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Has Half-life lost its Lustre? - (response to HL:Alyx)

Type_Raver

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Oct 13, 2006
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So much time has passed since the last Half Life game HL2: Episode II, that in that span of time, we have had 2 whole generations of consoles come and go (early PS3/X360 generation till now, late PS4/XB1 gen).
In this time, a whole host of new gamers have been birthed, experiencing modern FPS greats such as Modern Warfare, Battlefield, Overwatch, Fortnite and so on.

In that same period of time, Valve have been silent on the Half-Life franchise, to the point that HL3 (or HL2: Ep III) would become legend. The franchise would fall off towards the fridges of popularity and would occasionally be resurrected on rumours, speculation or retrospectives. (love Digital Foundry’s HL2 retrospective!)

Suddenly, Valve wakes the press, starts a new Twitter account to announce they will be showing their new flagship VR game, Half Life Alyx! Fans erupt, excitement leads to questions, curiosity mixed with caution but anticipation is high. But as bright as this announcement is, its partly cloudy as well, to use the weatherman’s phrase...

A few days later we see the trailer and we generally love it. At the same time, we are questioning, trying to justify how we might purchase a VR kit, or justify why we would abstain. But others are sold, "take my money!" they say, and go and pre-order a Valve Index.

As a gamer that has played the original Half Life and every successive release, along with friends in my circles, its been difficult to get them moved to be excited by HL:Alyx. Colleagues at my workplace with similar experiences - negative, no reply, or cool response at best. At best there is some excitement but its quickly its dispelled on the notion its VR only. Other personal thoughts, the graphics look really nice especially for VR, but fall short of the cutting edge with a discernible difference. The tech while new, does not use the latest bells and whistles like Ray tracing or DLSS (TBC, but its unlikely), and will likely look dated real quickly once the next gen arrives and we see the second wave of titles. We have to waggle controls again? I say that in jest.

Has Valve left it too late, the Half-Life brand lost its lustre? Are Valve feeling themselves, resting on its laurels and valuing it greater than what its stock is worth today…?

Thanks in advance for reading this through, and look forward to your thoughts and experiences on this as well.
 
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JORMBO

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I don’t really like VR much (motion sickness). The HL name doesn’t have enough draw anymore for me to be interested in buying the new game and dealing with motion sickness. It’s also been so long that I wouldn’t be too hyped for a new regular HL game, but I’d still probably buy and play one.
 
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SegaShack

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People were waiting for this game and they made it different than the rest of the series. This is how I felt with Star Fox Zero as well. The anticipation and demand is there and the developer didnt meet my expectations.
 
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tr1p1ex

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they definitely let the brand fall into a state of disrepair. Today's 16 yr old was born when the game came out.

I have a feeling Alyx ain't going to do anything. I hope I"m wrong, but feel like we know what's coming. Pantomiming and stumbling around in front of your couch with a box attached to your head.
 

Type_Raver

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Half Life: Alyx will revolutionize videogames the same way HL1 and HL2 did.

I hope so, for VR's sake. But also for the Half-Life's brand as well.
However many fans of the franchise didnt want the VR game to come at the expense of a traditional experience.

Im not surprised Valve chose this path, theyre invested in VR and its in their interest.
I do wish that their planning, preparation and production focused more on Raytracing and how that would influence game design.

I don’t really like VR much (motion sickness). The HL name doesn’t have enough draw anymore for me to be interested in buying the new game and dealing with motion sickness. It’s also been so long that I wouldn’t be too hyped for a new regular HL game, but I’d still probably buy and play one.
I love Half Life series, I will play Half Life:Alyx if I got a VR set, but I don’t have it and I won’t buy it for that.

This is how I feel and what ive sensed and experienced as well.
Most likely, I'll look out for a 2nd hand CV1 and avoid spending too much. But im in no hurry....
 
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Ichabod

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If they ever do intend to release HL3, I think the shrewdest approach would be to remaster HL 1&2. It would reignite interest amongst the old guard while introducing the newer generations to the franchise for the first time.
 

