In a recent Reddit AMA the Half-Life: Alyx team answered some questions regarding the much anticipated upcoming VR title. The conversation soon turned to whether or not Alyx will utilize VR horror elements. According to one playtests, Alyx not only features horror aspects but they may prove to be pretty intense for some.
“I admit I cannot deal with headcrabs in general, and definitely not in VR,” says Valve’s Tristan Reidford. “If I’m testing the game, and I’m in an area where I know one of those things is around, I’ll remove the headset and hold it off my face as I attempt to navigate on the 2d monitor screen, to lessen the impact of headcrab discovery.”
Amusingly, Reidford admits that it seems they were “the only one on the team who can’t deal” and states that they feel Alyx will “handle the scarier parts pretty well in terms of making the game accessible.” That being said, it sounds like horror is very much a part of the title’s (and the franchise’s) DNA.
“Horror is part of the franchise, and through playtesting, we feel like we’ve gained some confidence about where to draw this line,” says Reidford. “Some of our gorier visuals tend to evoke a grim fascination rather than revulsion or panic, and apart from myself, we’ve hardly ever seen anyone nope out of a playtest, even during the creepier sections.”
Considering that one of Half-Life 2‘s most memorable sections involved a surprisingly scary trip through a town called Ravenholm, it probably shouldn’t be too surprising to hear that Alyx will also utilize some horror elements. At the same time, there are still a lot of unanswered questions regarding what to expect from Alyx, and it nice to know that it will utilize some of the series’ surprising horror elements.
Of course, if you also happen to suffer from a fear of headcrabs, you might not be too excited to learn that Alyx may hold some nasty surprises for you…
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.