Half-Life: Alyx is what Valve calls a full-length, virtual reality addition to the Half-Life world. So, make no mistake, this won't be a glorified tech demo or some simple side excursion to divert your attention for a few minutes. Valve is hoping to sucks fans into the gameplay experience the same way the original and its sequel did.
According to Valve, Half-Life: Alyx is set in-between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2, and will follow the travails of Alyx and her father, Eli. The pair will team up to battle the Combine, which is an alien race that is hellbent on enslaving humans.
Half-Life: Alyx, being that it's a virtual reality title and based on Source Engine 2, will be compatible with PC-centric VR headsets. You'll be interacting with the environment primarily using your hands, or more specifically, "gravity gloves" as you can see in the image above. For anyone that's played Half-Life: 2, you can sorta get an idea of where Valve is going with this gameplay mechanic.
In speaking with The Verge, Valve’s David Speyrer explained that gamers will want to "play through Half-Life 2: Episode 2 before you play Half-Life: Alyx, for reasons that will become clear as you progress." He also explained the game is around the same length of Half-Life 2 as well, which means that there will be plenty of content to explore.
"We've discovered a lot of new gameplay experiences that go beyond what we’ve been able to do before," Speyrer added. "Of course, we’ll have to wait and see how people react to Half-Life: Alyx once it’s out, but we’d love to continue pushing forward."
"Everyone at Valve is excited to be returning to the world of Half-Life", explained Valve founder Gabe Newell. "VR has energized us. We've invested a lot of ourselves in the technology. But we're also game developers at heart, and to be devoting ourselves to a VR game this ambitious is just as exciting. For that to come in the form of Half-Life feels like the culmination of a lot things we care a lot about: truly great games, cutting edge technology, and open platforms. We can't wait for people to experience this."
Valve isn't going into further detail on the story, or how gameplay will shape up, but it does say that you'll be able to play the game with a Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, or Windows Mixed Reality headset. As an added bonus, those who own a Valve Index will get the game for free; it will otherwise cost $59.99 when it launches in March 2020.