enough to do it," Smith says. You'll only have a split second to nail these maneuvers, as the gameplay is at a breakneck pace, with enemies thrown at you fairly quickly. That means the controllers you choose are vital in your ability to nail Half-Life: Alyx.
The team at Tested breaks down which setups are the best for Half-Life: Alyx, but the good news is, most of the hardware works as advertised, even the affordable Oculus Quest. That means you'll be able to find an inexpensive way to play Half-Life: Alyx that still feels good.
Half-Life: Alyx is due out in March 2020, but we'll update you whenever a specific date is announced.
For now, check out our 100 best games of the decade.