Half-Life: Alyx will most likely be modded into a non-VR game according to Valve

Written by Chad Norton on Wed, Mar 25, 2020 5:30 PM
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Half-Life: Alyx has just been released, stirring all sorts of buzz throughout the gaming community. It’s Valve’s next big game, and the newest installment in a franchise over a decade old. It’s quite the achievement to say the least, and Valve has stressed that Half-Life: Alyx was built from the ground up with Virtual Reality in mind. However this has not gone down entirely well as the limited hardware has alienated a large group of gamers who simply do not have access to a VR setup.

On the day that HL: Alyx launched, it reached 43,000 concurrent players on Steam, that’s not nearly as much that DOOM Eternal got on launch day, and Half-Life is arguably a more well-known franchise. So it’s clear that the number of actual users who got to play the new Half-Life VR game was significantly held back due to the VR requirement. In comparison, the peak amount of Twitch viewers for the game was 300,000, nearly 7 times the number of concurrent players.

So it’s clear that Half-Life: Alyx didn’t reach nearly as big of an audience it could have were it not exclusive to VR, and many online have called out for modders to create a non-vr version of Alyx, and it seems like Valve believes that will happen…

I know it’s going to happen,” said Robin Walker, game designer and programmer at Valve, when talking to the press. “There are a set of people on the team that are concerned about that. Personally, I’m not concerned about it at all.

It will clearly demonstrate to people why we did this in VR.

So Walker thinks that modders will eventually mod the game into a non-VR version, and considering that Source 2 SDK is releasing alongside Half-Life: Alyx, it probably won’t be all too hard to transfer assets over, or even to recreate it from the ground up so more players can experience it.

Yes, it’s going to happen. I’m fine with it, for the sake of the other members of the team I don’t want to say I encourage you to do it, but it’s going to happen,” he continued. “I think people will then hopefully have an even greater understanding of why we decided to build the product in VR than they do now.

It definitely sparks an interesting conversation about whether or not VR games should have an accompanying non-VR version, would that bring the game to a wider audience who can then experience it? Or will it essentially not translate very well, as many VR controls cannot be translated to traditional keyboard & mouse controls.

On the fence about getting Half-Life: Alyx? Worried how well your system can run it? Then check out our PC Performance Benchmarks to get an idea of how well your PC setup can run it.

What do you guys think? Will Half-Life: Alyx eventually be modded into a non-VR version? How will that affect the gameplay? What does this mean for VR in the future? Let us know your thoughts!

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20:51 Mar-26-2020

I would only want to play it in VR.

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10:37 Mar-26-2020

yes not big number but what if we count the players who bought and will buy vr headset juste for the game :) the better thing would be to make it a timed exlusive for the vr and then release a normal version or something

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23:06 Mar-25-2020

There's a lot of VR apologists in the comments

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23:59 Mar-25-2020

What does that even mean? :D

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03:19 Mar-26-2020

It means The8man does not own a VR headset and, therefore, dislikes anything VR-only. Anyone who likes VR is an "apologist".

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12:11 Mar-26-2020

I never said any of that, no need to jump to conclusions. I actually like VR for racing games for example, so don't put words in my mouth please..

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20:39 Mar-26-2020

Do you actually own a headset?

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20:50 Mar-26-2020

Nah

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21:56 Mar-26-2020

My point stands.

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11:52 Mar-27-2020

Only first half of your point stands tho

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15:17 Mar-27-2020

Explain the "apologist" part then.

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15:55 Mar-27-2020

I don't think he can explain it better than you did.

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18:17 Mar-27-2020

The fact that many people found my comment offensive proves that VR is a controversial topic, and you defending it makes you by default apologist. My comment..

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18:19 Mar-27-2020

..didn't even have any negative connotation. I just noticed that there are lots of people here who were defensive towards VR.

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21:17 Mar-27-2020

Speaking good of VR makes you an apologist? Defensive in what way, saying that VR and VR games are not objectively bad?
There's nothing offensive or controversial about your comment, it's just stupid.

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21:19 Mar-27-2020

And you were called out for it being stupid. Same as those guys below.

