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PC Half Life: Alyx - Information Thread, update: first reviews consensus - "Rise and shine, Valve. Your time has come again."

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10 hours ago, ThreePi said:

Controls just fine WMR controllers, though the original Vive wands don't have a joystick on them so that might complicate things a bit.

 

Got a good 3-4 hours playtime and gonna call it for the night. Physically takes a bit of a toll being in VR for extended periods of time, not just the weight of the headset but standing and holding the controllers in kind of an awkward position for so long has given me some soreness.

 

The replacement of Merle Dandridge as Alyx was unfortunate but the new lady does a good job. The loss of Robert Guillaume as Eli is a much bigger hit.


Yes. That’s why I’m asking :p 

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Put some more time into this thing now... As far as making it intuitive, man they they make every correct decision in terms of the way you interact with the world. It's by far the most natural feeling game I've played in VR. It's basically equivalent to Beat Saber in terms of being spot on and feeling right, but a far more complex game.

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4 hours ago, Spork3245 said:


Yes. That’s why I’m asking :p 

Oh just get it, like I’m going to.  We can use our retard wands together.  

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After a couple more hours, a few more things strike me:

 

There is a lot of traversal in this game compared to many VR games. Given the density of the environments, it's mostly a good thing. If they hadn't put so much detail into the world and made it so worthwhile to explore, I think this would be a negative, but as it is I think it's mostly positive.

 

While I love that you can interact with everything, the nature of VR does means that you also quickly come up against the limitations. The biggest one ties into a particular frustration of mine in this game, which is the lack of any kind of melee option. I really wish that either you had a crowbar replacement or that you could use items in the environment against enemies to better effect. Especially given how little ammo you get in the game, I really want to find ways to kill things without wasting a shot. So far the only thing that I've been able to kill an enemy with is an exploding barrel. I'm not really asking to be able to kill Combine soldiers with an empty can of sardines, but it would be nice to be able to bludgeon a headcrab with a concrete block.

 

One particular encounter was when I found a pair of manhacks on the other side of a chain link fence. I had a great thought: "I'll yank some heavy objects in the room towards me, smashing the drone in the process!" Unfortunately, that didn't work out very well. First it was just hard to time it so that the baddie was between me and the object I was pulling, but even when I did get something mildly heavy looking (like a Geiger counter or metal drum) to hit the drone, it would wobble a bit, throw the object to the side, and do absolutely no damage that I could see. I haven't tried two handed objects like large crates or barrels, but I don't expect them to do anything.

 

I'm not sure if that is asking too much, or if the nature of VR just makes any intuitive limitation feel more acute. It just feels like a physics based way to dispatch smaller enemies would be a very Half Life thing to be able to do, and I've been saddened that nothing I've tried so far has worked.

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1 hour ago, TwinIon said:

After a couple more hours, a few more things strike me:

 

There is a lot of traversal in this game compared to many VR games. Given the density of the environments, it's mostly a good thing. If they hadn't put so much detail into the world and made it so worthwhile to explore, I think this would be a negative, but as it is I think it's mostly positive.

 

While I love that you can interact with everything, the nature of VR does means that you also quickly come up against the limitations. The biggest one ties into a particular frustration of mine in this game, which is the lack of any kind of melee option. I really wish that either you had a crowbar replacement or that you could use items in the environment against enemies to better effect. Especially given how little ammo you get in the game, I really want to find ways to kill things without wasting a shot. So far the only thing that I've been able to kill an enemy with is an exploding barrel. I'm not really asking to be able to kill Combine soldiers with an empty can of sardines, but it would be nice to be able to bludgeon a headcrab with a concrete block.

 

One particular encounter was when I found a pair of manhacks on the other side of a chain link fence. I had a great thought: "I'll yank some heavy objects in the room towards me, smashing the drone in the process!" Unfortunately, that didn't work out very well. First it was just hard to time it so that the baddie was between me and the object I was pulling, but even when I did get something mildly heavy looking (like a Geiger counter or metal drum) to hit the drone, it would wobble a bit, throw the object to the side, and do absolutely no damage that I could see. I haven't tried two handed objects like large crates or barrels, but I don't expect them to do anything.

