Half Life Alyx review - don't shoot

Valve Believes Non-VR mod for Alyx to be “Inevitable”

After some critical success, Half-Life: Alyx has shipped near-universal acclaim, with many praising its combat, story and revolutionary VR integration. We also loved the game, if you couldn’t tell by our glowing review.

However, for most, it’s simply not possible to play the game at the moment. As it requires a VR headset that can run the gambit from $150 to $300. Leaving many wanting for a version of the game that doesn’t require a headset. This was further corroborated by the discovery of a semi-functional non-VR setting hidden in the game’s code.

The command was hidden in the game at launch but has since been patched out. It’s still possible to pull this command using Steam Depots, but the current version of the game can’t access it. While some might have considered this a piece of an upcoming non-VR mode to be made available later. 

The reality is that this was simply for developers. As constantly testing the game in VR would prove difficult due to the space required and money spent on headsets.

Half Life Alyx review - Alyx's Hands

That doesn’t mean that Valve sees it as an impossibility. Though the source of the patch might not come from Valve themselves, but from the modding community.

Robin Walker, one of the game designers at Valve told Polygon, he finds the possibility of a “Non-VR” mod inevitable. Though also a little disheartening to the team.

“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.”

Even though the Half Life hype has been building for sometime, it’s clear to see that some could do without the virtual reality gimmick. Though the mechanics of Half-Life: Alyx do clearly demand it in some way. So it’s up to debate as to whether a non-VR mod would even faithfully recreate the experience. 

Is VR stopping you from playing Half-Life: Alyx? Are you waiting for a non-VR mod to release in order to play the game? Let us know in the comments below.