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New Half-Life Alyx: Levitation gameplay makes waiting for Half-Life 3 a whole lot easier

By on June 12, 2022 0

When we last saw Alyx Vance, she was “hired” by interdimensional talent scout G-Man, who locked her in stasis awaiting her next assignment at the end of Half-Life: Alyx. Ordinary G-Man stuff, no big deal.

Officially, we don’t know when this mission will take place. We don’t know if the next Half-Life game will be a VR title or a desktop game, when it might come out, or if Valve is even working on it. Half-Life 3 (or even Half-Life: Alyx 2) is still unconfirmed. We could be in for a long, long wait.

But in the meantime, we have Levitation to look forward to. This is a mod for Half-Life: Alyx created by CS:GO map designer and artist Shawn Snelling (FMPONE), animator and G-Man meme generator Corey Laddo, and other volunteer modders, animators and voice actors. This new free-to-play campaign is a DLC-sized action adventure that will last between 4 and 5 hours. As reported at the PC Gaming Show, here’s a seven-minute single-take gameplay trailer that looks every bit as exciting and polished as the actual game.

As the original trailer (opens in a new tab) For Levitation showed, two members of the human resistance have discovered a strange floating apartment building in City 17. The combine is clearly once again up to no good, and Alyx is on the case, the action picking up right after the continuity bending. Half-Life: Alyx finale.

“The basic premise involves Alyx receiving a distress signal from two resistance members Maya and Barry about secret Combine technology buried in a section of the Quarantine Zone known as Sector X,” m’ Corey Laddo said via email. “With Russell’s help, Alyx delves deep into Combine territory to investigate this threat and search for Maya and Barry. It’s a completely separate Half-Life adventure that uses Alyx’s ending as a springboard for the narrative. “

The gameplay trailer shows Alyx battling numerous Combine soldiers and crab zombies as she heads deeper into the sector and attempts to determine the source of a massive energy signature. Russell suggests that they might actually be getting close to a certain long-lost bespectacled theoretical physicist. Maybe. Maybe.

“It’s probably Gordon Freeman and nothing bad at all,” Russell told Alyx in the gameplay trailer as she walked through the Quarantine Zone. “Certainly, ah…certainly, Most likelyGordon Freeman.” As Alyx takes an elevator to a destroyed construction site in Sector X, she catches a glimpse of two startling sites: a walker guarding the area and the Half-Life universe’s puppeteer, G -Man, watch from afar.

(Image credit: Half-Life: Alyx – Levitation)

G-Man is no stranger to Corey Laddo, who has animated him into bizarre and hilarious memes for years, whether it’s having him dance in the Once In A Lifetime music video (opens in a new tab)having it host a cooking show (opens in a new tab)marveling High fidelity 4K bread (opens in a new tab) in the Source 2 engine, or simply play with freeman (opens in a new tab). In Levitation, however, while Russell is on hand for comic relief, Laddo sticks to the serious, canon version of G-Man.

“It’s definitely a breath of fresh air to animate a character completely as they are rather than for a meme,” says Laddo. “I thought I would play it straight when animating for the mod.” In other words, we won’t see G-Man performing dance routines. Shame.

As Alyx reaches the construction site, she fights Combine more with manhacks, the flying drones, and with no heavy weapons at hand, she has to use cover to avoid being hit by the strider’s cannon. While we don’t yet know what the Combine was doing in Sector X, we can see huge digging machines before the end of the gameplay trailer, indicating that to climb the floating building, Alyx could first having to go deep underground.

(Image credit: Vanne)

Creating the VR mod posed a challenge for the Levitation team, and according to Laddo, it was much more complicated than past modding and mapping projects the creators had done before.

“There’s not a ton of [documentation] there for Source 2, unlike Source, so we got some much appreciated help from talented modders within the Source 2 community when it came to troubleshooting,” says Laddo. must be carefully constructed to ensure the player cannot escape or see anything they shouldn’t. It was a very interesting experience because I had never animated for a game project before.”

(Image credit: Valve)

Levitation introduces new characters, like fellow Alyx Resistance members Maya and Barry, but it also has the aforementioned familiar faces. Given the unlikelihood of recruiting the original voice actors (Russell, for example, is voiced by New Zealand actor Rhys Darby from Flight of the Conchords and Our Flag Means Death), the Levitation team instead sought out replacements. .

“For the G-Man, we wanted someone who could deliver that sinister, unnatural tone the character is known for, so we found VoxPlay who really impressed us with his talent,” Laddo said. “It’s a slightly different take on the character than we’re used to, and the community split the voice, but I think we did the right thing. As for Russell, we found Joey Bracken (opens in a new tab) which does the best Rhys Darby impression I think I’ve ever heard. It’s strange.”

As for virtual reality itself, Laddo thinks it’s still in its infancy, but it’s full of promise for the future. “Hardware is constantly improving year on year, and we’ve had a lot of great games so far like Boneworks that have really pushed the boundaries of VR game design. I think PSVR 2 might end up contribute strongly to the future of VR if successful, and may lead to more attacks on the platform by triple-A developers.”

As for Valve’s next move when it comes to Half-Life, Laddo would be happy either way: if it’s a VR title or a desktop game like previous titles.

“If they can improve on their VR formula, I think Half-Life 3 might be unreal, but a classic-style Half-Life game would be just as desirable,” Laddo says. “I think we might still see Half-Life 3, but it’s going to take a while, I think.” Until then, we’ll at least have Levitation to play while we wait.