Half-Life: Alyx is widely considered one of the best VR games of all time, but not everyone has access to a VR headset. A mod that allows the game to be played on a standard PC setup has reached an important new milestone, letting players experience its full campaign from start to finish.
Out of necessity, this “NoVR” mod changes Half-Life: Alyx in many ways. For example, cranks and doors that would’ve required physical manipulation with a VR controller are now opened with the use key, which is the same button that governs the use of the gravity gloves. The mod even supports other fan-made projects to an extent, including Levitation and Extra-Ordinary Value.
However, as the patch notes detail, there are still a few things that the mod needs to add before it’s truly finished. For example, it still uses the original Half-Life 2 HUD due to the technical challenge of implementing the Half-Life: Alyx HUD. Additionally, the project needs many more animations to be truly feature-complete, and it currently lacks support for nine of the game’s 42 Steam achievements.
In GameSpot’s Half-Life: Alyx review, critic Michael Higham called the game a tremendous VR experience that serves as a worthy follow-up to the lauded series. “It may not be as bombastic as previous games, but the intimacy of VR brings you closer to a world you might have thought you knew over the past 22 years. Even when familiarity starts to settle in, its gameplay systems still shine as a cohesive whole. And as it concludes, Half-Life: Alyx hits you with something unforgettable, transcending VR tropes for one of gaming’s greatest moments.” The game also won our 2020 Game of the Year award.
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