Valve recently released an update for Half-Life: Alyx which contains 3 hours of developer audio commentary explaining in detail how the game was actually made. The commentary is subtitled in over 10 languages.
This appears similar to the Half-Life 2 and Portal developer commentary modes, but in HL: Alyx, the player can trigger the audio by taking an in-game headset. The developers have tried to detail nearly every aspect of its creation.
To listen to the audio tracks, you’ll need to start a new game and select the “Developer Commentary” option before going back into the world of City 17.
In the commentary mode, you’ll encounter clips at 147 points of interest in the game, covering several corners of development, including design, art, animation, rendering, sound, and more. The dev team in Seattle recorded the commentary “in closets and blanket forts”.
“Like much of the world, we are all working from home, which means that rather than using our comfortable high-quality recording studio at the office, we have been recording our commentary voice overs in closets and blanket forts around greater Seattle.”
As you start playing the game, you’ll encounter floating headphone icons scattered across the environment. In order to listen to a particular audio track, all you need to do is pick up the cans and place them on Alyx’s head.
As mentioned before, you will encounter a total of 147 audio clips as you play through the game. Each one is in English, along with subtitles in 10 other languages, including Chinese, French, German, Korean, Japanese and Russian.
You are also most probably going to run into some major spoilers, so it’s much better to complete the game once before listening, unless of course you don’t mind spoilers. Alyx’s developer commentary was initially expected to ship back in March 2020, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic the plan was scrubbed.
“As the commentary contains significant spoilers, we highly recommend that you play the game to its conclusion before playing through with commentary.”
Half-Life: Alyx is set in the 20 year time gap between Half-Life and Half-Life 2. The game uses Source 2 Engine and features a single-player, story-driven linear FPS campaign. The game also heavily utilizes physics and includes a physical player body.
Half Life Alyx came out in March 2020 and, as Valve has explained, it will be playable only on VR devices.