amazon Half-Life Alyx reviews
Half-Life: Alyx – Not long ago, when Valve Software announced that it would launch a new Half-Life game, the gaming industry was excited because for a long time, the tech company gave up the role game is a game developer to transform his focus on the most popular and most valuable game publishing platform on the planet today: Steam.
But the company’s later statements almost “pour a splash of cold water” on the traditional fan community of the game series when saying that this new version will be made entirely on a virtual reality platform, with the name Half-Life: Alyx, the support for the expensive Valve Index device that the company is developing with the ambition of “redefining” the world of virtual reality games, giving gamers a “blockbuster” product and become a pioneer in this potential market.
There were many supportive and mixed opinions in the gaming community, but it seems that a new character and a new story cannot stop the excitement of the “veteran” fan group of the game line when the Valve Index virtual reality glasses quickly “sold out” right before the game’s release, even a lot of gamers “wiped out” some other virtual reality glasses of Oculus or HTC, creating the “commodity fever” has never existed before.
So the game has met the expectations of the fans?
Let’s find out with Biareview!
If you ever wish to “live” with your game, then Half-Life: Alyx will fulfill your “aspiration”.
It must be said that Valve Software’s team of engineers and artists almost recreated all areas of City 17 using a realistic graphics engine, with unprecedented precision in the world of virtual reality, near like making it very difficult for players to define the boundary between the game and the real life.
Nearly all details are cared for with patterns and textures rendered in extremely detailed levels, making the environment more realistic than ever, from the patchy brick wall. , to the indifferent wooden stick to cover a hole in the floor are meticulously designed and detailed by the artist, even if you stand closely and examine every small detail, it is difficult to recognize the differences on objects from themselves in real life.
The company’s artists also use light like true witches, making the game engine, though not using the advanced Ray Tracing rendering technology, but still create impressive graphic effects, “Blew the soul” into the scene that was somewhat ruined and ruined in City 17.
You will easily recognize that the light plays a key role in creating the atmosphere of the game screen in Half-Life: Alyx, giving players a strong impression of the ruins and ruins of City 17 step by step.
Nearly all of the areas the player passes through are abandoned houses, damp sewers, areas isolated from civilized human society with limited energy sources.
So most of the player’s time is spent in the twilight scenes, it also makes part of the “untrue” elements of the graphics platform to be hidden cleverly. But on the other hand, it gives a feeling of intense constraint, pressure on the player, especially when confronted with monsters designed in a way full of … hideous, to bring in the game a little thrill of the Survival Horror game.
All of them show careful care, even have to try again and again many times by the game design team to be able to ensure the game graphics quality at the perfect level without “consuming” too many resources of the machine, something that is rarely seen even with the “giants” in the recent game production village are very popular to have to race to finish the game on the schedule, leaving a lot of errors everywhere gradually repaired through patches, forming the famous “blockbuster”.
Besides, in the graphics structure in the game, what the player most impresses is that the physics of the game is thoroughly simulated, making the world in the game more real than ever. It blurs the line between real and virtual, making players “immersed” in the game world in every little detail.
For example, with a very normal glass beer bottle in the game, if you drop it lightly on the floor, it will continue to roll with inertia, and if you throw it hard on the ground, the beer bottle will shatter to pieces.
This physics mechanism also plays an extremely important role in the game when you have to rely on it to move, pick up items with gravity gloves, to solve puzzles arranged along the way, and most of all, use them against opponents.
You can completely pull objects to block the bullet for yourself, or throw heavy objects at the enemy to block the way.
Even the player can suck the gas tanks and throw them at the opponent, then shoot them to explode, causing damage like a grenade in the scene of the familiar pistol damage.
That is why many gamers come to Half-Life: Alyx have “fallen” into many different fun games taking advantage of this realistic physics mechanism, such as the challenge of catching Headcrab with … buckets, Baseball with Headcrab, or solve math problems and draw with an oil-based brush on the glass as soon as you “penetrate” City 17 and get rid of the main storyline of the game!
Surprisingly, for most of the game, the players rarely hear the background music… creating an atmosphere like many conventional horror games.
All the players heard were the old exhaust fan humming inside the buildings, the water dripping in the old water pipes, the rustling of the old radio, and more were the moans of monsters in the distance, the sound of the Combine soldiers’ pounding footsteps was enough to create a breathtakingly dense atmosphere.
