Should be more than a dozen hours
It’s tough to know what to expect from Half-Life: Alyx. It’s Valve’s first Half-Life game in well over a decade, it’s only available in a virtual reality format, and it’s the first time Gordon Freeman isn’t the protagonist. You couldn’t fault anyone for assuming Half-Life: Alyx is something of a glorified tech demo meant to push Valve Index hardware.
There’s some real meat on these bones, though. This morning, some of the Alyx development team held an AMA on reddit. When asked about the length of Alyx, the team replied “Playtesters have taken a similar amount of time to complete Half-Life: Alyx as they did to complete Half-Life 2. The games are comparable in terms of total amount of content.” Just because it’s titled Half-Life doesn’t mean each successive game gets smaller and smaller.
For comparison’s sake, Half-Life 2 was about a 15-hour game. It makes sense that Alyx isn’t some sort of undersized half-story when told the number of people who worked on the game. As answered in another question, there are 80 employees working on Alyx, which makes it “the single largest team” that has ever developed a game at Valve.
So, for anyone who’s eager for Half-Life: Alyx come March, plan to be strapped into a headset for well over a dozen hours. It’ll be a proper Half-Life story for the first time in forever, with all the headcrab VR jump scares that will haunt our dreams. That’s the actual worst part about this interdimensional dystopian alien-ruled future.