9. Half-Life Alyx - The Vault
As Valve's flagship VR title loomed, fans wondered how they would address the infamous cliffhanger at the end of Half-Life 2: Episode 2? Surely they wouldn’t ignore it… would they? But as the light of Gaben shined upon us, the truth was revealed.
The death of Eli Vance is alluded to a number of times throughout Half-Life: Alyx by the Vortigaunts, despite the small issue that it hasn’t actually happened yet. If you’re someone who subscribes to the linear nature of time (like most of us), this should already be setting off alarm bells that a major plot twist is coming.
When Alyx reaches the core of the Combine vault at the end of the game, both Alyx and the player sense that something isn’t right. A spooky silhouette of a skinny man in a suit appears before you, and as he turns to face you it all falls into place. The vault contains G-Man, the omnipotent reality-altering entity at the centre of Half-Life’s mystery.
G-Man shows Alyx the future: Eli’s death, the infamous cliffhanger. He allows Alyx to prevent this future event from occurring, altering the course of time itself and allowing the Half-Life series to continue. This changes the way you see story in video games, as one of the biggest moments in gaming history has now been forever altered.
Turns out that prequels can have an effect on future events after all.