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Steam Half Life: Alyx

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by RedFlames, 18 Nov 2019.

  1. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Whitelist Bit-Tech in your adblock!

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    Have you tried any of the static standing space games, like beat saber, audioshield and space pirate trainer? It'd be interesting to see if it's just sliding movement or VR generally. I get really ill with sliding movement but am fine with the above, and blink-teleport systems like Arizona Sunshine.
     
  2. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    I had a go on a DK1 ages ago - there was a driving sim and a FPS type walkabout thing. I didn't throw up but I got the feeling I'd feel pretty queasy after an hour of it.

    I've tried the rollercoaster rides on my youngest's Oculus Go and it was alright at five minutes a pop, but I spent less than a couple of minutes watching an Alyx live stream and had to turn it off.

    Never tried beat saber (I had to google that) - looks like guitar hero with a lightsaber.
     
  3. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    I was fine with the DK1, even though I suffer from light flickering motion sickness. The only thing that made me want to chunder was a roller coaster thing.
     
  4. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    Same, not tried VR but I can't stomach VR streams for any length of time.

    Does that mean VR would bork my head? Hope not, fancy jumping on at some point.
     
  5. d_stilgar

    d_stilgar Old School Modder

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    I finished it yesterday. It's pretty freaking amazing. They definitely nailed the ending. I'm still riding a high from that. It's pretty amazing that they managed to make a prequel that perfectly sets us up for a direct sequel to Episode 2 in an emotionally satisfying way as well.
    Also, the way that they organically retcon the story of what we've already experienced is pretty genius as well. Color me impressed.

    The bad:
    • The game crashed a lot for me the first day. A day 2 patch fixed most of this, but I feel like this is fairly isolated to SteamVR and HL:A being both developed by Valve. There has to be some integration that's too closely linked or repeated code or something. SteamVR kept crashing (not HL:A), but that very rarely happens, so I'm blaming HL:A on the crashes.
    • I'm right-handed but left eye dominant, meaning I usually shoot like a lefty. This doesn't work well in VR for single-handed weapons. I understand that I'm an edge case for this.
    • Control customization was limited. The button to release the clip and release the slide were reversed in my brain for which felt most natural. I had to relearn that while playing the game but would have preferred to just remap if I could have.
    • Other than a very fun mechanic at the end that heavily relies on 6-DOF controllers, this could have been a traditional Half-life game on a 2D screen. I spent a good portion of the beginning of the game wondering if it could have/should have been.
    • The puzzles to unlock item stashes, open the upgrade terminals, deactivate trip-mines, are just short of tedious. They're VR mini-games slapped into the game in a way that feels a bit like filler content. Half-life has never done this in their traditional games and I'm not sure I'm sold on it. Luckily, the game is short enough that it never quite gets annoying. VR newbies will probably love it, however.
    • Combat with the Combine isn't particularly satisfying. If you're using smooth locomotion, you're going to be too slow and you'll die, so you have to use shift/teleport for these sections. The basic formula is to move to a bit of cover, aim carefully, manage the ammo in your 1-3 weapons, and wait for the right cycle to shoot. If you maintain cover too well, the shotgun guy will release manhacks (okay, fair enough). However, you can only ever take 2-6 hits before dying because you start with 3 health and never get more, so you really have to plan. There is no run-and-gun against the Combine.
    • Resin (used for weapon upgrades) is a fun motivator to really explore the levels, but I got to the end of the game having not upgraded my guns all the way. Is this how it's supposed to be? Idk. I also found myself constantly looking for it, even while in gun battles. It becomes a bit of an obsession and pre-occupation, which took me out of the experience a bit.
    • Aiming is tough and there's no help. Many zombies have little growths that are a weak spot and if you can hit it the zombie will explode, killing itself and the headcrab. I found myself draining clips trying to hit the damn things and then resolved to stop trying and just go for the head.
    • Being tall is difficult as the game doesn't want to let you go places where you head hits. Most of these places are obviously places the devs want you to be able to go, so I had to duck, but I'm sure 95% of players won't have to.
    The good:
    • The story
    • The world
    • The writing
    • The voice acting
    • Having to search for Resin means I spent a lot of time paying attention to the meticulously detailed levels. It's seriously incredible how good it looks, especially considering the fact that it needs to run at 120fps all the time.
    • Feeding a Snark
    • Some of the larger environment puzzles were very satisfying
    • There's a good bit of depth and hidden stuff going on. I'm excited to play again and search for more things I missed.
    • The ending. My GOD! The ending!
    • Gunfights against antlions are more run-and-gun. Despite being objectively easier than fights against the Combine, they're much more fun and satisfying.
    • The set pieces are amazing and Valve never fails to frame gorgeous shots with the focal point of your mission in the background. This includes a subtle passage of time through a day/night cycle, like in previous games.
    • Had this been a traditional game for mouse/keyboard, I may have called it a "soft-reboot" as there are a lot of familiar moments in this game from previous installments. However, I'm going to say that, in VR, these feel fresh and very satisfying. I don't want to say much more for fear of spoiling too much, just to say that I would have been very disappointed with these things had they not been in VR, but in VR I was like, "Oh, this?! Hell, yeah!"
    As much as it may seem like I am complaining in my "the bad" section, these are just the things I noticed, so I wanted to list them. My feelings are overwhelmingly positive and I think the game is a triumph. They stuck the landing with the ending. I'm practically speechless when I think about it. I'm so pumped for what will (hopefully) come next.
    Edit: at least one typo.
     
