Valve Says That ‘Half-Life: Alyx’ Is Done And Won’t Be Delayed
Good news for folk that a) are absolutely ravenous for a new Half-Life game and b) enjoy sticking their faces into virtual reality headsets: Valve's Half-Life: Alyx is "done", in the words of Valve, and almost certainly won't be delayed from its current release date of March 2020.
Now, there's a few causes for pause there, huh. One, we don't even have a firm release date for the game - which follows the character of Alyx Vance, alongside her dad, Eli, as they battle the Combine - beyond simply March. Secondly, Valve admits there are still "tweaks" to be made to the VR game, which will debut for PC-compatible headsets and be free to owners of a Valve Index (sorry, PSVR peeps).
In a Reddit AMA, as reported by PC Gamer, members of the Alyx development team took questions from excited players-in-waiting. They said, in regard to the possibility of a delay:
"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.
"Right now, we're primarily polishing and fixing bugs - which is where we'd hoped to be at this point in the development cycle. We're confident we'll hit our intended release date."
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Not to be a harbinger of despair or anything, but that sounds a lot like what CD Projekt Red was saying, when it announced its delay of Cyberpunk 2077. The official statement released by the Polish studio earlier in January 2020, accompanying the news of its move from an April release to September 17th, read as follows:
"We are currently at a stage where the game is complete and playable. But there's still work to be done. Night City is massive - full of stories, content and places to visit, but due to the sheer scale and complexity of it all, we need more time to finish playtesting, fixing and polishing."
Fixing and polishing, eh? Sounds like tweaking and bug-squashing, to me. But then, one team's most significant headaches are another's small-fry concerns, and these are wildly different projects in terms of scale, ambition and commercial importance. Also, Alyx wasn't even announced, officially, until well into its development. The chances are that when Valve says everything will be fine with Alyx, it will be.
In addition to addressing the spectre of delay - a curse that's already caught up with Marvel's Avengers, Watch Dogs: Legion, Final Fantasy VII Remake and Cyberpunk of late - the Valve team also spoke about Alyx's connection to previous Half-Life games. Its story is set before the events of Half-Life 2, and the team went back to the first game for some inspiration, admitting: "There are some things we think we did better in HL1 than HL2."
Oh, and there'll definitely be a train in Alyx. "It's actually illegal to ship a Half-Life game if you don't spend at least a little time riding in a train," Valve stated. We'll hold them to that, damn it, even if we hold them to nothing else.
Featured Image Credit: Valve