It might be time to retire the meme that Valve doesn't make games anymore. The company announced this week a new virtual reality (VR) game called Half-Life: Alyx. It also released a major update to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) called Operation Shattered Web, which means at least two of its franchises haven't been abandoned.
We know precious little about Half-Life: Alyx. Valve said in the announcement that it considers the title its "flagship VR game" and that it would reveal more information on November 21.
Additionally, we know the game is named after a character from Half-Life 2, Alyx Vance, who also played a major role in that console/PC game's Episode One and Episode Two expansions.
That's all we know--and it's also enough to get people excited. Valve's hasn't paid the Half-Life series much attention since it released the expansions to Half-Life 2, which debuted in 2004, well over a decade ago. Episode One came out in 2006, and Episode Two followed in 2007. News that a new game's in development should be welcome. Although, it also means fans will need a VR headset in order to enjoy the next chapter of the Half-Life series.
CS:GO Operation Shattered Web Update
Valve shared more about Operation Shattered Web for CS:GO. The competitive first-person shooter now has selectable in-game agents, and it appears that the series will have female avatars for the first time, too. That extra layer of personalization joins new weapon skins, graffiti and stickers players can use to express themselves.
Operation Shattered Web also features new end-of-match accolades that highlight a player's performance, with Valve saying that "sometimes it is nice to know you threw the most effective nades." These accolades should help show a player's contribution to a match beyond the kills, deaths and assists currently shown by its scoreboard.
The expansion includes new maps, missions and other updates, as well as new cooperative campaigns that players can partner up to complete. Combine that with CS:GO's move from a paid title to a free-to-play game and the introduction of the Danger Zone battle royale mode in 2018, and it's clear that it's CS:GO-ing steady.
There's more information about the free Operation Shattered Web available via Steam. Valve is also offering the Operated Shattered Web Premium Pass, which features "a commemorative upgradeable Operation Shattered Web Coin, bonus Rank XP and exclusive mission completion rewards" for $15.