The world might be in the middle of a pandemic that’s forced us all to huddle inside while stuffing our faces and watching Netflix, but there’s one glowing beacon of hope: thirteen years after the last adventures of Gordon Freeman we have finally got a new Half-Life. Except, it’s not Half-Life 3, it’s a prequel. And it’s in VR, so you might not be able to play it. What we have is Half-Life: Alyx, a prequel to Half-Life 2 and a very obvious passion project from Valve. This is a game designed for virtual reality and built to the highest standards. I’d actually be surprised if Valve made a profit on Half Life: Alyx because it looks and feels like a lot of money was sunk into its creation, versus the relatively small audience that can buy it. But that doesn’t matter right now. All we need to know is just how good is Half-Life: Alyx?
The Oculus Rift S is not the next big Rift that we’ve all been waiting for, and Oculus themselves have been careful not to advertise it as one. No, the Oculus Rift S is…uh. Honestly, the problem is I don’t think anyone is sure what the S actually is. It isn’t an upgrade nor arguably even a refinement as many of the improvements have come at the expense of other features. So, let’s review the Oculus Rift S and try to figure who this VR headset is really for.
With the rise of VR headsets there’s been a whole new industry for accessories appeared almost overnight, from prescription lenses to fancy gun stocks, both of which I’ll be reviewing shortly. Today I’m checking out the Mamut Touch Grips for the Oculus Rift, Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest. These little bits of plastic aim to bring the Oculus Rift controllers more inline with Valve’s new Index Knuckle controllers. In other words, the Mamut Touch Grips allow you to let go of the controllers entirely.
The first mission of Defector is like a glorious homage to every over-the-top spy movie to have ever appeared on a screen. There’s a handler feeding you information, a bad guy to converse with and then the possibility of driving a car out of a plane before leaping out and landing in a different plane. Oh, and then gunning down a bunch of fighter jets using nothing but an assault rifle because that’s how the real world works. It’s a bombastic introduction to Defector, but then the game never does manage to reach the same highs again. It’s perhaps no wonder that it was this first level which was shown off in the demos and previews.
Alright, so my big review of the week was Devil May Cry 5 which…*shudders.* It’s just so good, man. Like, so fucking good. So good, in fact, that I gave it 5 out of 5 and may have attempted to marry it in Las Vegas. Apparently even sin city has standards, though, and I was informed that marrying video games was “sickening” and that, ” I should be locked up for the things you did to it!”
In the inaugural Patch Notes – a simple series where I cover some of the news of the week and offer my views – we chat about the new Oculus Rift announcement and the future of VR, as well as Google’s new game streaming service, Google Stadia. Oh, and there’s the whole Steam vs Epic thing.