The game, which Valve insists is not a spin-off but “the next part” of the story, can be pre-purchased for $59.99 and is free for owners of the Valve Index VR headset or Index controllers.
“Everyone at Valve is excited to be returning to the world of Half-Life”, said Valve founder Gabe Newell in a prepared statement.
“VR has energized us. We’ve invested a lot of ourselves in the technology. But we’re also game developers at heart, and to be devoting ourselves to a VR game this ambitious is just as exciting.
“For that to come in the form of Half-Life feels like the culmination of a lot things we care a lot about: truly great games, cutting edge technology, and open platforms. We can’t wait for people to experience this.”
Set between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2, the game sees protagonist Alyx Vance and her father Eli secretly mount a resistance to the occupation of Earth by a mysterious alien race known as The Combine.
Valve says Half-Life: Alyx was “designed from the ground up” for Virtual Reality and “features all of the hallmarks of a classic Half-Life game,” including “world exploration, puzzle solving, visceral combat, and an intricately woven story that connects it all with the characters iconic to the Half-Life universe.”
Alyx will be compatible with Valve Index, HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality, Oculus Rift and Oculus Quest headsets.
Valve has confirmed mod support for Half-Life: Alyx. A set of Source 2 tools for building new levels will be available for the game, it said, enabling players to build new environments via Hammer, Valve’s level authoring tool.
Customers who have purchased Valve Index hardware by the end of 2019 will receive bonuses starting early next year, including:
- Explore environments from Half-Life: Alyx in SteamVR Home space
- Alternate gun skins
- Half-Life: Alyx-themed content for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
The Half-Life series has been on hiatus since 2007’s Episode Two, which was originally planned as the middle part of a trilogy which was ultimately never completed.
In the decade since, the company has focused on supporting its Steam platform and the extremely popular MOBA DoTA 2.
More recently Valve has shown an interest in exploring the VR space. In 2016 it launched Vive in partnership with HTC, then earlier this year the company announced its own VR headset, Valve Index.