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New off-screen Half-Life: Alyx footage gives a closer look at the VR experience

Yesterday, YouTube channel Adam Savage’s Tested shared an extensive breakdown of Valve’s Half-Life: Alyx, going hands-on to compare the still-in-development game across a variety of VR devices. And, now, the internet has eked out the gameplay from that original 30-minute video and squashed into down into an easily digestible 11 minutes of juicy stuff.

Tested’s off-screen footage, taken from around three hours of play-through, steers clear of plot details and certain advanced mechanics for obvious spoiler reasons, but it does give a solid look at some of the motion-control-based interactions that players will be able to deploy over the course of Alyx’s reported 15-hour run-time.

The newly released 11-minute edit (created by YouTuber zck2020) features Half-Life favourites like shambling headcrab zombies and ceiling-dwelling barnacles. On the VR front, though, teleportation and full locomotion movement are showcased, as are a range of natural motion-based interactions, including aiming, reloading, grenade-tossing, door-opening, and more.

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Players can, handily, summon objects into their outstretched palms from a distance for more creative kills, and at one point we see an explosive canister being snatched up, tossed freely toward a barnacle’s dangling appendage, and then detonated as it’s hoisted into the air.

Other eye-catching (and slightly icky) physics-based interactions include moments where the player grabs a box and smashes it against the ground to access an item inside, manhandles a headcrab corpse limb-by-limb, and places several items in a crate before shifting it around.

It’s not the sharpest footage, what with being off-screen and all (off-very-small-screen, in some cases), but it’s a fascinating look at Valve’s next big VR gamble all the same, and gives a solid idea of what the company is striving for in terms of core environmental interaction – even if some of Alyx’s more notable mechanics are seemingly still to be revealed.

Half-Life: Alyx will be playable across a range of PC VR devices when it launches in March next year, including the Valve Index, Vive, and Oculus Rift. And if you’d like to see more exuberant physics-based interactions in VR, why not check out Eurogamer’s Ian Higton having the time of his life in developer Stress Level Zero’s recent Boneworks?

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