After nearly eight years in development, the ambitious VR mod for Valve’s legendary shooter Half-Life 2 is finally launching on Steam today as a public beta.
Created by a group of modders called the Source VR Mod Team, Half-Life 2: VR Mod has had a rather bumpy road to release. Eurogamer first reported on the project back in 2017, but this version was actually an extension of an earlier mod released for the Razer Hydra in 2013. After a while, he disappeared into what the team recently called “their own development hell.” was abandoned, but eventually resurfaced in 2021.
The wait continued, but last month the Source VR Mod Team announced that thanks to “a new influx of team members [that] animation, Half-Life 2: VR project was ready for release, and this day has already arrived.
Half-Life 2: VR Mod – one of several attempts to bring the shooter sequel to virtual reality headsets – is a room-scale virtual reality with motion-tracked controls that gives players the ability to manipulate objects and weapons, as well as climb stairs with their hands.
There’s also full movement, a weapon selection menu inspired by Valve’s Half-Life: Alyx (over-the-shoulder ammo storage, functional iron sights, two-handed weapons, and manual reloading are also present), as well as various comfort features including vignette movement and a third-person camera for sections of the car. Additional options include full left-handed support, a laser sight, and an arcade-style “quick reload”.
Half-Life 2: VR is free and available to anyone with the original Valve game, but importantly, it’s not finished yet. While the team says the game is “completely playable from start to finish” and “it’s very satisfying,” there’s still a lot of work to be done, as outlined in its roadmap. As such, it’s initially released as a public beta so developers can “make it the best VR experience we can.”
If you’re interested in seeing the Half-Life 2: VR Mod in action before then, Eurogamer’s Ian Higton tried it out earlier this year.