Valve’s prequel Half-Life: Alyx ‘just the start’ for new Half-Life games
Half-Life is back, and while it’s not exactly Half-Life 3, Valve is adamant that Half-Life: Alyx isn’t just some gimmick to drive sales of Valve Index, but a fully-fledged part of the series.
Half-Life: Alyx is set between the first and second game, and is supposed to be about as long as Half-Life 2. Alyx has the “largest game team we’ve had yet,” according to Valve designer Greg Coomer, and around a third of it has experience from previous Half-Life games.
”The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world.”
The game will feature everything you expect from Half-Life, such as exploration, puzzle-solving, combat and first-class storytelling – but not a silent protagonist!
Alyx is fully voiced by a new actor, but there’s no word on whether other returning characters like G-Man, Alyx’s dad Eli or the Vortigaunts will retain their original voice cast. Ellen McCain, best known as the voice of GLaDOS, will voice the Combine forces. Oh, yeah, and expect headcrabs!
Alyx will be equipped with Gravity Gloves that allow her to manipulate objects in the world without requiring one-to-one fidelity and the game can be played in roomscale, either sitting or standing. You can move by using analogue sticks, or that classic VR locomotion fudge: Teleportation.
Half-Life: Alyx launches for PC in March 2020, and will work with any SteamVR-compatible headset.
Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?
Which popular engine did Valve use to develop the original Half-Life?
The answer will be revealed at the end of this issue!
Capcom rumoured to be working on ‘Resident Evil 3: Nemesis Remake’
A rumour-monger with a good track record of accurate predictions reports that Capcom is planning another Resident Evil remake. Next up is Resident Evil 3, featuring the stompy, stalky and unfriendly Nemesis. YouTuber Spawn Wave thinks it will be announced at The Game Awards in December.
Less than 1 percent of Destiny 2 players on Google Stadia
Despite being a launch title for Stadia and included for free with the premium subscription, there aren’t a lot of players using Google’s new streaming service: Around 0.7 percent of Destiny 2’s players use Stadia. Less than 10,000 (https://www.pcgamesn.com/destiny-2/stadia-players) Stadia owners logged into the game on November 20th, which suggests the Stadia – or at least the premium subscription – hasn’t exactly sold like hotcakes.
Doomguy is related to B.J. Blazkowicz
Sure, Wolfenstein and Doom are both first-person shooters developed by id Software, but that’s not the only connection between them. In the mobile game Wolfenstein RPG, the final boss – a member of Hitler’s paranormal division aptly named The Harbinger of Doom – curses BJ Blzkowicz’s descendants.
Doomguy, B.J. Blazkowicz and Duke Nukem all together
One of the three main characters in Doom II RPG (also for mobile) is called Stan Blazkowicz, which definitely sounds like a distant descendant of the square-jawed war hero. Now, of course, this might just be some throw-away reference but we prefer to think that the two games take place in the same universe and that the whole Mars kerfuffle is the result of an ancient Nazi curse.
Activision Blizzard ‘has a responsibility to entertain, not to platform politics’
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has commented on the recent wave of political sentiments expressed in Blizzard esports competitions, stating that their games are not political platforms and that Blizzard Activision’s primary responsibility is entertainment – oh, and increasing shareholder value, of course.
“Our mission as a company is ‘bringing the world together through epic entertainment,’” Kotick told CNBC in an interview. Activision Blizzard has come under fire for their somewhat ham-fisted response to a pro-Hong Kong message delivered by Hearthstone pro Blitzchung. He was immediately banned from future competitions, and his winnings forfeited. Activision Blizzard also fired the two casters who had conducted the interview. Unsurprisingly, fans were not impressed.
Activision fear politics will only divide consumers, and revenue
“[W]e’re not the operator of the world’s town halls. We’re the operator of the communities that allow you to have fun through the lens of a video game,” Kotick continued. Some might argue that games like Call of Duty are obviously political, since they portray American war efforts in the Middle-East and elsewhere, and tends to paint Russians as comically evil villains. Then again, neither Russia nor the Middle-East are quite as lucrative markets as China!
“My responsibility is to make sure that our communities feel safe, secure, comfortable and satisfied and entertained. That doesn’t convey to me the right to have a platform for a lot of political views, I don’t think. I think my responsibility is to satisfy our audiences and our stakeholders, our employees, our shareholders.” Activision Blizzard eventually admitted that they had exhibited poor judgement in the Blitzchung controversy, and magnanimously let him keep his winnings before offering a bland apology that was promptly buried under the Diablo IV announcement. Wanna bet on whether those casters got their jobs back?
Wrath: Aeon of Ruin on Early Access
3D Realms and KillPixel have exhumed the legendary Quake engine from the sands of time, and used it to develop Wrath: Aeon of Ruin. Now available on Steam Early Access, Wrath has a timeless value proposition: Shoot monsters. Shoot ’em right in their ugly monster faces.
The Early Access version isn’t the full package, but offers the hub world, 2 levels, 5 weapons, 8 enemies and 4 artifacts to collect. More content will be released up to the game’s official release, which will include online multiplayer.
The original Quake released in June 1996, and offered full 3D rendering
You assume the role of Outlander as he shoots and kills his way through a dying world: “Equipped with weapons of exceptional might and an inventory of powerful artifacts, you must traverse ancient crypts, sunken ruins, corrupted temples and howling forests to bring death to your enemies.”
Wrath is inspired by 90s classics like Doom, Quake, Blood and Hexen and should leave Early Access by summer next year, depending on what kind of feedback the developers receive. They want to involve the community in the rest of the development, to make sure the game lives up to its legendary forebears.