The first published Half-Life: Alyx review has claimed that the size of players’ room spaces is “directly proportional” to how much enjoyment they’ll get from the VR shooter.
According to the publication’s verdict, freedom of movement is particularly key to Alyx, but even those playing in optimal conditions may find themselves brushing against boundaries.
UPDATE: VGC’s Half-Life Alyx review has now been published. Read the full review via the link.
ORIGINAL STORY CONTINUES: Players can choose to play the game in a restricted movement mode, but the room-scale option is “clearly the best option,” it said.
“The freedom of movement opens up so much of what makes Half-Life: Alyx great, letting you duck and dive and occasionally lose all sense of your position in the real world,” the Edge review reads, via Resetera.
“And with that in mind, here’s the ugly truth: your enjoyment of this game is going to be directly proportional to the amount of space you have to play it in.
“With VR, physical space becomes an extra system requirement to take into consideration — and even those of us who find the allure of Alyx enough to drop a grand on an Index are unlikely to also shell out for a new living room.
“And even that might not be enough. We play in optimal conditions — a spacious room, all but cleared of obstacles — and still frequently find ourselves brushing up against the translucent boundary wall in-game.”
Edge said the amount of physical movement required to play Alyx means that simultaneously existing in two overlapping spaces means you’re “not just playing the game itself but often a second metagame, as you try to reason where you are outside of the headset and whether you’re about to bump into something.”
Half-Life: Alyx is available to pre-load via Steam now and will be playable from 10am PT / 5pm GMT.
The Edge verdict is part of an extensive cover feature in its new issue, which also includes a lengthy interview with CEO Gabe Newell.
Among other topics, Newell discusses the developing rivalry between Valve’s Steam platform and the Epic Games Store, telling Edge he believes the competition will ultimately be good for everyone.
“Competition in game stores is awesome for everybody. It keeps us honest, it keeps everybody else honest,” he said.
“But it’s ugly in the short term. You’re like, ‘Argh, they’re yelling, they’re making us look bad’ – but in the long term, everybody benefits from the discipline and the thoughtfulness it means you have to have about your business by having people come in and challenge you.”
In another recent interview, the Valve boss said he believes Half-Life: Alyx represents a chance for the company to bounce back after a couple of missteps including 2018’s digital trading card game Artifact.