Welcome to headcrab sports

VIDEO: Headcrab sports in action, also available on YouTube.

It's easy to blaze through Half-Life: Alyx without taking time to smell the flowers or toss headcrabs through glass windows. I get it. It's been over a decade since we last saw Alyx and the crew, so getting to the meaty story details is important. Once the big ending has been seen, though, the true purpose of Half-Life: Alyx emerges—it's a series of VR physics playgrounds to goof off in.

Inspiration struck me during a visit to Jeff's den, which is nestled in the storage area of an abandoned vodka bottling plant. As you'd expect, vodka bottles are everywhere, so I started lining them up with the idea of breaking a bunch at once. But I unintentionally lined them up like bowling pins. And, as if a message from the G-Man himself, a dead headcrab happened to be sitting on a shelf to my left. 

I did what was natural and went headcrab bowling.

The rest was a blur. I left behind the in-depth analytical feature I was working on to make the most childish, slapstick video I've ever made, using headcrabs to play my own cross-dimensional alien fascist dystopia versions of popular sports.

Headcrab basketball is an obvious one. Find a bin or a gaping hole dug by antlions and plugged by the Combine, and shoot some hoops. For an extra challenge, use the teleport or dash options to set up some tricky quickturn jumpshots. 

Headcrab hammer toss is another natural fit, though I need to find a bigger space. I'm too good at tossing crabs. Headcrab baseball is a toughie. Those suckers are heavy and lobbing my own balls (headcrabs) without swinging my real physical arms into a wall or chair is nearly impossible. But I believe in the rest of you to do what I couldn't. Make headcrab baseball work.

Hell, make all the headcrab sports work. Give these dumb games a try, make some of your own. The Olympics are postponed, and nearly every other sport is on hold, so we have to make do with what we have—and right now, that's a bunch of dead headcrabs.

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.