Saying so does not mean the game has no background music, but on the contrary, the soundtrack of the game is a special sound effects choreographer – Mike Morasky, a veteran of Valve Software, has been very successful through the sound effects of its famous horror game series: Left 4 Dead, as well as many other Hollywood blockbusters like Lord of The Rings or Matrix series.
The special sound effects create different emotions for the player, greatly contributing to the overall picture of the game when creating knot points for players, bringing a sense of high satisfaction to players when going through different levels of emotions throughout Alyx’s journey in City 17.
Besides, other noises are precisely positioned and expressed, especially when you’re wearing a high-quality stereo headset, which is a virtual reality gaming advantage over other game genres on the market today.
Finally, cannot ignore the work of veteran voice actors like Ozioma Akagha as Alyx, she has long experience voicing series of blockbuster games and previous animated films such as Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, and Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, as a veteran TV actor James Moses Black voices Dr. Eli, Alyx’s father, with his long list of hit dramas.
Unlike previous versions of Half-Life games that allow players to transform into Dr. Gordon Freeman, the guy wearing HEV protective clothing with a crowbar and heavy gravity gun is enough to “sweep”. Everywhere, Half-Life: Alyx brings players to City 17 sometime before Half-Life 2, as Alyx, a girl just 19 years old on a journey to rescue her father, Dr. Eli from Combine troops.
That is why Valve Software has set up completely different gameplay from the previous versions to better suit the role of Alyx, as well as fully compatible with the new style of gameplay on virtual reality glasses.
This is an extremely difficult task that its design team took a long time to be able to perfectly balance the elements.
Most of Half-Life: Alyx’s time is quite similar to the escape genre games that are very often seen on virtual reality glasses, such as The Room VR: A Dark Matter in which The player must find a way to solve the puzzles by interacting with a series of objects in the level to be able to open the door to the next area.
The puzzles in Half-Life: Alyx is not difficult, but also require players to observe and think carefully, as you will have very few hints appear on the screen.
With simple puzzles, you even only need to place a few objects together, while with somewhat complex puzzles like leading the electric current to the door, chances are, the stage designer will “trap” you with an alarm for the Combine troops to come to the siege to attack!
The combat system is an extremely exciting piece of the game as you take turns facing opponents from simple to complex.
It could be the Barnacles hanging from the ceiling harmlessly full of harm but ready to burst out to suck the player’s blood.
It could be mischievous Headcrab hiding in dark crevices or Combine soldiers armed with energy shields and heavy weapons …
Each opponent needs players to have a different way of confronting, and of course, it requires gamers to coordinate the movements in virtual reality to be able to defeat the enemy, far more than that stand in place and shoot, or self-scrolling screen of most popular shooters on the market today.
Although you can upgrade weapons by collecting resin pieces scattered throughout your journey, in general, your gun is quite … poor compared to the damage of heavy weapons from Combine soldiers.
That is why in most battles, players must make good use of the terrain and surrounding objects to fight the opponent.
All in all, during the duration of the game, when constantly facing puzzles and fighting, players will feel always busy, even immersed in the game when not good, which creates a strong attraction that motivates players to “step up” in the world of Half-Life: Alyx to find out what happens next.
It can be said that the whole journey is an adventure full of suffocating but also full of stimulation, attracting players from the first minute of arriving at City 17 to the last seconds of the game.
Until the introduction video appears, surely many players still have to copy their mouths because they still have not felt “excited” before the opening end of the game.
To be able to faithfully reproduce City 17 in Half-Life: Alyx, players must definitely “pay” with a “high” hardware configuration to be able to experience the game smoothly regardless of the configuration requirements. Valve Software’s minimum for games is also not very high, only equivalent to the mid-range configuration of a few years ago, with at least 12GB of system RAM.
The main problem is that if you only own a configuration that is not too powerful, just close to the minimum requirements of the game, you will have to play at lower frame rates than 60fps, and at this rate, many players will easily get… dizziness because the action in the game is not smooth enough, creating a certain delay between the action and the reaction of the character in the game.
Besides, Half-Life: Alyx also has a terrible long-time loading mechanism!
There are times when players have to remove the virtual reality glasses and wait for … 10 minutes to pass a new area, which will be significantly improved if you use high-speed solid-state drives (SSDs) to store the game.