GlassAwful

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This game comes out in just over 3 weeks and was supposed to be VR's magnum opus yet there's no previews, no unscripted gameplay, no hype.

Where's the revolution at? Where's the twenty minute walkthrough showing off new AI, new physics, gameplay possibilities and tech on a level we haven't seen before?

There's nothing since the announcement except some mediocre as fuck looking off-screen gameplay and a handful of screenshots.

You know what the worst outcome for VR would be?
A by-the-numbers VR game in the HL2 universe as it's saving grace. Manual reloading and John Wicking dumb AI with no haptic feedback like every other VR game is not revolutionary. Its cool to watch in youtube videos a few times but is now old hat and basically turned into a gimmick for VR.

I'm thinking the not-boss saw that after the surprising amount of attention the announcement gained and put the lid on the hype machine to dampen the blowback they got coming.
 
Jan 11, 2019
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Not wasting money on VR for 1 game.
 
Aug 26, 2018
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I wont be playing it because I dont plan to get an expensive VR just for one game. However it saddens me somewhat that its VR only and kind of a side story. Visually looking at it, to me if this is how HL3 would of looked I don't think anyone would complain. It's beautiful and shows strong graphical upgrade differences especially when you see familiar enemies. So that long wait wouldnt be as bad as Duke Nukem Forever which looked like dog shit and forgotten in time.

Its too bad Valve or the fans think in order to have a new title, they need to break boundaries. HL1 added skeleton animations, HL2 had great physics. Did we really need to go VR only to make a point? VR is nowhere near as popular, its pretty much going to be stuck there as a VR selling demo. It sucks for the fans, cuz we wanted a continued story. Im sure 90% of HL fans wont bother with buying a VR headset just because of this title. They will probably watch some lets play instead and pay half as less for next gen consoles.
 

Mato

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Sep 23, 2006
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It's just that it is impossible to live up to the hype. That, plus VR poses a barrier to entry thus many will be skipping the game.
 
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wordslaughter

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Maybe we should just wait a few more weeks and then we'll see.

Also to people saying they won't buy into VR for one game, neither would I, but these kind of one line responses feel a bit salty.

ONE DAY you may buy into VR and won't it be nice ON THAT DAY to have one more great game to choose from? Who knows, maybe the response to HL:Alyx will be so gushing in praise that many actually do end up getting into VR because of it.
 
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Aug 26, 2018
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Maybe we should just wait a few more weeks and then we'll see.

Also to people saying they won't buy into VR for one game, neither would I, but these kind of one line responses feel a bit salty.

ONE DAY you may buy into VR and won't it be nice ON THAT DAY to have one more great game to choose from? Who knows, maybe the response to HL:Alyx will be so gushing in praise that many actually do end up getting into VR because of it.

Oh I will definately buy VR one day. Im waiting for PSVR 2 in 2021 probably. But this game is not only stuck behind VR, its PC only. And you need a beefy PC to play this. So yeah, who would want to pay $1000+ for VR/upgrade just for one game? I will buy a VR when theres plenty of AAA games to chose from. Maybe HL Alyx will make that push but again Im saying this for all us fans...we couldnt care less for VR, we want a new HL story. And by being stuck behind these barriers, you are cutting fo your real fanbase and are promoting the game to gadget fans that have spare money on the side.
 

TUROK

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Other personal thoughts, the graphics look really nice especially for VR, but fall short of the cutting edge with a discernible difference. The tech while new, does not use the latest bells and whistles like Ray tracing or DLSS (TBC, but its unlikely), and will likely look dated real quickly once the next gen arrives and we see the second wave of titles.
Graphics these days look great.

If anything, I really dislike this "graphics graphics graphics" mentality the industry has. Sure, nicer looking games are appreciated, but I think it's focused on too much by gamers, which in turn makes devs focus on it cause they want our money.

Part of me thinks "damn Valve, you wanna just come back with Half-Life after feeding us your spiel of episodic gaming that literally went nowhere?" and the other part just salivates at the possibilities of a AAA title done in VR.

It's potentially revolutionary in the video game scene. I hope it is.
 

