You don’t have to be a big Half-Life fan to know that the crowbar is an iconic weapon from the franchise and its likely that most fans thought that the item would be featured in some capacity in Half-Life: Alyx. Years went by since Half-Life 2 and while we didn’t get the Half-Life 3 that most fans have been waiting for, the VR title Half-Life: Alyx offered a new and unique story set in the same universe. Originally, the VR title had the infamous crowbar weapon in the build, but after some time working with the game, it was clear that the crowbar wasn’t going to work out.
Speaking with Kotaku, Valve developer Robin Walker, unveiled why the crowbar was taken out after a year of working on the game. At first, it was purely a programming nightmare. Developers were finding that when testing the game, using the crowbar was becoming more of a nuisance. Players would hold it to their side when it wasn’t required and it would constantly get snagged on something in the game.
From there the developers tried a few things such as vibrating a controller when it was attached to something or simply turning off the collision when the crowbar was down on the side of the player.
Additionally, the studio couldn’t quite get the feel and look down when using the crowbar as a weapon which prompted the title to be focused around guns and explosives. However, one of the other big reasons the crowbar was dropped is that players associate the crowbar with Gordon Freeman, who is not the protagonist for Half-Life: Alyx. Testers would constantly forget that they are not Gordon but Alyx when going through the game which left developers to ultimately decide in dropping the item altogether.