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New 'Half-Life' game confirmed as flagship VR title

Gordon Freeman teamed up with Alyx Vance (left) in 'Half-Life 2' and its two Episodes.

The influential "Half-Life" franchise is making a comeback after more than a decade's absence, with Valve Software hoping that "Half-Life: Alyx" will become a flagship title for Virtual Reality.

"Half-Life: Alyx" is to be revealed on Thursday, November 21, 2019, at 10am Pacific Time.

Series creator Valve Software confirmed the game's title after a November 18 leak suggested that it would feature during the 2019 Game Awards ceremony and showcase event.

The franchise is set in the aftermath of an accident at a secret government research facility.

When a rift opens between Earth and another dimension, a bespectacled scientist takes it upon himself to save the day.

The franchise is well known for combining physics-based puzzles, thrilling action and, in particular, a storyline whose thread emerges naturally from character actions and in-game events.

Launching in 2004, "Half-Life 2" also succeeded in bringing new users to Valve's Steam software platform, now one of computer gaming's biggest storefronts, requiring physical disc copies of the PC game sold in stores to be activated online in order to work properly.

Now it appears that "Half-Life: Alyx" will be part of an effort to further mainstream Virtual Reality technology.

While not the main character, "Half-Life 2" ally Alyx Vance featured prominently in both official continuations, "Half-Life 2: Episode One" and "Half-Life 2: Episode Two."

The new game's name indicates that Valve does not consider it to be the long-awaited "Half-Life 3," a sequel whose notable absence has become the basis for a long-running joke.

Valve staff have previously suggested that the "Half-Life 2" episodes were its response to calls for a third game.

Valve itself partnered with HTC to produce the HTC Vive headset, and released its own branded, high-fidelity Valve Index setup earlier this year.

Both "Half-Life" and "Half-Life 2" celebrate anniversaries this month, with the first game 21 years old, debuting on November 19, 1998, and the second now 15 years old, having released on November 16, 2004.