Half-Life: Alyx

43K concurrent users sounds really, really good to me. I wasn’t expecting this to sell more than a couple of 100k lifetime.

Angry Joe review surprised me in that the thee guys had issues with the Index and having VR-sickness, they had to continue with the Rift S

My kids and I are digging it, in the short bursts of time we’ve had to play.

They do both spend an awful lot of time having Alyx flip people the bird.

That’s bad parenting.

One of the first things my kid did, about six years ago when I built him his first PC, was play Half-Life all the way through. (Though, like me, he never finished HL2.)

This is literally the best thing ever:

Finished chapter 5. Wow that was a long chapter, lots of ‘sub-levels’ in there. The fight outside the hotel, once you are done with it was the hardest one for now by far. I tried to crouch in real life but the knees were complaining, in the end I did it by playing sit in my floor, with the legs crossed.

I played less today, but at least I did Chapter 7. Bye Jeff
So it was a really good level. First I have to say the artist who thought of the alien clam-branch things that move a bit, and then go ‘clap clap clap’ when you are close deserves a raise, it was deliciously alien and creepy. The level itself, with the whole blind super-enemy that follows sound has been done several times before, but it happens to work particularly good in VR. The gimmick of putting your hand on your mouth was pure genius, it makes you imitate that Hollywood stereotypical scene of a thriller or horror film, with a child or the would-be woman victim making his breath silent by covering their mouth in the same way, helping the player to be more on that role of being pursued by a serial killer or something like that.
I got a bit stuck when you have trap him on the separate room to open the door with the wheel, but when I noticed what I had to do I felt so smart and full of relief. So when later you notice that to fix the electrical problem you have to enter there you have an epic moment between dread and facepalm, lol. At when I entered in the elevator and thought I was free of him… I went to the dark corner to fix finally the stupid elevator avoiding him by a hair, and well, you should have seen my face when I noticed it had turn on… with me trapped with Jeff in the elevator. Oh god.

Good stuff.

edit: Chapter 8. Antlions are pretty big!

I was wondering how the game ammo worked, as you never have too much but also the designers couldn’t use melee as fallback, as there isn’t any here. Well, it’s easy: they cheat. The game dynamically spawn more ammo for at least the pistol if the next “looting point” if you pass a threshold. There was a place where I killed two barnacles with the pistol, I advanced and found two pistol magazines in a garbage bin. I reloaded and this time I didn’t kill the barnacles and that time the magazines were not there.

I haven’t commented this before as it seems obvious, but with this VR title they are really leaning in showing how the bad guys are bad, by giving a more explicitly cruel biological twist to their machinery: The substations? powered by Vortigaunts trapped. The normal control panels? a tumorized rat. The health stations? a squished slug.
It’s also cool how as you mod the Combine rifle, it looks closer and closer to the HL 2 model.

Not sure if those two observations prove dynamic spawning of ammo, it could be simply random whether ammo appears there or not.

Dynamic ammo spawning sounds like a pretty good idea though.

It could be just random yes, but I think it makes more sense if it works how I describe it. Because otherwise, players could get stuck in an area by not having ammo. For example, locks can only be destroyed with a pistol, as there is no crowbar.

They used it in L4D, no reason they wouldn’t reuse it.

As much as I like the Half-Life games, I always kind of ignored the lore. Why is Freeman referred in this game as ‘the savior of mankind’ ?? He beat the crap out of a big alien in HL1 in Xen, and well, the Earth still got invaded.

Beyond that, I just finished it.
Chapter 9-10 are a bit ehh, they are ‘more of the same’, without creating new situations with new enemies or new types of puzzles or new gameplay elements.

ending spoilers

I’m not convinced with the time travel. First, it’s almost a trope to try to revitalize an old series like Half-life with a twist like introducing time travel in the story, as interesting as they can be from a plotting perspective, it’s can be also pretty gimmicky.
Second, I don’t particularly like putting time travel here even if I usually like time travel stories, as I had imagined the HL universe being a bit more ‘hard scifi’ in reality, it’s just that the player doesn’t know the explanation to some things.
Third, if they decided to do it, do it well, it was really a shitty time travel, just 10 seconds in the middle of a void. Go the Infinity War/Back to the Future route, recreating the last level of Ep2 in VR, having to avoid Freeman/Alyx while you see them in the backdrop while you fight other enemies, until finally you kill the Advisor without being seeing by them.

Oh yeah and the final sequence was a bit too much fanservice-y for me, clearly inspired by HL2 finale, the fact it was super short and didn’t do anything interesting with the new power also fits my point, that it was just fanservice.

GMan saying Freeman was unable, or -unwilling- to come back seemed meta-commentary to me, that Valve is the one unwilling to make HL3 lol.

Speaking of fanservice and lacking some gameplay elements towards the end, I would have liked to have some scenes with the automatic turrets (you see them once, but in a room that cannot be entered), and the game barely had three way fights (like zombies or antlions vs combine vs you), they are always fun.

I agree with you on the bit at the end. If they were going to do it, I would’ve much rather have had a full level instead of just that void and the quick zap with your hands. In a movie, you’d think the production ran out of money.

Heh. I actually suspect the budget of the game has not been as high as someone could think, for an AAA game, so maybe they decided to have a budget somewhat limited, adequate for the VR market.
For example, I noticed there are barely moments with other npcs, I think there are six in the entire game, and they are usually 20-60 seconds long. So very little work on facial animations, mocap, etc.
There are also very few big set pieces, the type that mixes complex scripts with high intensity combat (I’m guessing they are more expensive to do and polish than advancing through a derelict building). There are only three weapons. Obviously no mp of any type. And well, very linear games like this are also less complex than non-linear games.

The only standard weapon type missing from the game is the long-range sniper. Pistol is precise short/medium range, shotgun is well a shotgun as well as essentially a rocket launcher, and the machinegun is spray and pray.

You could argue that the rocket launcher is an iconic long-range explosive weapon to take down helicopters and such, and the crowbar is an iconic melee weapon, I suppose.

…and two energy weapons, and two alien weapons, and the crossbow, and the tripmines…

Crossbow is the sniper I referred to, the alien weapons are machinegun and grenade skins, and tripmines aren’t a standard weapon type in shooters.

Standard shooter weapon types:

  • Melee: Low damage, melee range. You only use this when you’re out of ammo or to break a crate.
  • Pistol: usually low damage, short/medium range. Often but not always a starter weapon that you don’t want to use later on. Pistols usually suck, which is why DOOM Eternal doesn’t have one.
  • Machinegun/assault rifle: low damage but high firing rate, short/medium range
  • Shotgun: high damage, close range only
  • Sniper: high damage, very slow fire rate, medium/long range, limited ammo
  • Rocket launcher: high damage, slow fire rate, medium/long range, limited ammo. Used on groups, bosses, and armor.
  • Grenades: high damage, slow fire rate, short/medium range, often requires a different way to aim

Note that each of these weapon types has a specific purpose and scenario where it’s useful. So any alien weapon that shoots a bunch of projectiles quickly is really a machinegun skin, even if it’s actually shooting bees. A crossbow that is deadly accurate and comes with a scope is a sniper skin. A flak cannon that shoots shards of antimatter spreading out in a cone so it’s devastating up close but sucks at even medium range is really a shotgun skin. Etc.

Alyx has the pistol, machinegun, shotgun, grenades, and (kinda) the rocket launcher with the shotgun attachment. It doesn’t have melee or sniper weapons.

Anyone get it working on a Quest?

I finished it with the Quest!

Yep, works fine on Quest using Virtual Desktop.