It’s been 12 years since the last Half-Life game was released in 2007, and just when fans of the iconic franchise seemed to have lost all hope that Valve would ever continue the series, the company took to Twitter to announce a new installment. Half-Life: Alyx has been revealed as the studio’s “flagship” virtual reality game, with a full unveiling of the title to come on Thursday at 1 pm ET.
Rumors of a Half-Life VR game have been floating around the internet for months, including Monday morning when a transcript of an alleged interview concerning the title was reportedly leaked online. Until today, whispers of a new Half-Life game would have been met with a healthy amount of skepticism after the myriad rumors and “leaks” that have found their way on Reddit and other forums over the years.
So, what do we know about Half-Life: Alyx? Only the title for now, although the official unveiling on Thursday should offer some more details on the story and the gameplay. Will it be a first-person shooter starring Alyx Vance, Gordon Freeman’s companion throughout Half-Life 2?
The return of Half-Life is part of a push within Valve to start shipping games again. Once known for its innovative titles, including the physics-based Portal and fast-paced competitive shooter Counter-Strike, game development had taken a backseat at Valve, which has mostly focused on its Steam platform in the last few years. Certainly, a new Half-Life game seemed like a long shot at this point, despite the fact that many devs have confirmed that there have been several attempts to make a new installment.
It’s unclear at the moment if Half-Life: Alyx is a continuation of the story that began in Half-Life 2 and continued in Half-Life 2: Episode 1 and Half-Life 2: Episode 2. If it does start after the latter’s infamous cliffhanger ending, then we’ll likely find Alyx in a dark place after the death of her father.
We’ll have more info for you later this week.