I haven’t played Half-life: Alyxbut i really really want it.
Last month I bought the PlayStation VR2 as my first virtual reality headset and I’ve been enjoying a wide variety of games ever since, from Zombieland: Headshot Fever reloaded Unpleasant Horizon Call of the Mountain. While the lack of exciting new titles in the library of the PSVR2 launch window doesn’t bother me too much, given that this is my first VR experience, I do recognize that there are only a few games pushing the PSVR2’s technology and Sony’s second VR convey a clear identity.
A major criticism of VR that I always had as an outsider was that the medium was too segmented to entice me enough to pick one platform. Although I decided to finally take the plunge and get a PSVR2 and have played many great ports on it, there’s still quite a few I can’t play on it – namely 2020’s Half-life: Alyx. Moving on from the early days of being awed by pretty much everything I play in VR, I’m starting to look for more fully formed experiences like alyx who actively evolve and improve the medium. Currently, PSVR2 is missing many of those titles.
Great VR games I’ve never played are missing from the library of the PSVR2’s launch window, and that diminishes the headset’s early appeal as we move further away from launch day. While this seems like a situation where Sony needs Valve more than Valve needs Sony, the maker of steam and the Index VR headset could gain something if it gets that critically acclaimed game on PSVR2.
Why PSVR2 needs Half-Life: Alyx
When viewing gameplay footage and reviews of Half-life: Alyx, I understand why it got so much critical acclaim. It’s one of the best looking VR games and one of the most elaborately designed shooters on the platform. It justified a $1,000 Valve Index purchase for many people and is next to it Boneworks, Beat Saber, And Astro: Bot rescue mission as a signature VR release that showcases the kind of transformative AAA experiences VR is capable of.
But beyond that list, Defeat Saber is the only one confirmed for PSVR2, and even it doesn’t have a specific release window. Unreleased games like The Dark Pictures: Switchback, SynapseAnd Journey to Foundation looks neat, but doesn’t drive excitement like tentpole AAA PSVR2 releases can. As my honeymoon period with VR winds down, I’m becoming more aware of the library restrictions and hoping the platform has a future.
Seeing more games take advantage of the technology and more high-profile ports of popular games on other VR platforms would give me the confidence I currently need as a budding VR fan. Issues I’ve seen with the VR space become apparent the more I work through the PSVR2 game library, and as someone with just one headset, I’m already feeling a bit left out. I don’t feel any buyer’s remorse as the headset is very powerful and already has some great games in it, but PSVR2 doesn’t feel like a platform with a clear mission or identity yet. Getting more AAA VR classics on it ahead of the next big tentpole PSVR2 game release would go a long way toward remedying that.
And what better way to give the headset a shot in the arm than by bringing the technology’s best game to the platform?
Why Half-Life: Alyx needs PSVR2
Avoiding the biggest roadblock Half-life: Alyx coming to PSVR2 is simple: Sony isn’t the game’s developer or publisher. That’s why Sony has to convince the historically sporadic Valve to put the time and effort into creating a PSVR2 port. It would be easier for Valve to sit on its laurels and not port alyx over, but there’s something Valve can gain from it if the company is still interested in VR and doesn’t want people looking for workarounds to play the game on headsets other than the Valve Index. To get Half-life: Alyx more platforms would serve the improvement of the VR medium as a whole; it is a rising tide situation.
Plenty of other players like me are discovering virtual reality games for the first time thanks to PSVR2. Console-related releases give access to a more casual gaming community than the hardcore high-end PC crowd currently flocking to VR. By a fantastic game like Half-life: Alyx to PSVR2, Valve would entice more people to pick up a VR headset and encourage them to stick around. Even if someone who hasn’t played it, Half-life: Alyx seems like an experience that shows what makes VR gaming special. The medium would only look better in the eyes of many casual VR users like myself if it were more accessible on a wider range of headsets like PSVR2.
In turn, more people will see the value of VR gaming and tailor-made AAA experiences for it. In fact, some PSVR2 players may get even more into VR and pick up a more expensive headset. The VR medium is in a nascent stage where the key players should build each other up and not create walled gardens. To get Half-life: Alyx on PSVR2 would not only make Sony’s VR headset a better platform, but could be a strong roadmap for the future of the VR gaming medium as a whole.
So come on, Valve. I really want to play Half-life: Alyx.