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11:48 Mar-28-2020

Literally everyone in this comment section is aggressively defending VR,and how doesn't that make them apologists?Do you even know the definition of apologist?

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12:52 Mar-28-2020

a person who offers an argument in defense of something controversial. It's only controversial because of comments like yours. That would make you a detractor and a critic.

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13:16 Mar-28-2020

Yeah, and?

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04:03 Mar-29-2020

Obviously you don't understand what that means. You attack people for liking VR by making comments about them without knowing their story concerning VR.

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12:30 Mar-29-2020

Noticing that there are people who defend controversial topic is attacking? My comment didn't even have any negative connotation, you guys just convinced..

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12:31 Mar-29-2020

..yourselves that my comment was negative.

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14:06 Mar-29-2020

No, making the topic controversial and then accusing people who call you out on making that topic controversial is, you know, a sort of an attack. VR is not a controversial topic, you all made it one and now you're hiding behind it.

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14:35 Mar-29-2020

But I didn't do anything to make it controversial tho. Also, VR itself is controversial for years, from price to games people complain about it a lot.I didn't..

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14:38 Mar-29-2020

..say anything against VR. Like I said, I like VR for some games, but a lot of people here defend it religiously. Which makes them apologists,and thats not...

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14:39 Mar-29-2020

...something bad.

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06:24 Mar-26-2020

Apologists, like there is something inherently unjust about VR that requires justification.

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21:59 Mar-25-2020

i watched a little bit of Alyx and i dislike game too. Yes its true that i cant play, but still. This game to me feels empty and theres one green enemy that when you kill him it explodes in your face leaving a green thing half of the screen every time for a couple of seconds which i dislike and it is annoying. Also people tend to disagree with people who disagree their opinion.

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22:00 Mar-25-2020

i also thought that the pirates will find a way to mod out the game and make it non VR, thats imo

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20:19 Mar-25-2020

Meh, people are downvoting for no reason me anyway sooooo... I will give you one, cuz unpopular opinions and criticism is taboo on GD. XD
I won't play this weather it's VR or not or real life, it's boooring. The only reason it's not considered bad is because it's a VR game... oh and it's "half-life" and because it's made by Valve and Valve are "the ultimate awesome company that makes only masterpieces" - NOT. :P

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20:20 Mar-25-2020

So go ahead, hate and give me excuses why it's normal for a game on VR to be bad. It's no better than half-life 2 was, besides the fact that it has better graphics... it's got the same generic enemies and gameplay but adjusted for VR... The puzzels were cool though. And it being one of the best games for VR doesn't make it good, just less crap than most others. VR games currently suck, deal with it. -_-

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21:14 Mar-25-2020

Meh, I'm about to post a stupidly controversial and contrarian comment based entirely on a subjective topic for the sole apparent purpose of riling people up against me and being downvoted so I can yell INJUSTICE when that happens while masking it as criticism without ever presenting any proper criticism apart from my own opinions.

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21:14 Mar-25-2020

I find this game boring, and the only possible reason why people can and do like it, is not because they enjoy it, but because it's a franchise name in a well liked series (which I hate by the way), made by company (which I also don't like) that's known to make generally good games, often classics.

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21:14 Mar-25-2020

So go ahead, hate and give me excuses why my entirely subjective opinion about this game and VR as a platform in general makes this game and all others on this platform objectively bad. It's not better than HL2 solely because I say so, apart from better graphics. It's got same reccuring enemies and characters as previous titles in the franchise but adjusted to suit the current gameplay. I'm now gonna call a part of the game cool so it doesn't look I'm biased for no reason.

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21:14 Mar-25-2020

And it being the best game on the platform doesn't make it good because I hate the platform and all the games on it, which makes all of those combined factually bad. Deal with it. -_-


Loosely translated as best as I could. Sorry if I missed something, psychoman is not my main language.

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20:42 Mar-25-2020

Oh, classic Psychoman. This game is objectively bad because I don't like it, deal with it! I hate that people like something I don't and are willing to form their own opinions on games and other things that are not same as mine!

