News Half-Life: Alyx - Releasing March 23, 2020 on SteamVR

Alextended

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Jan 28, 2019
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So what's your strategy for running out of ammo while fighting a headcrab?

Mine is "teleport back through half the level like an overexcited chicken, reload, slowly creep forward again". I'm pretty proud of that one.
I've not yet ran out of ammo (for all weapons, frequently for 2 and almost always out of shotgun shells) even though I hadn't realized the yellow boxes have resources, I thought they're just props. If that actually happens a lot they really should make it possible to deal with them with bashing them with objects or have more stuff you can trap them under laying around. But boy does it suck when I waste a full clip on an armored crab unable to get it right, lol.

Also you can stop (single) crabs from attacking by just moving over them, they try to get away first before turning back to jump attack and they are slow, lol.
 
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Alextended

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Oh he meant how you deal with having to reload in the heat of battle. Lol. Never mind then. Nah, reloading is second nature to me after all these VR FPS :D

Maybe that tip about headcrab behavior helps you, try it on the next, just moving along with it means it constantly just tries to get distance rather than attack.

That probably doesn't work for the real nasty ones though.
 
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Aelphaeis Mangarae

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Apr 21, 2019
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I pre-ordered the game, but unfortunately my internet chose this month to go to complete garbage so I've been unable to finish downloading it. And the Coronavirus crisis is severely impacting the usual routes of getting it fixed. Regardless, I am beyond pleased that Alyx has turned out well. I've been watching some gameplay footage in the interim and a few things strike me:

I think the lack of melee combat options is reflective of a complicated problem in VR design. Melee is super OP in games like Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. However, I find it a tiny bit disappoint that the (sequel/prequel) to Half-Life 2 doesn't let you attack enemies by throwing things at them. HL2's combat was really stodgy, but its saving grace was the sheer fun of physics-based combat once the gravity gun was introduced. In Alyx, you can stop headcrabs with a chair, but you can't squash them with a chair. You can't stun enemies by hitting them in the head with a brick. Yes, it's a balancing thing. But it feels like an unfortunate concession.

The performance requirements of VR are interesting. The visuals are top notch, but the lighting is pretty obviously baked for the most part. The flashlight works well, though. The biggest deviation from classic Source engine design I can see is the use of webms for ingame monitors. In Source games, TV screens were typically portals to hidden rooms. So when you saw Breen on the Breencast, he was standing in a room outside the map boundaries. I always liked that approach. But I'm assuming that it had a performance overhead, and they needed this game to look beautiful, be highly interactive, and also run really, really fast.

Not a fan of the Alyx Vance recast. I have nothing against Ozioma Akagha, and I think she does a solid job. But she's not Merle Dandridge and the recast feels pointless. She doesn't sound like a young Merle Dandridge, possibly because Akagha is in her 40s just like Dandridge.. I try to be chill about these things, though. Don't hate the playa, as they say. I know some people detest Arkham Origins for having Roger Craig Smith as Batman. But he did a good job. He's not Kevin Conroy, but he played Batman well.

My hope is that Valve releases high quality modding tools for Alyx and the community uses them to, for example, remake the old HL games in Source 2. I know that is underselling the work required, but imagine HL2 with Alyx mechanics. Imagine how absolutely awesome that would be. Yes, we have VR projects for both HL1 and HL2. But they're fairly vanilla. Imagine HL2 and its Episodes reinterpreted through a VR-oriented lens. While we're at it, I just hope Valve manages to foster the kind of modding community HL1/HL2 had the good old days.