What Half-Life: Alyx means for gaming.
Let’s face it, Valve know what’s going on. They’ve always been way ahead of their time – Half Life is their flagship in experimental ideas and has gone down in history as the game series that revolutionised shooters. Impressive 3D graphics, clever use of development techniques to get the game running smoothly and ground breaking physics, Valve was on top of it’s game with the foresight of a time wizard. They were basically the Mercedes of the gaming industry.
When you think Valve, you should be thinking change. They changed the way we consume games via Steam, they changed the way video games are developed with Portal and Counter-Strike and most of all, they changed the general perception of gaming in popular culture. All of their lead brands are instantly recognisable, regardless of how many hours of your spare time you’ve poured into video games. Hell, Swedish DJ Basshunter even produced a song dedicated to Dota.
The point is, Valve have a history of being right. Their new creative game mechanic suddenly becomes law, followed religiously by competitors in order to keep up. With the newest instillation in the Half-Life universe taking place in virtual reality, is it possible that we are seeing a glimpse into the future of gaming?
If you own a VR headset, It’s likely that you’ve had this very same thought. It’s rather difficult to grasp just how immersive even the lowest quality games can be when they’re being played merely an inch from your eyes. If Valve set the precedent to release their flagship title on an experimental system, could it be the catalyst the VR industry needs to become one of the major means of playing video games – or is Half-Life: Alyx going to be forgotten as one of video gaming’s greatest misses.