Valve Doesn’t Want Half-Life Fans To Be Stuck In "Narrative Limbo" Anymore

Half-Life: Alyx was the first game in the franchise in over a decade, but it was also a prequel, meaning that the narrative fans were hoping to see likely wasn’t going to appear.

However, Valve loves a red herring, as the final act changes absolutely everything about the franchises’ storyline thus far, opening the door for a very uncertain, but equally exciting future. We won’t be spoiling any specifics in this article, so no need to worry about that side of things. 

It turns out that such a move was very deliberate on the part of Valve. Speaking to us in a recent interview, Half-Life: Alyx project lead Robin Walker talked about what the ending could mean for the series, and how Valve no longer wishes fans to be stuck in “narrative limbo” in the years to come. This doesn’t confirm a new game at all, but puts a number of cards on the table simply waiting to be dealt.

“We realise that it needed to be something that mattered,” Walker said in regards to the game’s ending. “The story couldn’t be something you could just ignore and move onto whatever we build next. We also knew that Half-Life fans have been stuck in a sort of narrative limbo for a long time now, and we wanted that to change.”

For context, the last title in the franchise to be released before Alyx, Half-Life: Episode Two, ended with an infamous cliffhanger that is still discussed widely today. Valve is well aware of its legacy, and not only wanted to address it, but change the narrative foundations on which the entire franchise is built upon. It’s safe to say they succeeded.

“We wanted to be excited about possibility again,” Walker said. “We gave [the player] a red herring where you think you know how it’s going to end with a fully plausible ending and we then subverted that, which were all really important elements that took a lot of iteration and came together towards the end.”

You can expect even more from our chat with Robin Walker on Half-Life: Alyx in the coming days. In the meantime, Half-Life: Alyx is nominated for a number of accolades in the BAFTA Game Awards on Thursday, March 25. You can find out how to watch the ceremony alongside all the other details right here.

Next: Assembling Alisaie: Bethan Walker on giving life to Final Fantasy 14’s best character

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Jade King is one of the Features Editors for TheGamer. Previously head of gaming content over at Trusted Reviews, she can be found talking about games, anime and retweeting Catradora fanart @KonaYMA6.

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