 

I'm not sure if that is asking too much, or if the nature of VR just makes any intuitive limitation feel more acute. It just feels like a physics based way to dispatch smaller enemies would be a very Half Life thing to be able to do, and I've been saddened that nothing I've tried so far has worked.

I think Melee in general is one of those physics problems that still need figured out. This is true for almost every melee based game I've played (Thrill of the fight, Gorn, Karnage, Blade and Sorcery)... really the only one that's felt right so far is Beat Saber because it wisely uses Light Sabers. Things that have weight and a physicality to them are hard to do in VR right now. Haptics only does so much.

 

The other thing I'll say is this... the Environments in HLA are so good I find myself moving around my room way more than normal so I could  imagine it wouldn't be long before we  start busting up our controllers trying to crowbar headcrabs.

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6 minutes ago, Dexterryu said:

I think Melee in general is one of those physics problems that still need figured out. This is true for almost every melee based game I've played (Thrill of the fight, Gorn, Karnage, Blade and Sorcery)... really the only one that's felt right so far is Beat Saber because it wisely uses Light Sabers. Things that have weight and a physicality to them are hard to do in VR right now. Haptics only does so much.

 

The other thing I'll say is this... the Environments in HLA are so good I find myself moving around my room way more than normal so I could  imagine it wouldn't be long before we  start busting up our controllers trying to crowbar headcrabs.

Why couldn’t the addition of a button press be used to engage the melee response?  Press a button, game knows you want to melee, end then engages tracks your hand motion?  Seems like an easy work around.  

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28 minutes ago, Dexterryu said:

I think Melee in general is one of those physics problems that still need figured out. This is true for almost every melee based game I've played (Thrill of the fight, Gorn, Karnage, Blade and Sorcery)... really the only one that's felt right so far is Beat Saber because it wisely uses Light Sabers. Things that have weight and a physicality to them are hard to do in VR right now. Haptics only does so much.

 

The other thing I'll say is this... the Environments in HLA are so good I find myself moving around my room way more than normal so I could  imagine it wouldn't be long before we  start busting up our controllers trying to crowbar headcrabs.

I suppose, but Alyx has all sorts of physical interactions at play. I'm throwing things at other things all the time. My hands and gun act like solid objects in the world, allowing me to push things around, open doors, knock out glass, and catch things. I agree it's awkward, and maybe a crowbar wouldn't feel right, but I still wish I could throw something kinda heavy at headcrabs or manhacks and have that do some damage. Especially given that this is a Half Life game, it feels like the game physics should have some combat potential beyond explosive barrels. (I'm still early in the game, so it could change)

 

You're right about the environments. I've got an ok sized space and find myself walking around much more than in most games. I keep finding that out at the wrong times, desperately scrambling to reload only to realize I'm pretty close to a wall or window. 

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29 minutes ago, Boyle5150 said:

Why couldn’t the addition of a button press be used to engage the melee response?  Press a button, game knows you want to melee, end then engages tracks your hand motion?  Seems like an easy work around.  

Easy sure, but like I said... it just wouldn't feel right and with as good as everything feels in this game I can see why it's not in the game. I say that because there wouldn't be a sense of contact or connecting when you hit something. That's why Beat Saber/Light Sabers work so well in VR.

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2 hours ago, TwinIon said:

 

 

I'm not sure if that is asking too much, or if the nature of VR just makes any intuitive limitation feel more acute. It just feels like a physics based way to dispatch smaller enemies would be a very Half Life thing to be able to do, and I've been saddened that nothing I've tried so far has worked.

Put headcrabs into buckets :p

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6 hours ago, Boyle5150 said:

Oh just get it, like I’m going to.  We can use our retard wands together.  


Let me know how it goes :p 

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Man I would love to play this game, just wow. Huge half life fan here. No way after the fire, the loss of our home, both our jobs and our vehicles could I justify right now buying a decent VR set up. I could dream, but I'm just glad we are back on our feet, new home, etc. I'll be broke for the next 20 years trying to catch up. The game looks fantastic though. I'll live vicariously through you guys with impressions, and the like!!

