Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - Half Life: Alyx, Valve's first single-player game in yonks and the long-awaited next entry in its celebrated Half Life series, has had its release date confirmed.

The game will launch on March 23, narrowing our expectations down from Valve's previous estimate of sometime in March. It also means that unless something slips at the last minute, Valve has come good on its statements that delays were unlikely for the VR blockbuster.

Enticingly, since the first reveal Valve has implied that a successful launch could see them return to Half Life again. That's almost a bit of a threat, though, given that sales will naturally struggle to reach truly huge heights, due to the game's exclusivity to VR. 

Still, it's a nice thought for gamers who have waited so long for the franchise to spin up again. 

Best PS5 games 2021: Amazing PlayStation 5 titles to pick up

Whether Valve releases any more teases between now and March 23 remains to be seen, but there's something refreshing about how quickly we've gone from discovering the game even exists to its release date being around the corner. 

Is this Half Life 3?

In a word, no. While Half Life: Alyx is indeed the next full-length entry in the series, we know from what Valve has revealed that this is a prequel to the strife in City 17 that players saw through Gordon Freeman's eyes in previous games. 

That means that while the story will likely tie in to those events (if Alyx isn't going on a big heist to steal the Gravity Gun, we'll eat our hats), we probably shouldn't expect it to advance it much from where things left off at the heart-wrenching end of Half Life 2: Episode Two. 

Writing by Max Freeman-Mills. Originally published on 14 February 2020.