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Everything we know about Half-Life: Alyx Part I
Alyx Vance returns in Valve's new VR prequel, due in March of 2020.

A brand new Half-Life game is coming, and while it's not exactly Half-Life 3, it's still pretty exciting. Here's everything we know about VR prequel Half-Life: Alyx so far, including the release date, how many hours it will take to complete, which famous Half-Life characters will make a return, and more.

What is Half-Life: Alyx's release date?

Half-Life: Alyx will be released on March 23, 2020. The game will retail at $60, but is free to anyone who owns a Valve Index VR headset.

Watch three new Half-Life: Alyx gameplay videos posted by Valve

Half-Life: Alyx Gameplay Video 1

Half-Life: Alyx Gameplay Video 2

Half-Life: Alyx Gameplay Video 3

All kinds of good stuff in there, including a lot of combat. It's hard to tell without more details, but it seems like much of Alyx's arsenal revolves around her pistol. We see in video 1 that it can be upgraded with weapon sights and other modifications, and in video 3 we see Alyx strap a one-use grenade launcher on the end of it in the midst of battle. 
Between headcrab killing, we also see a bunch of immersive VR moments rendered with the polish of a big-budget game, like dumping out a bucket's contents to find ammo or opening a car door to use as a bullet shield.

And a bit more gameplay here
IGN has its own exclusive gameplay for Half-Life: Alyx that blends sections from Valve's videos and some new stuff as well. Valve is definitely using the tactile feel of grabbing and holding stuff to great effects, like wearing a hardhat to block a barnacle from getting its slimy tentacles on you.

This is Valve. It really won't get delayed?

Yes, a lot of big games get delayed from Spring 2020 until later in the year. Valve recently did an AMA on Reddit where it says that's not going to happen with Half-Life: Alyx.

"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," says the Valve team. They joke that all of the "Valve Time" happened before announcing the game.

You can play the other Half-Life games free on Steam until Alyx launches

"Half-Life: Alyx is coming in March, and we are celebrating early by making all games in the Half-Life Collection FREE to play for Steam users, from now until the day it launches," Valve said in announcement.

"Half-Life: Alyx is set before the events of Half-Life 2 and the episodes, but the games share characters and story elements. The Half-Life: Alyx team believes that the best way to enjoy the new game is to play through the old ones, especially Half-Life 2 and the episodes, so we want to make that as easy as possible."

You can find all the other Half-Life games on Steam: Half-Life, Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One, and Half-Life 2: Episode Two.

It's Valve's biggest project yet

Remarkably, this is the biggest group of people Valve has ever had working on the development of a single game. It's been in development for a long time, according to Gunpoint creator and former PC Gamer editor Tom Francis. 

"Half-Life: Alyx is the largest game team we've had yet," Valve designer Greg Coomer tells us. "About a third of the people on the project have worked on previous Half-Life games, some all the way back to the first Half-Life." Coomer adds that new employees, including those from recently acquired Firewatch developer Campo Santo, have "played an important part in bringing fresh perspectives, which has always been a crucial part of our process."

“We didn’t set out to make a Half-Life game,” Robin Walker, programmer on Half-Life: Alyx told IGN. Valve began experimenting with VR using assets from Half-Life and Portal, though the movement and momentum of the latter wasn't suitable for VR. Half-Life was.

Initially it was only a brief Half-Life VR experience, but that changed in large part to the reactions of playtesters. "As we started to put people through this 15-minute prototype," Walker told Geoff Keighley, "they would spend 45 minutes in it doing a bunch of stuff that we'd never really… they exhibited a bunch of behaviors we'd never really seen players exhibit in the sort of flatscreen 2D, desktop environment."

Here's the Half-Life: Alyx system requirements

While the Index itself just calls for 8 GB RAM and a GTX 970 at minimum, Alyx's system requirements are a bit higher, but still pretty modest.

OS: Windows 10
Processor: Core i5-7500 / Ryzen 5 1600
Memory: 12 GB RAM
Graphics: GTX 1060 / RX 580 - 6GB VRAM

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