Valve Reveals How Horror Plays Out In Half-Life: Alyx

Ahead of Half-Life: Alyx’s release in March, developer Valve hosted an AMA (ask-me-anything) session on Reddit. Fans of the series asked thousands of questions, though only a small number of them were entertained. Even still, we learned a lot about the upcoming title, including how the virtual reality aspect adds to the horror element.

“Horror is part of the franchise, and through playtesting, we feel like we’ve gained some confidence about where to draw this line. Some of our gorier visuals tend to evoke a grim fascination rather than revulsion or panic,” writes a Valve developer.

Headcrabs are one of Half-Life’s most iconic monsters, and I can’t imagine how terrifying it must be in virtual reality. Despite that, Valve notes that no part of Half-Life: Alyx is so horror-inducing that players had to “nope out”.

Weapons are another important aspect of Half-Life: Alyx; Valve has put a lot of effort into designing an inventory system that will keep the “players eyes on the environment as much as possible.” Inventory management in virtual reality can feel tedious in certain scenarios, so the introduction of features such as an ‘over the shoulder’ ammo selector will make it much simpler.

After the recent surge of delays, many fans were concerned that Half-Life: Alyx would also postpone its launch. However, Valve says that everything is going according to schedule, and that the studio expects zero delays.

“With the exception of some tweaks to the absolute final scene, the game is done. Lots of us at Valve, as well as playtesters, have played through the entire game multiple times. Right now we’re primarily polishing and fixing bugs, which is where we’d hope to be at this point in the development cycle. We’re confident we’ll hit our intended release.”

In the weeks leading up to the Half-Life: Alyx launch, Valve will share more information about the game in the form of gameplay videos. These videos will showcase both gameplay and VR-specific elements.

Check out the Reddit thread here to learn everything Valve revealed about the game.

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Farhan Ali


Farhan is a passionate writer with an undying love for games, PC hardware, and technology. With nearly 5 years of experience in blogging and over 14 years of experience in gaming, this is what he loves and does best.
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