 

One can dream cant I. Man....looking back, we had everything before November 8th 2019 the day of the camp fire. Losing literally everything is very humbling to say the least. We've come along ways, but gaming has taken  a back seat in a many, many row bus of life.

 

So.....lots of impressions plz

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13 hours ago, HardAct said:

Man I would love to play this game, just wow. Huge half life fan here. No way after the fire, the loss of our home, both our jobs and our vehicles could I justify right now buying a decent VR set up. I could dream, but I'm just glad we are back on our feet, new home, etc. I'll be broke for the next 20 years trying to catch up. The game looks fantastic though. I'll live vicariously through you guys with impressions, and the like!!

 

One can dream cant I. Man....looking back, we had everything before November 8th 2019 the day of the camp fire. Losing literally everything is very humbling to say the least. We've come along ways, but gaming has taken  a back seat in a many, many row bus of life.

 

So.....lots of impressions plz


I can’t promise you when, legitimately probably awhile from now, but if you still don’t have a VR set when I inevitably “upgrade” from my Vive - the OG Vive is yours, just cover the shipping.

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WHAT??!!

 

Man.....

    I in no way was looking for something like that. This forum helped us a lot {Here me} when looking for a way to just getaway from the hurricane so-to-speak that was November 8th 2019 up till now. We have come so very far from then, but we are far from the stability we took for granted right up till the day of the Fire and then the diagnosis of my Son {Donnie} literally the day a after!

   I'd love to own a VR headset, have a great PC to run one, thanks for the offer, and shipping and then some could easily be worked out! Thanks @Spork3245 I have no Idea what they cost but I know they ain't cheap! HalfLife: Alex really caught my eye, and I would love to own a VR Set to give it justice, thanks so much. 

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Valve has said that they expect someone to eventually mod the game so that it doesn't require VR. I'm sure that'll dull the experience, but hey, it's something.

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15 hours ago, Greatoneshere said:

Valve has said that they expect someone to eventually mod the game so that it doesn't require VR. I'm sure that'll dull the experience, but hey, it's something.

I don't think that this would be a good game. It works in VR because it was made for it, but if someone turned it into a standard FPS game I'd say most people would find it far too easy. Part of the challenge in it is actually having to aim your weapon and reload it in real time. This means to fire in any way accurately, you have to be standing still. In a standard FPS, even with large cross-hair bloom this would be a piece of cake.

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7 minutes ago, Dexterryu said:

I don't think that this would be a good game. It works in VR because it was made for it, but if someone turned it into a standard FPS game I'd say most people would find it far too easy. Part of the challenge in it is actually having to aim your weapon and reload it in real time. This means to fire in any way accurately, you have to be standing still. In a standard FPS, even with large cross-hair bloom this would be a piece of cake.

 

It's just someone from valve saying that someone (not valve themselves) will probably mod it so people can play it without VR.

They aren't saying this is the way it's meant to be played if said mod is made. :p

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1 minute ago, Keyser_Soze said:

 

It's just someone from valve saying that someone (not valve themselves) will probably mod it so people can play it without VR.

They aren't saying this is the way it's meant to be played if said mod is made. :p

That's fine... I'm just saying that people waiting to play it this way aren't going to think much of the game for those reasons.

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15 minutes ago, Dexterryu said:

That's fine... I'm just saying that people waiting to play it this way aren't going to think much of the game for those reasons.

 

I think most people will understand that. Then there are some people who don't care and probably will play it that way and say it sucks and all we can say is, "told ya so!"

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since i dont have VR (want to invest later this year) so i was watching a stream and saw the ending and whoa boy that was great

 

:feelsgood:

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6 hours ago, Dexterryu said:

I don't think that this would be a good game. It works in VR because it was made for it, but if someone turned it into a standard FPS game I'd say most people would find it far too easy. Part of the challenge in it is actually having to aim your weapon and reload it in real time. This means to fire in any way accurately, you have to be standing still. In a standard FPS, even with large cross-hair bloom this would be a piece of cake.

 

No doubt - I agree. Just putting the info out there is all. 

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I just finished the game. I took my time, and it totaled about 10 hours. In the end it's certainly the best crafted VR game I've played, but I don't think the game did anything revolutionary. I really wish they had pushed the physics into the gameplay a bit more.