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20:44 Mar-25-2020

Just heads up. At no point did you bring real criticism at the table, just your own subjective opinion. Which is ok, but it's not a criticism. I hate Valve and Half-life apparently because they're popular is not criticism either.

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02:10 Mar-26-2020

I've already brought it before. The gameplay is generic, the enemies are brain-dead and they don't have interesting mechanics, neither are they a challange. The shooting mechanics are a vanilla as it gets, the level design is mostly for visuals, with nothing special on it, except the cool puzzels. The VR part makes it suck more, since VR still currently sucks.


And "I enjoy the game" =/= "the game is good". I hate battle royales, but I think that Fortnite has good gameplay and mechanics, especially the building mechanics. I hate sport gamses, but I don't claim they are crap, because they are not, with some nit-picks from fans of course, but for arcady sports games that's what they are meant to be and are doing their job great.

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02:11 Mar-26-2020

Alyx is half life 2 in VR and half life 2 was already crap when it came out, it was medicore at best for the same reasons. Brain dead enemies, pointless level design, vanilla shooting mechanics... puzzels are the only redeeming quality, but you've got portal for that and Portal 1 and 2 are excellent games, so why bother with a shooter that sucked in 2004, let alone in 2020? It's got nothing to it.

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02:14 Mar-26-2020

If anything, your argument, of people enjoy the game and have fun with and thus it's a good game is meh. Not objective at all... By that logic the most played/purchased games are the best and the rest are crap in comparison... cuz people that bought them had fun with them(presumably).

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11:31 Mar-26-2020

Vr is awesome just deal with it probably one of the best technology out there when it comes to gaming cus ppl can actually exercise during gaming and that to me is revolutionary in gaming in general

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11:35 Mar-26-2020

and half life is one of the most popular shooters during its time so your half life trash talk is just pure bull****

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20:58 Mar-25-2020

He hates things other people find fun and counts entertainment in $/h values, so what do you expect...

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21:22 Mar-25-2020

We find this game fun only because it's a HL game made by Valve, not because we find it actually enjoyable. Don't be ridiculous! I can't enjoy this game and think it's good if Psychoman says it's not. Apparently no VR game is good.

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21:23 Mar-25-2020

I wasted money on the headset and all those games I had fun with. If only I knew in advance that all the games on the platform are objectively bad I could've saved a decent chunk of my money.

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23:03 Mar-25-2020

Those VR games being fun doesn't make them good tho

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23:58 Mar-25-2020

Thats true lol

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02:12 Mar-26-2020

@Xquatrox
Wow... just as I said on that post, I viewed it from the perspective of the guy that said that he wouldn't get his money's worth if he didn't do 100% of each game...
And I said that I'd gladly pay 120$(or even more if there needs be, up to a reasonable point) for a 6-8 hours game that is great.

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05:40 Mar-26-2020

@Psychoman
"I won't play this weather it's VR or not or real life, it's boooring." contradicts your exact comment to Xquatrox. At least stick your guns.

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20:26 Mar-26-2020

Apply aloe vera generously...

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20:12 Mar-26-2020

dont bother, what majority says thats addopted as truth its just how this world works

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15:45 Mar-27-2020

That is not a good mindset to have when the matter is entirely subjective. Don't be like Psychoman and let yourself understand that other people have different opinions on subjective matters and none is wrong. Walk with me here.

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15:45 Mar-27-2020

Fun =/= objectively good, in the same way as boring =/= objectively bad either when the matter is open to the masses with different preferences. In this case, an individuals opinion is not a concrete fact as he's trying...

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15:47 Mar-27-2020

...to state. What he's arguing here, and the side you stand with him on, is that all those people are wrong because he, and you, don't find the game entertaining enough.

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15:48 Mar-27-2020

When you have thousands of people experiencing a certain game, and the majority of them have fun, enjoy it, and like playing it, it's very easy, and very logical, to assume that the game is at least good but it's definitely not bad.

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15:48 Mar-27-2020

And there's absolutely nothing about popularity here, as he argues, and fails again, because the same stands if thousand people play that game, or 5 million do.

