In a mad dash to save face, Valve decided at the last minute to pull the much-anticipated preview of Half-Life: Alyx from this year’s Game Awards. Only three hours before the scheduled gameplay preview, Valve announced via Twitter that they would be delaying the sneak peek until March of next year.
Such cancellations do not usually go down well with the fans but given Valve’s shoddy communication history, they were unusually sympathetic this time around. The reason for the delay? Only one culprit. Alyx’s biggest VR rival – Boneworks.
As Tyler McVicker of the Valve News Network explains:
It’s a fully physical virtual reality first-person shooter heavily inspired by the Half-Life franchise and heavily inspiring Half-Life: Alyx.
It’s only speculation at this point but the release of Boneworks was incredibly timely and possibly quite devious.
Developer Stress Level Zero launched the game on 10 December and you can’t help but argue that they did it to front-run Valve’s preview at this year’s Game Awards.
It’s still early days but Boneworks has already amassed some very healthy reviews on Steam in a few days:
Boneworks: 1 – Alyx: 0. Two questions now linger on the lips of Alyx fans as Valve scrambles to keep up. Will they be ready come March when the next release is scheduled?
And how far behind the VR trendsetters will they be by the time first-quarter 2020 rolls around? Some YouTube fans are not holding their breath:
Can’t wait for the march delay.
As CCN.com recently reported VR’s highly experimental and still-expensive hardware is bad news for Half-Life: Alyx. But given Valve’s considerable resources, it makes absolutely no sense why they’d be so far behind the curve.
Ultimately this all boils down to the likely fact that Valve was going to be showing teleport-only gameplay at The Game Awards. Sounds great if everyone else is at the same level.
Unfortunately for them, the competition isn’t. Boneworks is already light-years ahead showcasing its own “smooth” locomotion physics in a practically complete game.
I say smooth because there are still obvious issues, however, that isn’t stopping the rave Steam reviews from pouring in. As McVicker correctly explains:
Why did they even think that showing a teleport-only gameplay snippet of the most anticipated VR game in the world was ok?
Some believe that Half-Life 3 should never have seen the light of day in the first place. There are clearly enough fanatics for Valve to stick to their guns on this one.
But given the competition right now, they’re really going to have to up their game (for lack of a better pun) in 2020.
Last modified: January 22, 2020 11:41 PM UTC