Why Half-Life: Alyx is my game of the year

See the original posting on The Verge

Half-Life: Alyx art
Image: Valve

Half-Life 2 is one of the last things that makes me feel like a fan, and that’s why I was afraid of Half-Life: Alyx.

Writing about video games changed my relationship with the medium. I’m used to analyzing exactly why I like my favorite games. Meeting developers has helped me see their work as an idiosyncratic human creation, not a magical self-contained artifact. I’ve encountered the worst of fan culture, and it’s made me wary of deep, unconditional, inarticulable loyalty to media.

For some reason, though, Half-Life 2 and its follow-up episodes are special. They’re not my favorite games, or even my favorite Half-Life games. Like a robot short-circuiting while trying to articulate the concept of…

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