Valve's logo intro is terrifying in VR

VIDEO: Why Valve's logo is a terror in VR, also available on Youtube.

Half-Life: Alyx is out today. Wild. It's been over a decade since we returned to the world of Half-Life, and Valve is making sure our first moments booting up the game are defined by raw fear. 

Valve's usual splash screen has always been eerie, but in VR, it's truly something else. I can't understand it. I don't necessarily want it to go away (in the moment, I sure do) because what other company stands behind something so plainly deranged? I still have questions, of course.

Why are you opening by tossing me in a pitch black void with the towering bald pate of 1/16th of a what is most definitely a serial killer, or at least a man poised and obscured just so that they vaguely resemble every single emotionally abusive high school football coach that has ever existed? Why am I dropping to the floor and doing push-ups with an Oculus Quest on my head and the backside profile of Coach Johnson glistening folds towering above me in an abyssal vacuum, Valve?

Imagine booting up Assassin's Creed and the first thing you see is a 20-foot tall toe with a garden hose coming out it and then a human mouth splits open just beneath the nail and says, "UBISOFT." Imagine Stardew Valley’s splash screen as a quivering indiscernible shape that has no tractable mass or volume but it somehow knows you and sees you and actually was you the whole time? 

Valve. Why?

Take a look at the monstrous intro for yourself in the video up top. 

James Davenport

James is stuck in an endless loop, playing the Dark Souls games on repeat until Elden Ring and Silksong set him free. He's a truffle pig for indie horror and weird FPS games too, seeking out games that actively hurt to play. Otherwise he's wandering Austin, identifying mushrooms and doodling grackles.