The gravity gun in Half-Life 2 has always been a sticking point for me. One of the strongest gimmicks in the Valve and Steam FPS game, it adds an imaginative twist to Gordon Freeman’s standard shooting and killing. But in the later levels especially, it feels a bit cumbersome. Without your full weapon arsenal, combat gets a little repetitive. Thank the benefactors, then, for the upcoming Half-Life 2 Episode One VR port, which judging by its new gameplay footage, makes the zero point energy field manipulator look more fun than ever.
Half-Life 2 VR launched on Steam back in September, adding Oculus Quest 2 support to the classic shooter, and giving us all something to do while we wonder whatever happened to Half-Life 3. At the time, the creators Source Mod VR Team promised that ports for Episode One and Episode Two were in the works. Now, we can see Half-Life 2 Episode One VR in action, and it looks, frankly, fantastic.
The joy of the gravity gun is having the sense that you’re really throwing the Combine soldiers around – lifting them up, and hoisting them into the distance like evil alien frisbees. Although the standard controls still work fine, the free hand and head movement allowed by VR seems to add a greater sense of freedom and physicality.
Watch how Gordon sticks the gravity gun round corners, pulls enemies towards him, then flicks the barrel to send them spiralling into the Citadel’s depths. Combined (ha) with all the existing Half-Life 2 VR refinements, like interactive reloads, this looks like another fantastic addition to Half-Life modding canon. There’s no firm release date yet, but Half-Life 2 Episode One VR is scheduled to launch sometime during Q1 2023.