Half Life: Alyx No VR mod is coming along nicely, but will it be the same experience?

Written by Chad Norton on Wed, Apr 14, 2021 12:51 PM
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It’s been over a year since Valve’s return to the world of Half-Life released exclusively on VR, but that hasn’t stopped any dedicated modders from trying to create a 2D/flat/pancake (or whatever you want to call it) version so non-VR users get to experience the game as well. 

Well, a progress update for the official Half-Life: Alyx No VR mod shows that it is coming along nicely. It’s still not perfect by any means, but it does a pretty good job already of converting the VR version into a playable non-VR version. You can check out the development update below:

It clearly still has a little way to go before it can truly feel like a non-VR version of HL Alyx, and definitely looks a little clunky in gameplay by trying to convert VR-specific features like the gravity gloves into a non-VR environment and control set.

That said, is a non-VR version of Half Life Alyx actually a good idea? The more I look at this video the more I see how much of what made Alyx’s gameplay unique is simply lost in digital translation. Picking up items and flinging them towards yourself isn’t satisfying, and the non-VR-ifying of the 3D puzzles clearly still presents a problem for non-VR modders (as the screen conveniently fades to black just before, though they do apparently work in non-VR but still need some adjustments).

Either way, it will certainly be interesting to see if modders actually can end up creating a satisfying experience that feels just like the original games for non-VR players. There’s no doubt that Half Life: Alyx was designed to be played in VR, but if modders can actually make a competent non-VR version, that will be extremely impressive to say the least.

What do you think? Would you play a non-VR version of Half Life Alyx? Do you think it will be just as enjoyable? Or will too much of what makes HL Alyx unique end up lost in digital translation? Let us know!

Would you play a non-VR version of Half Life Alyx?

What do you think of the No VR mod?

Do you think a non-VR version will be the same experience?

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23:10 Apr-14-2021

Non-VR version will never be same as VR, because whole game was built around VR with everything, from gameplay to atmosphere. I would play it for the story, I guess, but definitely I won't financially support it, since it was just slap on the face for old fans. Once Valve doesn't need them and needs to sell VR. And before someone says it, those sales weren't happy little accidents.

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23:11 Apr-14-2021

Also it did bring entry level pretty high, since anyone with any sort of condition that prevents them from using VR can't play it. Also if you live in smaller apartment like I do, I don't have space to wave my hands around in VR. Plus not to mention cost of both hardware and PC to run it, which isn't as much of problem for me. But I don't want VR and won't buy it for just one game.

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14:08 Apr-14-2021

To be fair id rather not play this game at all than play it first time in pancake mode. I never had vr headset but knowing this is THE vr game its really not worth it to "ruin" the experience in a way it was never intended to be played. Im not planning to get vr but there are plenty of games that i can play now and have great time so its not like im starved for good games, besides i heard its really short game like 8hours or so.

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12:58 Apr-14-2021

It's not going to be the same thing, seeing those headcrabs jump at your face in VR really makes a difference, as well as dark environments.


Nonetheless, the non-VR mod looks really good.

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