Shacknews Game of the Year 2020 - Half-Life: Alyx

It's finally time to celebrate the Shacknews GOTY 2020. Half-Life: Alyx confirmed!


The year 2020 threw a lot of challenges at people just going about their lives, and video games provided an escape for a lot of people. But there was only one game that literally transported players to a different world in virtual reality. Half-Life: Alyx is our Shacknews Game of the Year 2020. 

It is nothing short of a miracle that Valve actually shipped a new game set in the Half-Life universe this year. Many fans of the series had given up hope that we would ever see a third installment. While Half-Life: Alyx is not Half-Life 3, it still deserves high praise for pushing the video game industry forward with its amazing environmental design and vast array of gameplay mechanics that are tied together with a perfect story. It is rare that a video game hits this massive of a homerun, and the developers over at Valve should hold their heads up high with pride as they accomplished what many thought might not be possible.

Half-Life: Alyx also pushed adoption of virtual reality head-mounted displays forward this year, accelerating a multiyear trend in the video game industry. Sure, you need a VR HMD to play the game, but that is not unlike having to upgrade your PC back in the day to be able to play Half-Lfe 2 or even Quake. Virtual reality may have had its Tetris moment with the release of Beat Saber, but I would argue that the release of Half-Life: Alyx is as important of a moment for our industry as when The Legend of Zelda shipped on the NIntendo Entertainment System.

Developers and players will look back on 2020 and think of a lot of things that may have happened this year, but the teachings of Half-Life: Alyx will reverberate for many years as games borrow from its genius. We can only hope that Valve will consider creating even more high quality VR experiences going forward, but for now we will always have Half-Life: Alyx to point to when people argue that virtual reality games are glorified tech demos. Large, expansive worlds with amazing characters, mindbending puzzles, and a stunningly good story are possible in VR, and we have Valve to thank for proving this once and for all.

Congratulations to everyone at Valve. Half-Life: Alyx is the Shacknews Game of the Year 2020!

Check out the other winners from The Shacknews Awards 2020 in our Year of the Games: 2020 article.


Asif Khan is the CEO, EIC, and majority shareholder of Shacknews. He began his career in video game journalism as a freelancer in 2001 for Asif is a CPA and was formerly an investment adviser representative. After much success in his own personal investments, he retired from his day job in financial services and is currently focused on new private investments. His favorite PC game of all time is Duke Nukem 3D, and he is an unapologetic fan of most things Nintendo. Asif first frequented the Shack when it was sCary's Shugashack to find all things Quake. When he is not immersed in investments or gaming he is a purveyor of fine electronic music. Asif also has an irrational love of Cleveland sports.

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