Half-Life could use virtual reality, but not as you know it

Posted Dec 16, 2015
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It seems Valve really are allergic to using the number 3 in any of their games. Half-Life 3 will not use virtual reality headsets, but an unnumbered spin-off may well be possible.

Speaking on the VR special of Game Informer, Valve exec Ken Birdwell put a stop to the long circulating rumors that Half-Life 3 would be announced to showcase the power of Steam’s own headset.

But that doesn’t mean that the storied franchise won’t end up utilizing the power of virtual reality, it’s just that it would need to be something tailor made for the devices.

Talking about the HTC Vive, also known as Steam VR, Birdwell said:

We’re still in that mode of trying to figure out what we do with this. We have endless experiments, and they’re neat things, but we still have to figure out how we put this into a narrative.

How do we pull the player through this immersion? If players actually did all of the actions from Half-Life in VR, they’d be fatigued in five minutes. It doesn’t mean we can’t use that fiction; we just have to figure out a new way to approach it.

It’s not a lot to go on – probably because there’s nothing concrete happening within Valve itself. The idea that they’re playing around with ideas will be enough to excite long time fans of the publisher, who haven’t released a new game since 2013’s Dota 2.

In terms of content, it could be somehow linked to the existing Half-Life spin-off Portal, which would probably work quite well in VR, or it could be something entirely new.

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We know that they’ve been playing with the idea for at least nine months, but for the time being, nothing has come of it.

And while fresh information is hard to come by, one thing is for certain: Valve aren’t going to use the Half-Life name to push fresh tech unless it’s something that really fits, and that’s good news for those still patiently waiting for the third game.

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