Half-Life 2: Episode Two gets modded VR support, making Valve’s sequel completely playable in virtual reality

Over the last seven months, the clever bods at Source VR Mod Team (opens in new tab) have been adding VR functionality into Half-Life 2 (opens in new tab). The base game got all goggle-eyed last September (opens in new tab), while Episode 1 (opens in new tab) received the VR treatment only last month. Now, the team has added VR support to Episode 2, completing its goal of letting you experience Gordon Freeman’s most expansive adventure in stereoscopic 3D.

While I haven’t played Episode 2 in VR, I have taken vanilla Half-Life 2 for a spin on my (increasingly decrepit) Oculus Quest, and Source VR Mod Team’s adaptation is thoroughly excellent. Gordon’s eclectic arsenal has been cleverly reworked to make use of VR controls, letting you aim, fire and reload weapons as if holding them in your actual hands, with bespoke reloads for every weapon. Moreover, the mod wisely borrows quality-of-life features from Half-Life: Alyx (opens in new tab), relocating HUD information to display on your wrists, and deploying a similar weapon-selection system that lets you bring up a Dead-Space style holographic menu and literally point at the weapon you want to wield. It doesn’t have the same “gravity glove” functionality as Alyx, where you flick items toward you and then catch them using the grip buttons. But it still lets you grab stuff at a distance through more traditional VR telekinesis.

It’s also impressive how well Half-Life 2 transitions to VR. I expected certain chapters like Water Hazard to be borderline unplayable, due to the speed at which you move, and how the hovercraft controls in conventional play. But HL2’s highly smooth locomotion makes the game surprisingly easy on the stomach, and the mod team has done a fine job of adapting the control scheme for vehicles. This bodes especially well for Episode 2, which is heavily oriented around driving in its second half.

There’s a trailer above that shows the mod in action, and you can download the mod itself here (opens in new tab). Note that as with Half-Life 2 and Episode One, you’ll need to own a base copy of the game for the mod to function. So long as you’ve got that and a headset compatible with Steam VR, you should be able to download and play the VR mod as simply as any other Steam VR game.

Source: PC Gamer

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