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Virtual Reality

Half-Life 4: Alyx updated with over three hours of developer commentary

17 November 2020 - 14:36 By Brad Lang
Half-Life: Alyx is an entirely new game in the Half Life franchise only playable via virtual reality.
Half-Life: Alyx is an entirely new game in the Half Life franchise only playable via virtual reality.
Image: Supplied

If you’ve never played Portal with the developer commentary turned on, do yourself a favour and treat yourself to a pretty solid Saturday afternoon. Before Valve essentially retired from making games to focus mainly on Steam, they often threw in little nuggets of behind-the-scenes notes in their titles. Often they were highly informative and it was genuinely funny hearing the developers banter but it’s been a long time since we’ve had anything like that. Yet Valve has defied many expectations this year by actually releasing a video game in the form of Half-Life: Alyx which, following an update, now also includes developer commentary.

Return to Half-Life in VR, March 23, 2020. https://half-life.com/alyx Available for pre-purchase on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/546560/HalfLife_Alyx/ Set between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2, Half-Life: Alyx is a new full-length game built from the ground up by Valve for virtual reality. #HalfLifeAlyx #HalfLife

More than three hours of commentary has been added to the game, delving into everything from the sound design to the gunplay and to how weird it was picking up a headcrab (I assume that’s a topic. If it’s not, it should be). The update has added 147 points of interest around the world, taking the form of headsets that players can pick up and strap to their faces. From there on out you can listen to the dulcet tones of Valve discuss the difficulties of rendering and working from home during a pandemic, the reason why the commentary didn’t ship with the initial release of the game.


Just be warned that some audio levels might not be entirely balanced right out the gate, with the game’s Steam post saying “Like much of the world, we are all working from home, which means that rather than using our comfortable high-quality recording studio at the office, we have been recording our commentary voice overs in closets and blanket forts around greater Seattle.”


I don’t know, recording in a blanket fort sounds way more comfortable than in a studio booth. Sounds like a blessing to be honest.

This article was brought to you by Critical Hit