2020 was not a foul yr for VR video games. Let’s simply put that on the market entrance and heart. We noticed new and progressive expertise this yr and loads of titles within the VR house that had been head-turners. That mentioned, when it got here to one of the best of one of the best in VR in 2020, there was a single sport that stood head and shoulders above each different title by way of visible spectacle, interactivity, proficiency, accessibility, and extra. We’re speaking, in fact, about Half-Life: Alyx.
Half-Life: Alyx was a bombshell rocking the muse of the gaming neighborhood in 2020 – a brand new Half-Life sport in a brand new gaming house. “Wild” could be a whole and utter understatement. The place VR gaming has been an area crammed to the brim with quick time period experiences and gimmicky arcade-style alternatives, Half-Life: Alyx introduced one thing exceedingly uncommon to the VR house. It’s a full-fledged sport. And what’s extra, it’s not solely competent, however fairly arguably transcendent. Its environments are huge, its narrative is gripping and intense, and its puzzles and interactivity are good and fascinating all through.
Half puzzle, half motion, half horror, Half-Life: Alyx is just unbelievable in its array of experiences and gameplay as properly. Operating right into a head crab for the primary time was horribly intense. The sound design makes you’re feeling that second all of the extra, making the complete expertise a completely terrifying one. In the meantime, instruments just like the gravity gloves, hacking device, and environmental equipment created implausible moments of inventive downside fixing with a view to transfer ahead. It was by no means nearly placing a sq. block in a sq. peg in VR right here. It’s actually exploring the setting fastidiously, utilizing your gravity gloves to tug sources from hard-to-reach locations, working equipment to one of the best of your logic, and manipulating expertise with Alyx’s savvy devices and know-how.
Alyx wasn’t alone within the subject of competent VR in 2020. The Strolling Useless: Saints and Sinners was actually a standout as properly – one other uncommon occasion of a completely fleshed-out journey. The visceral nature of partaking zombies with melee weapons, managing your restricted sources, and getting transferring when the menace grew to become an excessive amount of to deal with was completely superior in Saints & Sinners. It created a true-to-form Strolling Useless expertise the place we discovered ourselves trying over our shoulders at each sound and avoiding Walkers as finest we might. Star Wars: Squadrons was additionally a standout in 2020. Although the sport might be performed with out VR, the sheer depth of with the ability to placed on a headset and climb into the cockpit of iconic ships like X-Wings or TIE Fighters was undeniably charming and riveting to say the least.
That mentioned, Half-Life: Alyx was greater than any novelty in 2020 and it didn’t appear to characteristic the constraints we’ve usually seen in full-fledged VR video games. It was a benchmark, a gold normal… It confirmed what VR might actually be with superb sources and technical minds behind it, even going as far as to supply a superior class of accessibility by way of consolation choices for bodily limitations of all sort and flexibility to decrease finish tech (This sport can run proficiently on an Oculus Quest 2 for crying out loud!). With all of that in thoughts, there might be little doubt.
It’s laborious to think about a VR sport that can advance improvement on this subject in addition to Half-Life: Alyx did, and but we discovered ourselves hoping that that is only a signal of actually nice VR video games to return as different builders look to this sport as a really unbelievable reference level.
Try the opposite winners from The Shacknews Awards 2020 in our 12 months of the Video games: 2020 article.