Update: Today on Twitter Valve officially confirmed that Half-Life: Alyx is the name of its upcoming flagship VR game, details to come this Thursday at 10AM PT.
We’re excited to unveil Half-Life: Alyx, our flagship VR game, this Thursday at 10am Pacific Time.
Can’t wait to share it with all of you! pic.twitter.com/BupFCxSrTw
— Valve (@valvesoftware) November 18, 2019
Original: According to the unconfirmed rumor, the title is supposed to be named Half-Life: Alyx and will focus on the non-player character of the same name from Half-Life 2. This most recent rumor is by way of PCGamer and suggests a full unveiling would come on December 12 at the annual Game Awards hosted by Geoff Keighley, with release said to follow in 2020. There are also unconfirmed suggestions the game could be teased much sooner than the awards.
The rumor comes from an alleged transcript of a conversation/interview between an unknown person, Valve’s Robin Walker, and Keighley. In the conversation several details are discussed that will be easy to fact check when the time comes, such as the game’s title being Half-Life: Alyx.
Usually a rumor like this wouldn’t be worth giving too much attention, and to be clear we haven’t confirmed the rumor mill here, but last year sources told us Valve was working on a Half-Life VR game. At that time we also heard the possibility that you would play as a female character (such as Alyx), and that would likely place it after Half-Life 2: Episode 2 and leading directly into the next full installment in development. Valve founder Gabe Newell even joked about Half-Life 3 at the Valve Index launch event.
Other recent nuggets of information add weight to the rumor as well. Earlier this year a DOTA 2 update included mentions of a “hlvr_weapon_shotgun_prototype” and “SPORE damage” in its code. Further, just a couple months ago, intrepid fans found references again to Half-Life VR in an update for The Lab.
Valve told us earlier this year that their “flagship” VR game is in development and will be released this year for all headsets compatible with SteamVR. We’ve contacted Valve representatives multiple times for clarification of the game’s release timeline and haven’t received a response. Recently, Valve programmer Kerry Davis talked at length about how intricately simulated mechanics will be in the game, such as the doors.
Additional unconfirmed rumors suggest the game includes a lengthy campaign (at least by VR standards) and a new weapon called the “Grabbity Gloves” said to leverage hand tracking, with writing from Jay Pinkerton, who worked on Portal 2 and the Aperture Hand Labs project released with the Index Controllers earlier this year. Half-Life 2’s 15-year anniversary was last week and The Game Awards specifically posted about it.
Hopefully all of this adds up to an amazing game getting announced soon, but as of yet all of this remains unconfirmed rumors and second-hand reports. Half-Life would be a great fit for VR, so fingers crossed it materializes as a real product. In the meantime, at least you can play a modded version of Half-Life 1 on Quest.