While Half-Life: Alyx isn’t officially playable without a virtual reality headset, developer Valve knows that its dedicated fan base will likely mod the new release for traditional PC play.
“Yes, it’s going to happen,” Robin Walker of Valve admits in an interview with Polygon. “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.”
Walker, who has a long history with mods as the creator of the original Team Fortress using Quake‘s engine, isn’t worried about a non-VR version of Half-Life: Alyx becoming playable. He notes that since the team designed the shooter specifically for virtual reality, the mod won’t be as enjoyable as the core game. However, Walker said he knows many non-VR owners want to check it out and believes that players will realize why the developer made the game exclusive to VR headsets after they experience it with a mouse and keyboard.
“It will clearly demonstrate to people why we did this in VR,” Walker says. As a developer, Walker has an interest in the fan reaction and if it will prove his beliefs right. “It will be a very crisp way of seeing all the stuff we got for the move into VR. If people play [a modded version on a standard display] and say this is just as good, that will teach me a lot. I will realize I’m wrong, and we didn’t get as much as we thought, and I love to know whenever I’m wrong.”
Half-Life: Alyx is now available for a host of VR headsets: Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality. The first game in Valve’s beloved first-person shooter series since 2007’s Half-Life 2: Episode Two, the prequel dives into the backstory of Alyx Vance as she attempts to fight off the alien Combine with her father. The choice to make the title exclusive to VR headsets has proved divisive among fans, as many can’t afford to buy a headset at this time, but it has received near-universal critical acclaim since being released.
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