when I started playing half-life Alex is the dirt under my fingernails usually virtual hands are either low detailed ghostly operations or gloved but this  finely detailed grit tells us something about how expanses a character she’s a scrappy survivor raised in the aftermath
of the seven-hour war when the alien combine conquered earth and not all buttoned-down like that MIT educated nerd dr. Gordon Freeman the next thing that stood out was oh god what the hell is that okay yeah this game is incredible between the newfound sense of scale and the distinctive otherworldly sound design half-life Alex had me immersed from the get-go but aside from the new VR perspective Alex feels very much like a traditional half-life game it’s set up as a linear series of areas starting with a city 17 neighborhood and then going underground through industrial areas like a distillery high-tech combine facilities slimy alien nests and more each chapter of this 15 hour the campaign feels substantially different from the last and true to half a form I’d sometimes wander around an area
wondering if I’d hit a bug that prevented me from progressing only to figure out that the solution was a trick that had been explicitly taught to me earlier or was pretty clearly marked

once you knew what to look for you just need to learn to think a little bit differently, combat is a major part of the journey but so is puzzle solving and I mean both the environmental kind where you figure out where to go next and some clever very 3d hacking puzzles you solve
using Alex’s multi-tool to unlock various combine technology it’s a great mix that keeps the pace going strong this may be a prequel story that takes place five years before half-life 2 but
you should be up to date on the events of the series through Episode two before you play you’ve had 13 year  it’s time Alexes quest starts as a straightforward mission to rescue her father and turns into a heist to capture a combine superweapon stashed inside a
massive floating vault but of course it’s not that simple without spoiling anything the ending is fantastic and a must-see for anyone who’s invested in the story for the whole trip you’re remote lovably oblivious sidekick Russell shatters away in your ear with some laugh-out-loud gags about vodka and sandwiches among a great many other things his rapport with Alex gives her a chance to shine as a character as well

showing some of her idealism and naivety about the world before the war of course
when the mood gets creepy Russ’s signal tends to get blocked out which lets the atmosphere get fantastically spooky details one of the things that valve do best environments look amazing you can see the hairs on the legs of the bloodthirsty turducken sized head crabs as they leap at your face trying to eat your brain although counting Harry’s is hardly the first of your concerns at a a moment like that and look at this gross

healing station it’s all remarkable and so is the actual way you interact with
everything the vast majority of stuff that isn’t nailed down can be picked up and tossed around but even better your hands collide with everything realistically instead of passing through this makes a huge difference in establishing a feeling of presence in
this world the gravity gun from half-life 2 hasn’t been invented yet so Alex traps on some prototype gravity gloves they’re not nearly as powerful as the gun but much more compact always on and still extremely useful just point at any object make a fist to grip it and joint
it’s the simplest of Jedi tricks but it works great after some practice and you’ll never have to bend down again there are only three weapons or five-county grenades and halflife Alex
but even the basic pistol you’re handed from the get-go has a powerful punch to
it the catch is that reloading is a lot more involved than you may be used to and there are some clever nuances to mastering it keeping your cool as you reload in the middle of the fight can be tough intense gun upgrades change things up in meaningful ways the shotguns autoloader makes it amazingly powerful and is cool to watch and the laser sight was the biggest game-changer for me.

just like in previous half-life games you have to move around a whole lot in half-life Alex and there are several options that allow for everything from playing seated to full room-scale immersion I played exclusively standing and with the free movement controls
using the left thumbstick to move around like a regular first-person game but
teleporting is also an option you do have to jump over gaps from time to time
either way but pulling down on the right the stick allows you to point at a target and release to teleport there as though you’d performed a feat of athleticism oh and if you don’t have a
$1,000 valve index don’t worry half-life Alex worked just fine on any
vibe or Oculus headset – and plenty of  others