    Last edited: 27 Mar 2020
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  6. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    *this is a triumph*
    Such a glowing review.

    For me, with no prospect of loads of gaming in near future, so no point upgrading PC and buying VR set, now I have a strong urge to look up the ending!
     
  7. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    Go and DK1 both lack positional tracking. If you are even slightly susceptible to sim-sickness (inverse of motion sickness) those will set it off in very, very short order. Rollercoasters (and anything that causes actual-horizon/artificial-horizon mismatches) are a worst case for inducing nausea. VR HMDs with decent position tracking (CV1, Rift S, Vive, Index, Quest) will feel dramatically better.

    Throwing a VR newbie into a non-positon-tracked HMD with a rollercoaster video is like throwing someobody who has never played a videogame into Dark Souls with a DDR controller.
     
  8. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    I did LOL at the review that scored it lower because of Valve releasing it now.
     
  9. fix-the-spade

    fix-the-spade Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't be the loudy enthusiastic Canadian one by any chance?
     
  10. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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  11. Pete J

    Pete J Working from home?

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    I'm watching a video comparing this to the original HL2. I was expecting it to look the same.

    Damn, it's impressive.

    Wish I could temporarily get my Vive and gaming laptop back.
     
  12. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    I kicked off the download last night. Then realised it was 1:30 ffs. So I had to shut the PC down. I shall get that done tonight. Hopefully have it all going and set up by the weekend.

    If I can get my mum off the TV that is. If I see one more ep of "Murder, she wrote" I will cry.
     
  13. Yaka

    Yaka Well-Known Member

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    got this preordered, played it on release it was very iffy on oculus quest via virtual desktop. valve mus have tweaked some thing as its running superbly now. prolly not as good as it would on a index headset but there is very little latency now.
     
  14. d_stilgar

    d_stilgar Old School Modder

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    Nice. I've been wanting a quest for Beat Saber while traveling, although I have little desire to buy the game and music a second time.
     
  15. Pete J

    Pete J Working from home?

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    Unfortunately, some people are really susceptible to VR sickness. I have a Russian friend who is a crazy hard b*stard and even a few seconds of any VR game is enough to make him ill. And trust me, he really tried :hehe:
    Same. Space Pirate Trainer was fine, as was another game who's name I can't remember (you could play as a Cleric, a ninja or a shotgun dude against robots). Racing games and FPSs where you controlled yourself conventionally (i.e. with a control pad to go forwards, backwards, strafe) make me ill in seconds. Sliding games I'm okay on, but I did almost fall over the first time :duh:
     
  16. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    After reading Bit-tech review.......
    Ok, that's it. I'm buying a 2060 and Oculus Quest to play HL Alyx!
    No where have any stock of Quest :(

    I know minimal requirement is i5-7500. Would my i7 2700k OC'd to 4GHz with 16GB DDR3 RAM be enough?
     
  17. Cerberus90

    Cerberus90 Car Spannerer

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    I've decided to get a Rift S, nowhere has stock for delivery, but one is available at a local sainsburys through argos, but with the lockdown I'm not likely to get over there to pick it up, :wallbash:
     
  18. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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  19. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Yes. It's not CPU intensive from what I have seen. In fact, it's very frugal indeed like most of Valve's other titles.
     
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  20. Cerberus90

    Cerberus90 Car Spannerer

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