The Half-Life 2 VR mod adding full virtual reality support to Valve’s beloved classic FPS game has arrived on Steam ahead of its planned release date in September. The fan-made project recently announced that players could look forward to playing the Half-Life 2 VR beta in September, but it wasn’t certain that the mod would arrive on Steam. Now it’s there, and the developer has given a more concrete date – so you can look forward to playing it as you wait for Half-Life 3, which we presume will be announced any day now.
The Half-Life 2: VR Mod release date is September 16. You will, of course, need to own Half-Life 2 to play it, but can use any VR headset that is supported by SteamVR. The mod’s developer, Source VR Mod Team, initially said that it hoped to launch the beta on a Friday in September. Thankfully, its appearance on Steam means that the mod appears to have been given the official nod from Valve. Given how successfully Half-Life: Alyx adapted the sci-fi setting to a virtual format, we’re very excited to see more of Ravenholm and City 17 in fully realised VR. The headcrabs… perhaps a little less so.
The mod includes full room-scale VR with tracked motion controls, allowing you to walk around, pick up objects, climb ladders and more in much the way you’d expect from a ground-up VR game. Most weapons already support manual reloading and aiming, with features such as functional iron-sights and two-handed weapons included as well. There is full support for left-handed players, and accessibility tools including a laser sight and quick reload feature for players that prefer a little more convenience. There are also comfort options available including motion vignette and a third-person vehicle camera.
The team warns that this initial beta release may still contain some rough edges, but has outlined a roadmap with plans including additional asset and texture upscaling, additional animations and hand poses, and eventually support for Half-Life 2: Episode One and Episode Two. Source VR Mod Team also notes that there is currently no teleport movement option, though hopefully we’ll see one included down the line for players who struggle with direct movement in virtual reality.
If you’re planning to jump in for yourself, you’ll of course want to peruse our guide to the best VR headset first. It’s worth the investment – once you’re done immersing yourself in Half-Life 2, we’ve got our picks of the best VR games on PC to keep you amused. Of course, it’d be remiss of us not to point you towards our guide to the Half-Life 3 saga, if you are in the mood to keep dreaming about that particular pie in the sky.