Half-Life followers have gotten used to uncertainty over the destiny of hero Gordon Freeman. Gordon final appeared in Half-Life 2: Episode Two, an extension of the 2004 sport Half-Life 2. However the follow-up Episode Three was canceled. The newly launched Half-Life: Alyx is about 5 years earlier than Half-Life 2 and stars Gordon’s ally Alyx Vance, so it doesn’t majorly advance the story. Even so, the brand new sport features a large trace about Gordon’s future journey… particularly in the event you play by means of the credit.
We posted a spoiler-light evaluate of Alyx, so in the event you’re planning to play it, you may need to cease studying. In any other case, let’s discuss what Alyx means for the Half-Life universe — the place Valve says it’s not done making games.
Warning: Enormous spoilers for the ending of Half-Life: Alyx and Half-Life 2: Episode Two forward.
Half-Life 2: Episode Two ends with a cliffhanger. Gordon Freeman (who by accident opened an inter-dimensional portal in Half-Life) has reawakened from a 20-year stasis to seek out Earth conquered by the alien Mix. He’s met up with the anti-Mix Resistance, together with an outdated colleague named Eli Vance and his daughter Alyx. After successful a key navy victory, Gordon and Alyx are getting ready to search out a long-lost analysis ship known as the Borealis, and Eli has hinted at some new details about the mysterious G-Man, who positioned Gordon in stasis and saved Alyx’s life as a baby. Then, a Mix “Advisor” bursts in and kills Eli.
However that’s now not canon.
Alyx principally takes place 5 years earlier than Eli’s demise, whereas Alyx and Eli are combating the Mix, and Gordon is in stasis. However when Alyx infiltrates a Mix facility to discover a “superweapon,” this modifications dramatically — as a result of Alyx runs into the G-Man. The G-Man, following one in all his usually portentous speeches, pulls Alyx into the longer term. He offers her the possibility to avoid wasting her father, and he or she takes it… then disappears. After some credit, Alyx cuts again to the ultimate scene. This time, gamers are within the footwear of Gordon Freeman, who hefts his iconic crowbar as the sport ends.
Till now, the closest we’d gotten to Episode Three was a bit of unofficial fanfic called “Epistle 3” from former sequence author Marc Laidlaw. “Epistle 3” options the participant touring alongside Alyx to seek out the Borealis, which seems to be a teleportation system and a form of time machine. The G-Man then seems and pulls Alyx out of actuality, leaving her destiny unknown. Alyx undercuts this arc fairly considerably, though it does assimilate a few of the core themes.
Road to VR suggests that Alyx is hinting particularly at a VR-based Half-Life 2: Episode Three equal, because it’s so conspicuously letting gamers maintain Gordon’s crowbar. That appears unlikely for one purpose, although: Valve thinks VR crowbars aren’t a lot enjoyable. Once I spoke to stage designer Corey Peters earlier than the sport’s launch, he mentioned Alyx was supposed to make use of one for puzzles and fight as a result of “it’s a Half-Life sport — it has to have a crowbar in it.” However he mentioned the hook continuously received caught on objects, and it wasn’t satisfying to kill an enemy utilizing a melee weapon with little tactile suggestions. Whereas Valve may repair this downside sometime, I doubt it might promise a function it had simply tried and didn’t implement.
Alyx’s ending remains to be an apparent trace that Valve isn’t completed with Gordon Freeman, although. The twist leaves elements of Episode Two’s trajectory unchanged. Gordon and the Mix are presumably each in search of the Borealis. We nonetheless don’t know why the ship issues, though since portal-making company Aperture Science is concerned, it’s in all probability one way or the other associated to teleportation. However now, Alyx is gone. Eli is determined to get her again. And the G-Man’s ever-inscrutable plans are central to no matter occurs subsequent.