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?
It feels like we’re maybe starting to see VR come into its own with bigger, meatier games that feel less like “experiences” and more like…er, well, games. Not long ago Asgard’s Wrath provided us with an immense RPG spanning dozens of hours that was built from the ground up for virtual reality. Now we’ve got the maestros at Insomniac with their latest effort, Stormland VR, a shooter with an interesting end-game and some of the best virtual reality arms around
As amazing as VR is and can be I think we’ve all been waiting for something truly substantial, a properly big game to sink our teeth into for hours on end rather than the short experiences we’ve been getting. That’s what Asgard’s Wrath has got going for it, a huge campaign that spans around 30-hours that you can easily get lost in, provided you can handle long periods in VR. It’s a hack and slash romp through Norse mythology featuring Gods, swords, bows, puzzles, side-quests, beautiful scenery and a high-fiving shark.
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.
Let’s be perfectly honest with ourselves: humans are violent creatures with strong impulses toward physically damaging each other or anything within range. It’s one of the biggest reasons we’ve survived as long as we have and while we’ve certainly learned to control those violent tendencies they still lurk just under the surface. It’s not a surprise that VR games that let you unleash some rage in a healthy way have taken off. That’s where Gorn comes in, a brilliantly over-the-top brawler that lets you vent a little anger by ripping off heads.
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.
In case you missed the past couple of Patch Notes this is a mid-week article where we cover a couple of pieces of news from the past week and I ramble about them, because rambling is what I do. This week has been pretty busy, but I’ve grabbed three things in particular that grabbed my limited attention span. So lets tackle the problems over at BioWare, the announcement of Borderlands 3 and the decline of pre-owned sales in the UK.
Damn, did you see that weekend whooshing by? Going a bit fast, wasn’t it? Yup, time sure is flying these days, disappearing quicker than my enthusiasm for being a normal, sociable human being.
My five-year old niece has now reached the point of reminding me how many sleeps there are until Christmas, and all I can think about is how the sight of Christmas decorations makes me angry BECAUSE IT’S STILL NOVEMBER, YOU ~£@££! PIECES OF @!=*$%^! I love Christmas, but I swear in September there were stores putting Christmas themed stuff out and Halloween hadn’t even been and gone. What the hell?
Who are you, and what do you do? I’m Daniel Charbit, UK consumer brand & category merchandising manager at Dell By the time this Q&A gets published you’ll be on the floor of PC Gamer Weekender! Feeling excited? Will you be very busy across the weekend? I’m really excited! […]