Half-Life: Alyx is poised to bring big new content to CSGO
Nick J. February 4, 2020
The world collectively lost their minds when Valve announced the new installment in its Half-Life franchise in November 2019. The game is exclusive to VR, and Valve has announced that for anyone who purchases its Index VR headset or hardware before Half-Life: Alyx's release in March will receive exclusive content.
Index owners get Alyx for free, but Valve has listed more bonus content that will come with the game for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valve's stalwart competitive shooter. CSGO already features a wide array of options for customizing a player's experience, like weapons skins and custom knives with flashy animations.
Interestingly, CSGO's Operation Shattered Web introduced player skins for the first time since Counter-Strike 1.6.
For those unfamiliar, Alyx is a character introduced to the Half-Life Series with Half-Life 2. The daughter of a scientist from the original game's Black Mesa facility, she assists protagonist Gordon Freeman in his adventures.
Here are Valve's exact words:
Alternate gun skins to embellish Alyx's arsenal
Special Half-Life: Alyx-themed content for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
It's worth noting Valve mentions gun skins for Half-Life: Alyx because weapon skins are Counter-Strike's selling point for some. Teasing CSGO "content" is a much different thing altogether. Let's take a look at what could come to the popular shooter with Half-Life:Alyx's release.
There are several routes Valve could take with a crossover between its two games. Much of what is featured in the Alyx trailer could work in Counter-Strike. Fans could probably bet on a Half-Life: Alyx weapon case releasing alongside the game for Counter-Strike that would include themed skins from the Half-Life universe.
As for exclusive content in this category, Valve could go all out.
Valve could create an alternate CSGO gun model for Index Owners
Current weapon skins only change the colors and patterns of a weapon. An exclusive model that looks and sounds like a gun from Half-Life: Alyx but functions like one already in CSGO would be a fantastic addition that could open the door to other crossovers in the future.
As for what it could take the place of, our bet would be on one of the three default pistols. A slightly futuristic Colt .45 handgun is featured prominently in the trailer and wouldn't look out of place in CSGO.
If Valve goes this route, the new model could function as an alternate pistol in CSGO's loadout menu much like the CT's P2000, while inheriting the stats of the weapon it replaces. Valve has already released an image of the alternate in-game skins that Index owners get with Alyx.
Sleek and different, the skins could even replace CSGO's CZ-75 despite using what looks like shotgun shells in the photo.
Half-Life: Alyx Gloves with custom inspect animations
Gloves are the next probable option for Valve to port over to Counter-Strike. Introduced in November 2016, gloves were CSGO's first cosmetic expansion past weapon skins and its famous knives. Alyx's gloves in the trailer are futuristic and rugged all at the same time and would make an interesting addition to CSGO's customizable experience.
The real draw here is that inspecting a weapon in Counter-Strike is only shown to the user in the first person. A player watching wouldn't see a difference.
This means that Valve could go crazy, adding effects, lights, and gravity distortions similar to what they showed fans in the trailer. Custom inspect animations coupled with a set of Alyx's gloves would be closer to the "content" mentioned.
It's an easy way to make Index owners feel special without affecting the game for other players. After the problems Shattered Web's Agents caused in competitive Counter-Strike, fans shouldn't be surprised if whatever the new exclusive content is, only its owners can see it.
Half-Life: Alyx, CSGO exclusive content might be Guardian Missions in Source 2 engine
Half-Life 2 was a great game, but one level in particular stands out to many fans of the game.
"We don't go to Ravenholm."
The mission was a departure from the series, shifting Half-Life from action to horror for an entire, terrifying level. Tight corridors and an excellent soundtrack set the mood for some of Half-Life 2's most memorable moments.
Valve might decide to take a similar approach to CSGO. In fact, Counter-Strike's pacing is already set for a horror spinoff with its moments of intense action in between anxious anticipation.
It makes sense. Since the VR title has been described as "the next part of the Half-Life story," a set of Counter-Strike guardian missions could function as a short prequel or side story for Index owners.
With recent developments in CSGO's bot programming and a host of signs that point to a CSGO Battle Pass in the works, it is a possibility. And it could be in Source 2.
Alyx was built and developed in the Source 2 engine, and Valve plans to release a Source 2 SDK sometime following Alyx's release. Although "Alyx-themed content" suggests that whatever the content is will be inside the current CSGO client, Valve has been uncharacteristically involved in the game recently.
If fans want to check out what Ravenholm would look like in CSGO, Steam user SVRiley recreated the map, available here on the Steam Workshop.
With Ravenholm, there's a small chance that CSGO players might get to see the Half-Life 2 location in some form along with Alyx's release. Valve has already made all Half-Life titles free to play until Alyx comes out in March so new fans can enjoy the classics.
Unfortunately, both the Index and its controllers, which can be purchased separately and still award the bonus content, have been sold out for months. As of now, fans can sign up to be notified when they return to the Steam Store.