If you’ve seen the trailer by now I’m sure you’re thinking what we are all thinking. Why is this on VR? It’s not going to be available on the most mainstream VR device which is the PSVR either. If you are a gamer over the age of thirty you’re probably more than aware of Half – Life and it’s legacy.
The sequel to the original game felt like it took forever to come out but when it did it was a tour de force. I think it still holds up today. The gravity gun and the physics engine are all top notch. It felt like a single player game that had everything. It had survival horror elements, action and humor. Then we got an ending that didn’t solve anything and of course we were left wanting.
So Valve released two episodes as expansions and we were able to continue the adventures of Gordan Freeman and Alyx. Then we got an ending and we were left wanting. That was twelve years ago.
There are a bunch of theories and blogs and articles debating the issue of what the heck happened to Half-Life 3. This isn’t going to be one of those blogs. From our point of view (the customer) it appears as though we were promised something that never came. A continuation or a conclusion to a story we were deeply invested in. Imagine if the The Empire Strikes Back never had a sequel? That’s kind of what this feels like.
Think of it this way. Imagine The Empire Strikes Back didn’t have a sequel and George Lucas went ahead with the prequels anyway in 1999. Lucasfim never answers any freaken questions like what the heck happened to Solo? How’s Luke going to cope with being the son of a genocidal space wizard? Why is Lando wearing Han’s clothes? Oh and not only that- tickets to the prequels are 500 bucks. An extreme example but I’m just making a point.
Half-Life Alyx is a prequel. I think they get a kick out of this. As far as we can tell from the trailer it looks like the same setting as Half-Life 2. Alyx’s dad is still alive and he’s captured. It looks like we have to save him behind Alyx’s eyes. Guess what? He’s dead! Spoiler alert from 12 years ago: Alyx’s dad dies at the end of Episode 2 and then credits. Gordan and Alyx are very much still in danger and there is no resolution. Now we are going back in time during the events of Half-Life 2 or shortly after Half-Life 1?
Now lets get to the other problem with this game. It’s a VR game. We were going to work on a blog asking what could be a killer app for VR these days. I don’t think a Half-Life game is the answer. Am I the only one who gets the impression that this is a little pretentious? When the first two games came out anyone with a decent PC could play it. Then the Orange Box came out and everything was in a nice bundle at a good price. The popularity of Half-Life went through the roof. Now you need to own a toy that costs as much a washer and dryer for the privilege to play their non-sequel no one asked for. To play The Orange Box back in the day at full price it would cost you 59.99. Oculus and Vive are expensive as hell. You’ll need a big expensive video card then you need a big expensive VR headset. Is this game for the top 1% ? Bernie Sanders would not approve.
Perhaps not all hope is lost. I wish and hope Valve will tease Half-Life 3 at the end of this game. To be honest even if they do I still don’t trust them because leaving Episode 2 on a cliff hanger 12 years ago was a tease.
I predict Half-Life Alyx will move some headsets but not a lot. The prices vary but the best bang for your buck is still PSVR and it’s not available on it. I would love to be in the meeting room when the Valve big wigs and fat cats are discussing this. “Everyone won’t leave us alone about Half-Life 3. I got an idea lets not make Half-Life 3. Lets make a new Half-Life but it will feature Alyx as the protagonist and it’ll take place before Half-Life 2! Oh but there’s more…lets put it on VR so those bloody peasants can’t get their grubby hands on our masterpiece. The fools muahahaha“
I’m not going to lie I own an Oculus and I am going to play this. However I don’t trust Valve and I don’t believe we’ll get Half-Life 3. I don’t understand owning an intellectual property that would make a dump truck full of money and then sitting on it. Does Valve realize how lucky they are that they own an IP that is in this much demand? Think of all those poor screenwriters at Starbucks right now who can barely afford elastics for their man-buns. I’m sure they’d start typing away non-stop on their Macbooks if there was a demand to read the sequel to one of their terrible scripts.
If I hated money and owned the rights to Half-Life I guess I’d release a prequel on a platform barely anyone owns. They could work on Half-Life 3 for 10 years and it wouldn’t matter as long as we knew it was coming. When people love a story they’ll have patience if they know the story will continue. Never take that love for granted. For the love of god release Half-Life 3 to the masses ya pretentious nerds!
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