*Note: This article contains no gameplay spoilers.*Today is certainly a red letter day: after over a decade, a new Half-Life title is finally here – but no, it's not Half-Life 3.
Half-Life: Alyx is the first game in the Half-Life series since Half-Life 2: Episode Two all the way back in 2007.
The title is only available on VR platforms, as it was developed specifically for VR, as VR controllers and headsets permit a degree of gameplay detail that
we couldn't possibly do with a mouse and keyboard, says Valve.
Half-Life: Alyx is a prequel to Half-Life 2 – so what happens after Episode Two remains unresolved.
Like Half-Life 2, the game takes place in City 17, but is set years prior to the events of Half-Life 2, with the main protagonist being a younger Alyx Vance (hence the name of the game) instead of Gordon Freeman.
In the game, Alyx is part of the anti-Combine resistance movement along with her father, Eli Vance. The Combine are an alien race who took control of the Earth after the Black Mesa incident (the events in the original Half-Life).
Unlike Gordon, Alyx has a voice, and regularly converses with the other main character, Russel, and also sometimes talks to herself while performing tasks.
The game in total is around 15 hours long, which is a lot longer than its predecessors, and is available on Steam for US$60 (or NZ$75, which is a steal at its current exchange rate).