With Half-Life: Alyx less than three weeks away, today Valve released three short gameplay videos showing off the VR shooter's movement, shooting, and physics.
The first video is set in a subway level and uses the Teleportation movement style, which lets you select and teleport to specific locations rather than walk continually. This style of movement generally reduces VR-induced nausea, but Alyx also supports standard Continuous movement.
As expected, the first video is stuffed with cool physics interactions. You can flip over dead Headcrabs if, for some unknowable reason, you want a closer look at their terrible mouths. We see the player rip planks off the wall to clear a path, open lockers and catch materials as they fall out, and reach through a window to grab a pole jamming a door. When you upgrade your weapon, you slide it into the socket. When you use a health station, you put your hand on the panel and watch a bunch of needles poke it. This is the Gravity Gun all over again: Valve flexing its pants off.
The second video is a bit shorter and uses the aforementioned Continuous movement style. The highlight here is probably the light puzzle which challenges you to line up poles by rotating a sphere. It also gives us a better look at the simulated HUD. For instance, you can store items by dragging them to your right wrist, and you can check your health and ammo on your left hand. There are some more cool interactions too, like the option to chuck a grenade through a window to blow out a locked door. I can't wait to try that, inevitably drop the grenade or hit the wall, and totally blow myself up.
The final video is a shootout using Teleportation style, and it may be the most impressive of the bunch. It looks like exactly the kind of cover-based shooting experience VR has been leading up to. You can crouch behind a car to take cover, then open the car door to hide when an enemy flanks you. You can catch enemy grenades and throw them back. You can blind-fire over cover or poke your head up just enough to gauge enemy whereabouts. Half-Life: Alyx certainly looks mighty fun, I'll give it that.
As it happens, IGN released another gameplay video today, and while it largely overlaps with the clips from Valve, it does have a few new snippets. I especially like the intro section filled with Barnacles. If one snags you, you have to look up to shoot it, and you can bait their tentacles by tossing garbage (or gas cans, you know) into them. We also get a good look at the scope upgrade for the pistol, which seems to highlight enemy weak points. It also makes aiming a lot clearer, which is great to see.
Here's some promising news for people who don't like or can't handle VR: Valve reckons Alyx may kick off a broader return to the Half-Life universe.