Half-Life: Alyx No VR Mod Looks Promising in New Update

Half-Life: Alyx was created to show what VR can do. However, some people find it difficult to use. A team of mod developers has created the game to be more accessible for all players by making it more similar to the classic Half-Life games.
Half-Life: Alyx, a VR title is meant to be used with two track controllers that simulate the hands of players. While they are great in VR, the hands do not work in VR. They also remove the game’s control scheme from its keyboard and mouse.

A group of modders known collectively as SoMNst released a video showing improvements to the “No VR Mod” for Half-Life. This video features 37 minutes of gameplay, and highlights important changes made to make Half-Life classic gameplay available for non-VR. The UI and puzzles have been redesigned to allow for traditional first-person shooter gameplay. Each change seems to have been inspired by Half-Life 2. The UI design is very similar to the original titles. Additionally, the process of picking up physics objects has been reworked to be very similar to previous games.

Half-Life: Alyx was praised for its VR format. Taking it out of its context gives you an interesting perspective on what VR needs to change. It is a great simplification that makes VR feel more meaningful than a flatscreen format. The emphasis on upgrading weapons rather than the various arsenals from previous Half-Life games is a fascinating one. VR is still in its infancy, so Half Life: Alyx’s design allows for players to feel at ease as the format changes.

Half-Life: Alyx is more horror-oriented than the rest of Half-Life. Despite the gameplay shift, the No VR mod makes Half-Life: Alyx accessible without the need for expensive VR equipment. It also serves as an interesting case study on how VR affects game design. It can also be used as a parallel to convert existing games to VR formats as demonstrated by the BioShock: Return to Rapture Mod.

Valve has been known for their modding skills. Major esports titles such as Counter-Strike or Team Fortress started out as mods for Half-Life. Modders can create custom maps and campaigns for Half-Life, Alyx, and they can even integrate haptic suits and complete conversions to make this a completely new experience.

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