Believe it or not, a new Half-Life game is coming. After all these years, one of the video game community’s longest-running jokes can be put to rest, because it’s actually happening. Valve has confirmed that the Half-Life series is finally returning in the form of a new VR game called Half-Life: Alyx, and fans are starting to hear what that might entail.

From the looks of it, the original plan was for Valve to announce the game at The Game Awards next month, according to leaked Game Awards materials that mentioned Half-Life: Alyx. And it looks like the trend of early reveals is continuing, because while Valve is planning to officially unveil the game this week, a report from Ars Technica got ahead of it and divulged what it claims are the first concrete details about it.

In trying to “connect the dots between what has been announced,” the media outlet cites “well-placed imgs” that point towards the first full Half-Life game in fifteen years being a prequel that will be set between Half-Life and Half-Life 2 (it would appear Valve still can’t count to three). Like the name suggests, Half-Life: Alyx will allegedly cast players not as longtime protagonist Gordon Freeman but as Alyx Vance, Gordon’s partner throughout the events of Half-Life 2.

Described as “a full single-player campaign of brand-new VR content,” Half-Life: Alyx will supposedly be a “masterclass example of how to build an adventure game” within the unique confines of virtual reality. One of the keys to this will be a mechanic currently known as the “Grabbity Gloves,” which will work similarly to one of Half-Life 2’s most iconic weapons, the physics-driven Gravity Gun. With these, players will apparently be able to draw distant objects to them and interact with them based on realistic physics.

Besides offering a new Half-Life experience, it appears that these mechanics are being designed to showcase the power of Valve’s new Source 2 engine and the knuckle-style controllers of the Valve Index VR headset. Ars Technica says that nearly every object in the game is being designed to interact believably with players’ virtual hands and the rest of their virtual environment. Alas, this commitment to inversion will apparently mean that another iconic Half-Life weapon, the crowbar, likely won’t appear in the game, as attempts to make it work properly in virtual reality haven’t panned out.

Of course, it remains to be seen how much of this is legit and actually going to end up in Half-Life: Alyx. But with the official unveiling happening this week, fans shouldn’t have to wait long to find out. That official unveiling will take place this Thursday, November 21, at 10:00 PST.

Half-Life: Alyx is rumored to be coming out in March 2020 for VR.

Source: Ars Technica