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15:49 Mar-27-2020

So tell me, why is his, and your, opinion more valid and objective than thousands of other people who think differently, when in this case it's all a matter of preference, and that preference is based on an individual.

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16:13 Mar-27-2020

idk what else would i say then that i agree and disagree with both of you.
also you just sayed "When you have thousands of people experiencing a certain game, and the majority of them have fun, enjoy it, and like playing it, it's very easy, and very logical, to assume that the game is at least good but it's definitely not bad" isnt that subjective opinion of each one who liked it?
thats what i wanted to say with my first comment for example if i say that i dont like a game but two others say they like it, then theyr opinion would matter more then mine, and so the game will be marked as good, thats why i dont like to watch reviews and stuff like that as they give theyr personal opinion which combines with other personal opinion which is same as the first and so on,
sorry for big text i just cant find a way and simply i dont know how to say/explain it

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17:08 Mar-27-2020

If that's what you meant than your original comment is very poorly worded and sounds very different from what you just said. It's all subjective, but in large numbers it forms a general opinion. Which I guess is more valued than individual.

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17:09 Mar-27-2020

But I also think it should be. I don't see any problem with that. If you're respectable towards other people, they'll be respectable in return, even if you disagree, especially on subjective matter.

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17:11 Mar-27-2020

You're not watching a review to be told what you should like, you're watching it to inform yourself on whether you will. It doesn't matter what they really think if you believe they're being fair about how they present the review.

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19:49 Mar-25-2020

That's likely the case but good luck translating the in-game interactions, all VR, to the traditional controls. I genuinely don't have any ideas how you could do that without changing a lot of the game. This is a game that should be played in VR, and if you can't, just skip it.

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18:56 Mar-25-2020

"Half-Life is arguably a more well-known franchise" - Whatever you're smoking, Chad, I want some of it :)

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19:39 Mar-25-2020

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18:31 Mar-25-2020

I've seen 4 different playthroughs. What about this had to be VR? The puzzles are optimized for it, the gravity gloves make sense in VR, but would it take

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18:31 Mar-25-2020

that much to change the puzzles a little and make pulling and grabbing objects into keyboard presses. It's cool, immersive, but was it absolutely necessary?

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19:27 Mar-25-2020

The non-VR version would be a simple (generic?) shooter in the HL universe.

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23:59 Mar-25-2020

yes exactly

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02:17 Mar-26-2020

That's why both Half life 2 and Half Alyx are crap... they are generic shooters(and yes even for 2004) in the Half life universe... Half Life 1 for it's time was good, but not nearly as great as people make it out to be.
If anything the game got its legendary status due to the vocal fans that started crafting theories and doing custom content about and for Half-Life and all the other related stuff... And that stupid "Half-life 3" confermed crap that was spammed as if it was some super awaited game, turned it into a super awayed game...

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10:05 Mar-26-2020

I don't think HL2 is a generic shooter. The whole physics stuff, the gravity gun? How is that generic?
Perhaps I worded my sentence badly. I meant to say Alyx without VR would be mostly like HL2. Which, after waiting 13 years, would be a letdown.

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20:48 Mar-25-2020

Considering it's the reason why Valve even made another HL game, it is necessary. I think you have absolutely no idea how much work would be necessary to translate this to work well non VR with the similar level of enjoyment.

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13:05 Mar-26-2020

If this game translated into being nothing more than just a stepping stone to more and more advanced VR,then im fine with,i dont personally care about half life

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13:07 Mar-26-2020

But what i do care about is VR advancing as much as possible,i want that SAO VR so bad

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18:29 Mar-25-2020

I'm big Half-Life fan, but I won't be playing non-VR version. I'm sure there will be one knowing modders, but that's not the way how game was designed so NOPE even if I need to wait years to get VR headset or something.

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19:11 Mar-25-2020

Exactly my thinking.


I really want to play it of course, but the proper version.

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21:28 Mar-25-2020

Do you love lesbians in a benevolent way? I do agree with you, I think a non-vr play through would be sacrilegious.

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19:09 Mar-31-2020


Man am I glad I scrolled down here.

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