What’s the best-reviewed game of 2020 so far? It’s not Animal Crossing, DOOM Eternal or even the beloved Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Rather, if you don’t count Persona 5 Royal as an entirely new game, it would be Half-Life: Alyx, currently sitting at a 93 on Metacritic, which would also have it be tied for the best game of last year as well.
How much have you heard about it?
Half-Life: Alyx did set concurrent player records for a VR Game on Steam. Steamcharts puts it at 16,000 or so while SteamDB had it at a higher 42,000 concurrents near launch. But that’s likely as high as it will ever get, as Steamcharts is now showing under 5,000 players as of yesterday, and that doesn’t even land it in the top 100 games played on Steam, Valve’s own platform.
In short, this should have been a perfect storm for the potential growth of interest in VR.
1) Everyone is literally locked indoors with nothing to do but escape reality with video games.
2) Valve put a huge amount of work into making an incredible VR entry of one of the most beloved gaming franchises of all time.
3) Headsets are cheap and as easy to use as they’ve ever been and have been for a while (though you do need more power for Alyx, specifically).
I don’t know what it’s going to take for VR to catch on. It seems more and more likely now that there will never be “a moment,” and if VR does continue to grow, it will have to be slow. Brutally slow, perhaps, but at this rate, I would not be surprised to see it remain a niche for another decade or two at the very least. The interest, past a very specific group of players, simply is not there.
Nearly everyone who has played Half-Life: Alyx, fans or critics, have little but glowing praise for it, with many saying that it’s not just the best VR game on the market, but it’s one of the best games of the last few years period, in some cases.