A newly released custom map for Half-Life: Alyx presents a 45-minute level that feels polished and fun to play.
Loco-Motive is available on Steam Workshop now, and the work of Maarten Frooninckx, Ross Joseph Gardner and Joey Bracken, who took care of the level design, writing and voice acting respectively. And yes, that’s right — there’s voice acting! The map starts off with what seems to be a custom Russell voiceline tasking Alyx with investigating a cache in the train yard. It’s a good impression that feels eerily close to Rhys Darby — close enough to make me briefly question whether it was a repurposed line from the game’s main campaign.
I played through around half of the map earlier today, but a full playthrough should last around 45 minutes give or take, according to level designer Maarten Frooninckx.
You can watch us play through the opening moments of the map in the gameplay video above, which gives you a good look at the main area that the action centers around. Some users on Twitter did report a drop in performance when in the outdoor areas. While there were definitely outdoor spots where the framerate went a bit wonky, overall we found performance to be generally stable.
For a custom map, Loco-Motive is really impressive and has a high level of detail. There are plenty of good Half-Life: Alyx maps and mods, but very few of them have this level of thought put into them on an aesthetic level. At times, it just feels more like a natural extension of the game as opposed to a community-made level.
Loco-Motive is available on Steam Workshop for owners of Half-Life: Alyx.