 

 

As a very non-spoiler example, near the end of the game there is a hanging piece of metal blocking your way. It's propped up on a barrel with a pipe in between the barrel and the metal. There had been so few physics puzzles in the game that my first thought was that I could just duck under it. After that didn't work, I tried to find another way, but couldn't. Eventually I noticed the pipe and thought I could use it as a lever to push the metal up just enough to squeeze under. Turns out it's not heavy at all, and you can just lift it with one hand and walk right by. I'd been so trained by the game that such things couldn't be moved I hadn't even bothered trying to lift it. I think that basically sums up whatever disappointments I have with the game.

 

Still, it was really excellent. Jeff is one of those levels that I think could well live on in infamy forever. The graphics remained impressive throughout, and they ran very well for me. I'm very excited by the idea of a complete modding tool set becoming available. I think the modding community could do a whole lot with this game as a starting point. Even if it's just some shooting galleries. 

 

Valve has certainly hinted at the idea of continuing Half Life in VR, and I'd love it if this is just the beginning of their ambitions. I really think they're in a perfect spot to iterate on this platform and make something really special. Whatever the sales might be, I hope that all the good press is enough to have them continue their work.

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1 hour ago, TwinIon said:

I just finished the game. I took my time, and it totaled about 10 hours. In the end it's certainly the best crafted VR game I've played, but I don't think the game did anything revolutionary. I really wish they had pushed the physics into the gameplay a bit more.

 

 

As a very non-spoiler example, near the end of the game there is a hanging piece of metal blocking your way. It's propped up on a barrel with a pipe in between the barrel and the metal. There had been so few physics puzzles in the game that my first thought was that I could just duck under it. After that didn't work, I tried to find another way, but couldn't. Eventually I noticed the pipe and thought I could use it as a lever to push the metal up just enough to squeeze under. Turns out it's not heavy at all, and you can just lift it with one hand and walk right by. I'd been so trained by the game that such things couldn't be moved I hadn't even bothered trying to lift it. I think that basically sums up whatever disappointments I have with the game.

 

Still, it was really excellent. Jeff is one of those levels that I think could well live on in infamy forever. The graphics remained impressive throughout, and they ran very well for me. I'm very excited by the idea of a complete modding tool set becoming available. I think the modding community could do a whole lot with this game as a starting point. Even if it's just some shooting galleries. 

 

Valve has certainly hinted at the idea of continuing Half Life in VR, and I'd love it if this is just the beginning of their ambitions. I really think they're in a perfect spot to iterate on this platform and make something really special. Whatever the sales might be, I hope that all the good press is enough to have them continue their work.

 

I literally just finished it 2 minutes ago. I honestly can't remember the last time the ending to a game affected me like this did.

 

And I know exactly what you're referring to with that hanging metal and pipe, the one with the construction helmet on it. I did the same thing, thinking you needed to press down on the pipe. But overall that's a minor gripe. While I'll largely agree it doesn't do anything truly "revolutionary," my experience with VR is that a lot of games kind of do one thing really well, whether its object manipulation, combat, whatever. Alyx does everything really well, and is supremely polished on top of it. In a sense, it almost kind of bums me out about VR knowing that other games have no real chance at hooking me like this has. No other developer can afford to spend the time, resources, or money to achieve the level of polish that Alyx has. And, very selfishly, I kind of want Half-Life to just be a VR series from here on out.

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Youtube recommended some of these Mythbusters videos and it turns out I was wrong.

 

You can indeed kill a zombie by throwing things at it, you just have to do it non-stop for a few minutes. Same thing for headcrabs. So the physics do seem to be calculating some damage, just not enough to matter for the most part. Valve has confirmed they're still working on the Mod tools, and I hope that one of the first is to simply put the crowbar in and dramatically increase physics damage. It could be fun to play through the game again using stuff in the environment to kill things.

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I understand Valve's explanation for not including melee combat, but now that the game is out, very playable without melee, I think they could probably go ahead and at least put an option in for it. Its obviously something they worked on, so I'm sure it wouldn't be terribly difficult to implement, and since the game is fine without it, having it as a togglable option shouldn't really disrupt anything.

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