The company squashed hope of a non-VR version of the game.
The Half-Life series will return early next year after a long dormancy. Half-Life: Alyx was announced officially yesterday. The return was deflating for some fans, however, when it was clear that the game was meant for VR and VR only, with no option to play without. This disappointed many who either don’t care for VR or don’t have finances to get headsets to properly run the game. If you were crossing your fingers for a patch down the road, you might want to ramp up for more disappoint.
In a documentary called The Final Hours of Half-Life: Alyx, Geoff Keighly spoke to some of the key developers on the game. They revealed that the game is VR only largely because it’s based extensively on how VR controls function, and that it includes actions that will just not be possible on a standard mouse and keyboard set up, much less a controller. The project began explicitly to explore what can be done in VR, therefore its controls are tied to that functionality. You can watch the full documentary below.
“It began as exploration of VR, and the more we used the [VR] controllers and headset we realised the amount of interactions – the amount of possibilities – these things give us, the more we explored it the more we realised there’s so much opportunity that we can’t really translate back to the keyboard.”
Whether or not it’s truly impossible, it at least seems that Valve doesn’t see making a non-VR version as an easy task. That may be a tough pill for some to follow, especially since it seems the game will be a full length title, but for now the game is set to release March 2020 and will be exclusively VR.