Half-Life 2: VR port progressing, first gameplay

Half-Life 2: VR port progressing, first gameplay

There is new information about the Half-Life 2 VR mod. A video shows the current stage of development.

The HL2 VR mod project has a long and eventful history. Development began five years ago and was even supported by Valve. When the lead developer was hired by Rockstar Games, most of the work came to a halt and nothing was heard about the VR port for years. Even the buzz around Half-Life: Alyx couldn't breathe new life into the project.

Until the summer of 2021, when VR modder Simon "Dr. Beef" Brown, responsible for Quest ports of classics like Half-Life, Quake and Doom 3, and another modder named Fholger brought the project out of the woodwork. The goal was to finish the work already done and release a playable alpha version as soon as possible.

Half-Life 2 VR: Video demonstrates VR functionality

Now the team is showing the first fruits of those efforts. "But anyway, as you can see, we did make progress, and it is now in a state where it is actually enjoyable to play, which was not the case for a good while," Fholger writes on Reddit.

The first gameplay video shows scenes from the channels of City 17, that is, from the first hours of play. Features include animated hands with finger tracking, the ability to focus on individual objects and pick them up at the touch of a button, and numerous types of manual interaction such as throwing, loading weapons, swinging crowbars, climbing ladders and operating guns.

The VR implementation is still in some need of improvement: there are no hand poses for the weapons and the interface elements float in the image and therefore do not seem very immersive.


The alpha release is approaching

Two major milestones remain before the alpha release, FHolger writes. First, the vehicles need to work properly in VR and offer comfort options so that artificial locomotion doesn't upset the stomach. Second, the team wants to rework the weapons. Some later weapons don't work properly and hand poses are missing.

Once these two milestones are reached, the VR port should be fully playable, according to the modders. "There will still be a lot of tweaking needed at that point, but I'm not aiming for a perfect first release, so I hope we're ready for a public alpha at that point," the VR modder writes. FHolger specifies "a few months" as the time frame until release.

Those who want to keep up to date can do so on the Discord server of the Flatscreen to VR modding community under the Half-Life 2 VR section or in the HLVR Reddit.

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Sources: Reddit