Today, Valve officially revealed Half-Life: Alyx, the VR prequel to Half-Life 2 and revival of the long-sleeping franchise. Valve states that the inspiration for Half-Life: Alyx didn’t come from a desire to make a new Half-Life game, but rather a new VR game. The devs then turned to existing franchises and found that Half-Life‘s story, vistas, and combat could all be enhanced via VR. This might seem like Valve is playing down the cultural significance of Half-Life, but it does show us that Valve has at least been thinking about Half-Life 3 – even if it is a “terrifyingly daunting prospect,” as one of the employees says.
What does this mean for Half-Life 3?
With the announcement of a new Half-Life title comes, inevitably, the renewed desire of fans to see the series’ storyline continue. Half-Life 2: Episode Two left things off with an enormous cliffhanger, after all, and 12 years later we still don’t know how it ends (though we do have one real possibility of what might have been).
As it turns out, our hopes might not be unfounded. But they aren’t guaranteed to become reality, either. As one of the Valve employees stated, “We wanna put [Alyx] out and see how the world reacts to it before we make any concrete plans about what we do next.”
Granted, those words aren’t coming from Gabe Newell himself, but it is information from Valve that hints at a plan. Sure, given the context of the video, the developers might be referring to future VR titles. But if Half-Life: Alyx proves successful, it could also open a window for Valve to return to Half-Life 3. The mere fact that we are getting another game in the franchise means that, for now, the world of Half-Life is alive and well, even if we don’t end up seeing Gordon Freeman this time around.
It will be interesting to see how Half-Life: Alyx impacts the gaming world. Will it end up being the first truly great VR title? Or will it just be a very high-end VR tech demo in a Half-Life setting? It’s way too early to say right now, but that also gives us a lot of time to speculate.
Half-Life: Alyx is available for pre-order on Steam for $53.99. Check out Geoff Keighley’s full interview below.