Twelve years after the launch of Half-Life 2: Episode 2, the near-unimaginable has happened; the next instalment in Valve's legendary series - VR-only shooter Half-Life: Alyx - finally has an actual, proper release date, and will be coming to Steam on 23rd March.
Half-Life: Alyx takes place between the original Half-Life and Half-Life 2, casting players as the latter's Alyx Vance as she mounts a secret resistance against the invading alien Combine.
It'll blend exploration, puzzles, combat, and story in the vein of the classic games, with each element designed to play to the strengths of VR. So far we've only seen snatches of the reportedly 15-hour experience in official and off-screen footage, but the combination of natural motion-based interactions - such as aiming, reloading, grenade-tossing, and door-opening - and wonderfully atmospheric environments certainly looks promising.
More exotic (although far from exhaustive) VR manoeuvres include the ability for players to summon objects - such as explosive canisters - into their outstretched virtual palms and toss then back for more creative kills; it's even possible to manhandle headcrabs limb-by-limb if that's the kind of thing that takes your fancy.
Half-Life: Alyx will be compatible with all PC-based VR headsets when it launches on 23rd March, and Valve has promised it'll offer a closer in-game look prior to release.