Given how unique it felt to duck and weave behind cars while running from striders during Half-Life: Alyx's penultimate battle, firing off bullets at Combine soldiers while evading those giant stalk-like legs, it's no wonder that fans are itching to replicate that excitement with the classics. That's exactly what Source VR Mod Team is doing, porting Episode One to all SteamVR-compatible headsets.
It did the same for Half-Life 2 last September, launching to Overwhelmingly Positive reviews with 3,660 and counting. This reception was in part to how well the original Half-Life 2 was made to mesh with new VR movement and mechanics, playing closer to Alyx, but also because of how it integrated vehicles and melee combat, something new for Half-Life VR.
Given that it's a community-made mod, Episode One's port will be completely free to download so long as you have the base game. You'll of course need a VR headset to actually play it, but otherwise, it's simple enough to set up, as it now has a Steam page where you can wishlist and download it natively.
This new VR port will also introduce support for bHaptics vests if you want to feel every bullet hit you. Aside from that, it brings back the Half-Life 2 mod's fully room-scale experience, radial menu, iron sights, manual reloading, and optional laser sight.
Keep in mind that Episode One, like Half-Life 2, has several sequences that might make you a little queasy in VR. Take the segment where Dog throws you across a giant chasm in a rickety car before you crash and slide down the collapsing halls of the Citadel as it burns – think a rollercoaster spliced with incredible heights. Now we'll be able to fully appreciate why Alyx was so hesitant.
It's worth it for another shot at using the super gravity gun, flinging Combine into energy fields. Just remember the good times when you're fending off zombies in a pitch-black car park, not to mention Zombines with their eerily distorted radio chatter. On second thought, playing this in VR is likely to give me nightmares.
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