Is Half-Life: Alyx the best game of 2020?

Half-Life: Alyx
Half-Life: Alyx was released back in the spring of 2020. The release broke almost 13 years of hiatus in the Half-Life franchise and revolutionized the entire series thanks to VR technology. Despite the fact that today you won't surprise anyone with virtual reality helmets, Half-Life: Alyx managed to use these capabilities to the maximum.

Choosing the best game in 2020 is really difficult - also due to the fact that the capabilities of consoles have been significantly expanded this year, which made it possible to use the technical capabilities of games in different ways. Therefore, when choosing the best game of the year, it is also important to consider how the developers have used these technical improvements. In this sense, Half-Life: Alyx stands out from the rest, becoming the first game in the Half-Life series to support VR headsets, making a real revolution after 13 years of developer silence.

Half-Life: Alyx uses the capabilities of the VR headset so skillfully that the gameplay completely captures you, immersing you in the world of Half-Life. It is important that Valve used the VR engine not only for impressive footage, but also for real interaction with weapons, the environment and the physics of the virtual world. As a result, the world appears in front of you absolutely harmonious, changing the course of the narrative so that the player does not get bored. First, you can scare the headcrab in the pitch darkness, and then engage in a violent firefight against the Alliance soldiers. After that - a little respite and a couple of puzzles on the hike, so as not to get bored. With all this, the game dissolves these elements in the surrounding world, forcing you to study it more and more.

In fact, Half-Life: Alyx does nothing supernatural - all these features have already been encountered in previous parts of Half-Life. However, it is VR technology that enhances the effect of presence and all the philosophy that Valve gave us before. It's much more interesting to explore the world if you are already familiar with the Half-Life series - for example, you can see City 17, which you have only heard of before. It boggles the imagination of all loyal fans! As you might guess from the title, Half-Life: Alyx is dedicated to the story of Alex, Gordon Freeman's partner, about whom we did not know much before. This is one of the most interesting heroines in the game, so watching her fate is really interesting, as well as the fate of her father - its plot branch becomes more understandable compared to Half-Life 2: Episode Two. It is important that at the end of the game you have a much clearer understanding of where the entire Half-Life universe is heading.

It may be that the presence of VR technology makes the game less "common" for all players, but it is really useful. The player really feels like in Alex's body when moving objects or engaging in a firefight - this is also facilitated by convenient controls. For example, you do not need to have a wide space around you to comfortably move around the map, jump or run - all these actions can be performed using buttons, so you can sit quietly in one place, while staying in the center of the game.

Well, perhaps moving the game to VR is a very bold decision for the developers who have brought the legendary franchise to life after 13 years of silence. However, if there was a game that could reveal to you the full potential of VR, it would definitely be a game from the Half-Life series.

We really hope that the potential of Half-Life: Alyx will continue to develop over time, but for now it is definitely one of the best games of 2020.

Authored by: tentacl
Published on: 21 December, 2020
4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate)
IF (Interactive fiction)


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