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Half-Life: Alyx review.
Been playing this on Linux and I'm about 6 hours into the game. Figured I'd give a quick review.
First off, the game looks amazing! There isn't any weird parts where you feel like a texture was created in low resolution or anything. Everything looks nice and crisp. Half the time you're just staring at things about how beautifully rendered everything is.

Onto the game play!
The mechanics are interesting and show why they can't make a flat version of this game without making it completely different.
You have gloves in the game where you can pull items to you. You hold your hand out, something glows, and then you hold down the trigger, and flick your wrist up in the air and the object flies at you for you to catch it. Then you reach over your shoulder and drop the ammo or item into your backpack.

Things like grenades, you have to just carry in your hand until you can use it. But then you have things like bug canisters that you can store in your little wrist rings. Also this really does show better than any other previous Half-Life game that the healing panels throughout the game are actually these weird worm creatures in canisters that get squished for their healing liquid. You actually have to put your hand on the panel after opening it with a lever, and then these little robotic fingers start to work on your hand and heal you up. All the while the controller vibrates a little. Gives a really odd feeling.

Speed of the game starts out pretty slow, where the head crabs don't just creep up and jump at you. This starts to change though... and with the reloading mechanic being basically push a button to release the magazine, pull over your shoulder to get a new magazine, slap it into the bottom of the handgun and pull the slide, then you can shoot again.. it's good it starts out slow.

One of the greatest things is actually physically having to get behind cover and pop up to throw grenades or aim and shoot. Such crazy amounts of action. The game is brilliant.

I took a pause as I ran into a creature that kicked my ass. But figured I'll get back to it after a dinner break. Seriously, this is the game that makes one think VR is here, and it's here to stay.
scaine 7 Feb
I reckon that Alyx set my expectation so high for VR, that it's a bit of a come down when you play some of the other VR games that are available. It's on a completely different level, to be honest. It's just that good.

Oh, btw, you can store just about anything in your wrist storage - healing packs, grenades, worm canisters, the lot! It's such a fascinating gameplay mechanic to only have access to four items - two wrist storage and two hands. The only thing the game really cheats on is that you still have access to three different guns which magically appear when you switch them out (handgun, shotgun, combine smg). But even then, there's only three, so it's not beyond the realms of belief to imagine that they're strapped to your belt or something.

Amazing game. And yeah, as frustrating as it is, the fact that you actually have to physically reload your weapon is incredible. Everything feels like you're there.
damarrin 7 Feb
Yeah, it basically broke VR for me. I want nothing less than what I got from Alex and come away disappointed time after time.
Thing is, Valve said they were working on 3 VR games, and Alyx is just the first. You are right, they totally did set the bar for how VR games need to be.
I didn't think to try storing grenades there! I did figure out you can put the health bugs in your wrists. I also feel guilty healing, now I know you squish those things for healing juice!
slaapliedje 11 Feb
I should add to this thread my thoughts on a non-VR version of Alyx, and what you'd lose.
1) The reload mechanic. For sure you couldn't do it outside of VR. Maybe if you had some head tracking and the motion control tracking and just used your flat screens... maybe, but by the time you have the lighthouses and the index controllers you already have half of VR...

Then being able to turn rapidly behind yourself and shoot at those damn bladed drones... (I've almost fallen over a few times from those bastards).
Liemaeu 26 Feb
I read some posts about performance issues of the Linux version since a certain point. But I'm not sure if these issues still exist in the latest version.

What are your experiences? Any issues with the native Vulkan version?
slaapliedje 26 Feb
Quoting: LiemaeuI read some posts about performance issues of the Linux version since a certain point. But I'm not sure if these issues still exist in the latest version.

What are your experiences? Any issues with the native Vulkan version?
Kind of seemed that way initially when I switched, as I played it for like 15 min in Windows. But I am also playing it off a USB hard drive (A Samsung T3). But after that (and it was movement in the loading screen) it ran fine. There is an odd glitch where the menus disappear sort of. But it is just the menu, so meh.
I need to find the time to win it now.
Ehvis 26 Feb
Before the native version I had some hefty stutters using proton, but the native version has been near flawless. Had my Index set to 120 fps and mostly maintained that for the entire game. It did drop a few frames here and there (which you notice on nvidia because it won't reproject properly), but nothing big. And yes, I did finish it, so it's my experience of the complete game.

I too had a menu issue though. A couple of times the game list wouldn't appear when I needed to reload and the ui stayed empty. But it came back of fiddling with it a bit.
damarrin 26 Feb
It wasn't meh when I had to stand there like a fool for 5 minutes fiddling the sticks and pressing the buttons hoping the menu'd come back for long enough for me to load the save after dying.

I also had some graphical corruption (puddles of goo on the ground would have weird colours mainly). Nothing game breaking.
slaapliedje 26 Feb
Ha, yeah I hadn't had to stand too long fiddling with menus, but definitely a bug. I think I have only seen one graphical glitch, though I can't remember the details. Game is insane though! Wonder what other VR games Valve are working on!
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