Half-Life 2 remains a hallmark of gaming, and VR fans will be able to experience the classic from a whole new perspective.
A new page announcing an official VR mod for Half-Life 2 has gone live on the Steam store. The product advertises the full Half-Life 2 experience translated into virtual reality, including vehicles and the gravity gun. However, this new feature is not being developed by Valve. Here’s more on the exciting VR release and why Valve decided not to produce it in-house.
With this mod, players will be able to walk through the entire Half-Life 2 campaign in virtual reality as Gordon Freeman. Melee weapons like the crowbar are easy to port to VR, but the game’s iconic physics systems can be more difficult. The mod is currently slated for a September 16 release date, though players will need to own the regular version of Half-Life 2 in order to play it in VR.
Assuming it runs on SteamVR, any headset capable of connecting to Steam will be able to run it. That includes Valve’s own Vive and Index, as well as hardware from rival companies.
The mod is being developed and published by the Source VR Mod Team. Despite its official-sounding name, the team is actually a collective of Valve fans working to port classic titles into VR. The Steam page didn’t mention if they plan to tackle any of Half-Life 2’s DLC or spin-offs. If the base game is a success, it’s easy to imagine other installments getting similar treatment.
How to download the new Half-Life 2 VR mod
Once the Half-Life 2 VR mod is released on September 16, players will be able to download the Half-Life 2 VR mod directly from the Steam store.
Unlike most mods, which are distributed through third-party websites and clients, Valve is giving the VR version of its beloved classic its own Steam page. In terms of distribution, players will be able to download it just like any other content in the workshop. The store page also indicates that it could work as a separate download. Either way, it’s best to have Half-Life 2 and SteamVR already installed when September 16 rolls around.
Half-Life 2 VR is not the first official Valve mod
It might seem strange that Valve is outsourcing an official version of Half-Life 2 in VR, but it’s actually normal for the developer.
Project Mesa is a massive remake of the original Half-Life with updated graphics and massive gameplay changes. The community also created some downloadable content for the Portal series. There’s also the poorly received indie game Hunt Down The Freeman, but the system has clearly improved in recent years.
As an extension of this philosophy, Valve also outsources its cosmetic creations to gaming communities. Both Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 have workshops where players vote on fan-created skins that can eventually be added to the game. A VR mod for one of their most iconic titles is a stretch, but with Valve’s approval, it’s likely to be a high-quality release.