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On Half-Life: Alyx, Valve, and VR

Arnox

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People (and Gabe Newell) say that Valve only do a Half-Life game when they see a way to make a major breakthrough or breakthroughs in gaming. This is a pretty respectable stance to take for such a revolutionary franchise, and I can't say that Valve hasn't ever delivered on that. In fact, let's make no mistake here. I think it's pretty clear that HL:A has made major strides with VR while doing some experiments with it, and finally, laying a ton of groundwork for the future Half-Life 3. So while EA, Activision, and Ubisoft are sitting in the corner thinking about how they can best fuck consumer's wallets for even more money, Valve is over here getting shit done and actually trying to move gaming forward.

So what is this thread for exactly? Is it merely to confirm Valve's achievements? Yes and no. Specifically, I want to confirm the amazing work that they've done and also to commend them for their vision of where gaming is most probably headed in the future. But alongside that, I also want to be a voice of dissent as well (Oh Arnox, you NEVER do that. Never ever.) and a voice of some warning. Because as good as HL:A might be, I don't see enough people at all that are pointing out the mistakes here and the things we all need to look out for.

The first thing I want to say is that HL:A, and even Valve's forward-thinking mindset doesn't excuse the fact that we had to wait over a decade before we got any kind of official continuance to the Half-Life series. Valve pretty much promised at least three episodes, and revolutionary or not, they should have at least eaten everything on their plate before putting the series on such a long hiatus. Now, the good news is that I think Valve realizes and has apologized for this. Nevertheless, I'm damn sure I speak for HL fans everywhere when I say I don't want to see this again. This is getting into Unreal Tournament 4 levels of disrespect, although not quite as bad at all.

The second thing I'd like to say is that, as much as we'd all probably like to have CrossCode/Ready Player One levels of VR gaming be a reality, we are a LONG way from that, and there are certain major technical hurdles that need to be handled before that can be even close to a thing, to say nothing of the ethical issues as well if we started using neurological implants or devices to experience and/or control a game like that. As it currently stands, VR does offer a fair amount of new options and experiences that regular "flat" gaming just can't offer, but at the same time, it comes at a major cost of control, ironically. A keyboard and mouse or even just a controller can offer and give much more efficiency of control that current VR just can't have. I feel like devs are getting so caught up in what VR can do in the future that they're not looking enough into what we have in the present and how much we need to advance in tech and how long that's going to take.

Again, HL:A is an amazing game and it leverages everything that we have now in very effective ways. And VR may be the future, but sadly, that's the far future, and until we get there, I'm afraid VR is always going to have to play second fiddle to flat gaming for the forseeable future.
 

Battousai

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People (and Gabe Newell) say that Valve only do a Half-Life game when they see a way to make a major breakthrough or breakthroughs in gaming. This is a pretty respectable stance to take for such a revolutionary franchise, and I can't say that Valve hasn't ever delivered on that. In fact, let's make no mistake here. I think it's pretty clear that HL:A has made major strides with VR while doing some experiments with it, and finally, laying a ton of groundwork for the future Half-Life 3. So while EA, Activision, and Ubisoft are sitting in the corner thinking about how they can best fuck consumer's wallets for even more money, Valve is over here getting shit done and actually trying to move gaming forward.

So what is this thread for exactly? Is it merely to confirm Valve's achievements? Yes and no. Specifically, I want to confirm the amazing work that they've done and also to commend them for their vision of where gaming is most probably headed in the future. But alongside that, I also want to be a voice of dissent as well (Oh Arnox, you NEVER do that. Never ever.) and a voice of some warning. Because as good as HL:A might be, I don't see enough people at all that are pointing out the mistakes here and the things we all need to look out for.

The first thing I want to say is that HL:A, and even Valve's forward-thinking mindset doesn't excuse the fact that we had to wait over a decade before we got any kind of official continuance to the Half-Life series. Valve pretty much promised at least three episodes, and revolutionary or not, they should have at least eaten everything on their plate before putting the series on such a long hiatus. Now, the good news is that I think Valve realizes and has apologized for this. Nevertheless, I'm damn sure I speak for HL fans everywhere when I say I don't want to see this again. This is getting into Unreal Tournament 4 levels of disrespect, although not quite as bad at all.

The second thing I'd like to say is that, as much as we'd all probably like to have CrossCode/Ready Player One levels of VR gaming be a reality, we are a LONG way from that, and there are certain major technical hurdles that need to be handled before that can be even close to a thing, to say nothing of the ethical issues as well if we started using neurological implants or devices to experience and/or control a game like that. As it currently stands, VR does offer a fair amount of new options and experiences that regular "flat" gaming just can't offer, but at the same time, it comes at a major cost of control, ironically. A keyboard and mouse or even just a controller can offer and give much more efficiency of control that current VR just can't have. I feel like devs are getting so caught up in what VR can do in the future that they're not looking enough into what we have in the present and how much we need to advance in tech and how long that's going to take.

Again, HL:A is an amazing game and it leverages everything that we have now in very effective ways. And VR may be the future, but sadly, that's the far future, and until we get there, I'm afraid VR is always going to have to play second fiddle to flat gaming for the forseeable future.
That is quite a long rant for the almost 15 year old question "Where is HL3 Valve?"
 

Arnox

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That is quite a long rant for the almost 15 year old question "Where is HL3 Valve?"
Yeah, but I just saw Noah-Caldwell Gervais's excellent video on the HL series and related spin-off games/mods and I wanted to make a thread with my thoughts while they were fresh in my mind.
 
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