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Half-Life: Alyx is Valve’s VR-exclusive, full-length prequel to Half-Life 2

As promised, Valve officially unveiled a new Half-Life game on Thursday: Half-Life: Alyx, a full-length game designed for virtual reality. Set between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2, the VR exclusive will tell the story of Alyx Vance and her father Eli as they form a resistance to take on the invasion of the alien force known as the Combine.

In other words, Half-Life: Alyx will not move the Half-Life story forward after Episode Two, but will fill a gap in the story during which protagonist Gordon Freeman was in stasis.

Half-Life: Alyx will be released March 2020 on Steam. The game is powered by Valve’s SteamVR software and is compatible with all PC-based VR headsets, including Valve Index, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality. Half-Life: Alyx is priced at $59.99, but will be free for owners of Valve’s Index VR headset.

Half-Life: Alyx was “designed from the ground up” for VR, Valve said in an announcement, “and features all of the hallmarks of a classic Half-Life game: world exploration, puzzle solving, visceral combat, and an intricately woven story that connects it all with the characters iconic to the Half-Life universe.”

Images released for Half-Life: Alyx show off environments that will be familiar to anyone who has played Half-Life 2. Alyx will explore the dilapidated Eastern European city known as City 17, which has been overtaken by Combine forces. Environments shown by Valve include rundown City 17 apartment blocks, Combine-infested sewers, and the makeshift labs of resistance allies.

Alyx herself will also sport some Half-Life 2-inspired weaponry in the form of Gravity Gloves. In screenshots, the gloves appear to be both a tool for battle — a la Gordon Freeman’s iconic Gravity Gun — and a helpful bit of user interface.

Check out the first images of Half-Life: Alyx in the gallery below.

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