Superb Half-Life 2 PC VR mod is too good to be true

GIF: Valve / Source VR Mod Team / Kotaku

Last week, a longtime dream to play Valve’s iconic 2004 shooter. Half life 2 in virtual reality has finally come true. The journey began nearly 10 years ago when a man named Nathan Andrews managed to put together a working version of an all-time classic in virtual reality. This was before the advent of Vives, Indexes, Quests or Okuli. FROM primitive Sony HMZ-T1 and specialized motion-tracking equipment, Andrews ventured a resonant cascade scenario to connect a working base for a complete Half life 2 VR mod. Over the next decade, dozens of volunteers will contribute to the project, all in the hope of one day smashing enemies with a crowbar in semi-realistic virtual reality.

And now Half Life 2: VR Mod ready to play thanks to hard work Source VR development team and them free open beta available on Steam. There is definitely more work to be done…public roadmap shows what’s coming next, but the entire main campaign is already up and running and it’s pretty surreal. Sharp corners and all Half-Life 2: VR Mod worth checking out right now if you can.

The differences are pretty immediate. The opening scene of the G-Man gives a completely different sense of scale because you have active depth perception. The images flash and appear within it as fully realized 3D spaces that you can really look inside and see with more depth and dimension. This new presentation gives more weight to the whole scene.

In terms of graphics for video games in virtual reality, this is very cool. Your eyes can track flying debris and exploding barrels with ease and speed by simply turning your head. Violence and realistic physics Half life 2 no longer just simulations appearing on the screen in front of you; they take place in a 3D space where you feel presence and dimension. It all feels so natural that it’s easy to forget that this is the end result of a decade of cracked technology created by enthusiastic fans.

And while there is still a lot of work to be done on the weapons, being able to virtually hold, explore and fight these classic video game weapons is great. Breaking down aggressive, flying manhacks crowbar in VR is so obscenely fun that I want a mini spin-off mod just about it. And my Fitbit tells me I’m earning “zone minutes” by hacking these things. The 9mm is a pleasure to aim and shoot (and yes, I only aim with one hand). More modern VR games tend to have smoother reload mechanics, so this mod feels a little clunky at times, but the action remains just as hectic and fun.

Half-Life 2 VR Mod brings City 17 to life

In a way, it’s like Half life 2 it should always have been like that. It is very easy to lose yourself in this mod, both in virtual reality and in Half life one. It easily transcends “tech demo” or “fashion” status, feeling like it’s turning into a full-fledged virtual game in its own right.

Half-Life 2: VR Mod The project is currently being worked on by users from the Flatscreen server to the VR Discord server, led by WormSlayer, whose involvement dates back to the earliest days of the project. Then WormSlayer saw Andrews’ early prototypes and offered his talents, starting with working on weapon models.

WormSlayer’s description of the mod’s early days sounds like you need to come together to survive in City 17 itself. The tech suite included “a Sony head-mounted TV, a gun controller for the console, and a professional 3D tracking system.” [Andrews] had access,” WormSlayer said. Kotaku. That headset was the Sony HMZ-T1, which had “an amazing 640×720 resolution per eye and a 45-degree field of view,” said WormSlayer. This headset will be left in favor of Oculus DC1, the first hardware released by the newly registered Oculus (now Meta). You can see footage from those early days in a 2013 YouTube video.

Nathan Andrews

Being such an early consumer experiment with virtual reality, the project was doomed to some setbacks as new technologies entered the scene that quickly outdated existing standards. “Valve and Oculus have abandoned the idea of ​​treating the VR headset as just another monitor,” WormSlayer said. “It was a smart idea for many reasons, but it actually broke VR support in Half life 2“.

After this switch, the team gave up for a while. Andrews left the project entirely. However, eager members of the VR community convinced WormSlayer to reconsider giving it all up. “[They] We were confident that we could bring OpenVR support to the old project,” said WormSlayer. So the project came alive again, making great strides before falling asleep again when the core contributors left.

Fortunately, the emerging Half-Life 2: VR Mod will really see a second resurgence when the Flatscreen to VR community comes together new team. Now that the public beta is out and playable, they have focused their efforts on bringing the project to a fully polished and complete state.

As playable and fun as it is now, Half-Life 2: VR Mod there are still some issues, primarily performance related. “The old engine is very single-threaded and only supports DirectX 9, so even with our hacky DXVK implementation, we struggled to meet FPS goals in some places,” said WormSlayer. While I have yet to get to some of the more chaotic scenes in the second half of the game, I found performance to be pretty good so far. However, given the lack of teleport-style travel, this mod can be hard on the stomach if you’re new to VR.

After all, physics and technology Half life 2 who are still fun to play with 18 years later. Virtual reality only enhances the physical nature of its world by allowing objects to be lifted and manipulated virtually. Half-Life 2: VR Mod No Half-life: Alyx in terms of the sheer number of interacting objects, but it fits well into a VR-worthy prequel. And with the addition of a crowbar and a headlamp, it has more than a few features and conveniences of its own. The ability to virtually manipulate objects in the world is a refreshing way to revisit many of the game’s puzzles.

However, the most surprising thing for me was how this experience affected my perception of the characters in the game, especially the most silent protagonist.

GIF: Valve / Source VR Mod Team / Kotaku

Gordon Freeman is a quiet guy, even when he’s furiously destroying shit. But even being able to nod to NPCs means a 100% increase in interaction between characters. The game Half life 2 and be able to swing Dr. Kleiner When he screams with excitement when he sees you, I wonder if Gordon Freeman hesitates at all? Does he give a thumbs up to show he understands? Does he shake or nod his head when spoken to? How have I not thought about this all these years?

NPCs also look at you at eye level in a very creepy way. This feeling exists in other, more modern VR games as well, but it’s surprising that it’s present in a 2004 game. out of the uncanny valley into something that’s starting to feel real.

I’m not saying that nodding, gesturing, and looking people in the eye are the hot features you list on the back of the box (it’s reserved for viciously beating the crap out of metal manhacks with a crowbar and watching this classic game in true 3D). ), but it certainly changes the tone Half life 2. One catch here: it’s a pity you can’t see your hands while piloting an airboat. Not only did my eyes never leave the G-Man as I streaked past him during my escape from the Alliance, I would gladly stare and point at him with a dead look, as if to say, “I see you, you bastard. I see you.”

I’m looking forward to playing until the end Half-Life 2: VR Mod, celebrating the unique changes that the new format adds and inspires. WormSlayer and the team still have a lot of work to do, including more weapon improvements, tweaks to make the game a little easier for motion sickness-prone people, and even some improved AI textures to give more dated graphical aspects. a bit of a facelift. These changes will come in handy, but for now, this first playable version is a great way to get back to this classic game. If you want Half life and you have a PCVR headset, you should download it yesterday.

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