Kenpachii

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Half life is just a meme. The only reason people cared about the first one on PC was modding and that's about it. Half life 2 tryed to push further ont his aspect but failed hard. as most mods became paid products at this point.

Half life 2 was also only made to push steam and specifically the source engine which ended up being a total dud while steam was solid but half life 1 with counterstrike already pushed that.

This new half life is just to sell there 1000 buck vr headsets to suckers that will play the game for a day or two at max and then it collects dust again like any VR product does on the market.
 
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RPS37

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I was tempted to pop Orange Box in my XBX yesterday, so no, I’m still hyped for more HL, VR or no.
 

MayauMiao

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Half-Life days of glory are over. Its an IP best left in the history books, and I doubt Valve can make anymore significant impact to the industry with Half-Life 3. The latest VR title does nothing to the brand as it only caters to a very niche market.
 

Halo is Back

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I was initially hyped for it but then I heard it was gonna be VR. I just can’t get into. I would happily buy if it was just a “normal” game.
 

Romulus

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And 90% of the fans aren´t getting what they were looking for.

The trailer was over 9million views on YT and it was overwhelmingly liked verses disliked. And, it was one of the most upvoted threads on reddit of all time. Also, the Valve index($1000), Rift S, and Quest were sold out for months after Alyx's announcement.

Seems like alot of people are fine with it.
 
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iiStryker

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Feb 26, 2020
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I don’t know if I care about VR. I enjoy sitting on my ass pushing buttons on a single controller. Flailing about playing VR is a costly novelty to me especially for the experience I’d like to have. As it stands right now to have the Half-Life Alyx experience it’s still too cost prohibitive for all the equipment.

although Alyx is the first game outside of the Bethesda RPG’s to pique my interest about VR.

Playing video games is primarily what I do exclusively when I’m not working or sleeping.
I don’t know how I would fare physically playing in VR for several hours at a time.
 
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Gavin Stevens

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It’s not that it’s lost anything, but it’s releasing on a *thing* that not so many people have still. So of course it’s not going to seem like it’s popular.

If my past music releases were all on mp3 and then I switched to vinyl I’m sure I would expect a loss in interest too.
 
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darkinstinct

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They never even said what happened to Episode 3, they just went and developed hats and skins instead of Half-Life. So if they cared so little, why should I care now? Especially so if they hide it behind VR because they want to sell hardware? I constantly forget this game even exists. I have three VR headsets, I won't bother getting the game, Valve is dead to me. Most games do not work better in VR. I'd rather have a traditional game than a 10 hour VR experience.
 

Orta

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The ship has sailed. Even it this were HL3 and even if it was a non VR game the interest isn't there. I hope it'll be good, I hope it'll sell well but even a huge HL fan like myself is more interested in several other titles coming out this year.

Valve has nobody to blame but itself. They treated its fanbase with utter contempt.
 
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stickkidsam

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Jan 7, 2018
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Nah, that trailer was fuckin sweet.

I was hoping for Half Life 3, but I'll happily support them using the series to create a quality game for VR. The medium can always use more proper entries.
 

Bankai

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It's lots of nostalgia for sure. I loved Half-life and its iterations. I can imagine lots of people dismissing it, because they don't have any history with the IP.
 
Feb 17, 2020
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1st was great for the time.

Call Crysis a tech demo all you like, but I ve seen what makes you people cheer - HL2. Overrated naff.

As for Alyx, valve trying to sell me a new HL game based in VR reminds me of that scene from the first Transformers movie: "Considering the semi-classic nature of the series".

 
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Feb 17, 2020
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Double post but idk care because imagine having your head so far up your own ass that you seriously think the majority of pc gamers are going to pay such a massive price of entry to play a non sequel to a series they've been waiting to return to in the form of an actual sequel.

The paints faded.
 
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Romulus

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Double post but idk care because imagine having your head so far up your own ass that you seriously think the majority of pc gamers are going to pay such a massive price of entry to play a non sequel to a series they've been waiting to return to in the form of an actual sequel.

The paints faded.

They said VR is what got them excited to do another AAA game, not PC gamers.