Alyx Vance is the daughter of scientist Eli Vance, and, as an infant, was one of the few survivors of the infamous incident at Black Mesa. With earth now under the control of an oppressive dictatorship, she and her father now spend their lives working to drive the Combine forces from Earth. Selfless and courageous, Alyx will do whatever it takes to protect those closest to her. Little did she know that her best efforts were all in vain, and that her entire life was the result of the careful manipulation of forces beyond her very control...
Alyx Vance's original voice actress in Half-Life 2 and its two episodic sequels is Merle Dandridge. Merle's performance is, in my book, one of the classic performances of video game history. In a game where the protagonist is famously silent, Alyx has to carry many scenes (especially those with just her and Gordon) on her own without making it feel awkward; and Merle pulled this off so well that for most of the game, you forget that she's basically having one-sided conversations. It feels completely natural. Her quick wit comes through well in her talks with Gordon, and her care for those around her is palpable in the serious scenes (especially with her and her dad). It's probably the best performance in a game full of standouts.
For the VR prequel Half-Life: Alyx, while most of the surviving cast of the original games came back to reprise their respective roles, Merle was deemed to be a bit too old sounding to convincingly portray a teenage version of Alyx. Enter Ozioma Akagha. Not gonna lie, I was fairly worried about how Ozioma would sound going into this. (I was admittedly not familiar with her work, but I knew she had some big shoes to fill.) The moment I heard her speak in the game, though, every doubt was erased. While her voice is slightly lighter than Merle's, she's a really dang close match. Even her acting and emoting sound nearly identical, bringing all of both the wit and the dramatic weight that Merle did. Plus, her chemistry with Rhys Darby's Russell is great for the banter they share throughout the game.
In the end, both actresses did a fantastic job portraying this character. Merle is classic, and while I'm still a little sad I didn't get to hear more of her in Alyx, Ozioma did so good a job that a lot of people likely wouldn't even know the difference. I call this one a tie.