The latest, long-awaited entry to the Half-Life franchise is a VR game. To everyone's surprise, Half-Life: Alyx is now extremely popular with spectators on Twitch.
We’ve all heard the Half-Life 3 jokes to death. Ever since the cliffhanger ending of Half-Life 2 episode 2, players and fans have been asking Valve over and over about the final entry. And we were all caught by surprise when the corporation who operates Steam did confirm another Half-Life game… a prequel of all things and on VR of all platforms.
- WATCH MORE: Half-Life: Alyx in 60 seconds
Just what we needed
It’s no secret that Valve has every reason to see Virtual Reality succeed. It is both an integral part of their online storefront and a market for their own hardware, such as the Valve Index headset. But critics of the genre have been repeating the same mantra for years – “VR needs a killer app”.
Well, who else to deliver a killer app than Valve themselves? And they sure did.
Alyx is a masterpiece. It’s everything cool about VR compiled in one stylish, consistent package worthy of the cult name it bears.
The game is visceral, atmospheric, action-packed and pretty – it’s gorgeous to look at. So much so, that it found success in a rather unexpected place - Twitch.
Made for streaming
Who would have thought that a VR game will be one of the most streamed titles on the platform, right? But the numbers are there. As of the writing of this article, Alyx is up there with League of Legends and Hearthstone, sitting on almost 30,000 subscribers and thousands of concurrent spectators.
The trick? The game comes with a special streaming mode, showing spectators just one of the two screens on the VR headset (essentially showing one eye the player is seeing) and an innovative interface overlay only showed to the spectators.
This goes to show that Valve was ready to indeed walk the extra mile and make Alyx the be-all-end-all VR killing app – both in terms of playability and watchability.
What a time to be alive. With a shot in the arm for the genre like that (much like the health syringes Alyx uses in-game!) we can only imagine what AAA games are on the horizon.
Stay tuned to our gaming section for more news!