Half-Life 2 VR, the Half-Life 2 mod that lends virtual reality support to Valve’s acclaimed sci-fi FPS, finally has a confirmed release date – or rather dates. And while we’re still waiting for confirmation that the mod will be available through Steam, it’s looking like a fantastic way to keep yourself busy while you wait for Half-Life 3, which is definitely still coming out.
The public beta for Half-Life 2 VR will launch in September, and although the developer, Source VR Mod Team, has not given a precise date, it has said that the beta will likely launch on a Friday. A quick look at the calendar reveals we can therefore expect Half-Life 2 VR on either the 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, or 30th of September. Obviously that first Friday would be great, but even if we end up waiting until the end of next month, it isn’t long. On the one hand, we’re excited – imagine the sweeping vistas of Highway 17 zipping by you in fully realised VR. On the other hand, we’re petrified – fast zombies, shrieking, jumping, and clawing right at your face.
Keep in mind, Half Life 2 VR has only recently left private testing, and the September release will simply be a beta version, which may still contain a few bumps and scratches. The Source VR Mod Team has an ambitious roadmap, though, which includes using AI upscaling to overhaul the assets and textures in Half-Life 2’s levels, and making further tweaks to the weapon arsenal to include a more diverse range of animations and hand poses – although most of the guns already support manual reloading and two-handed aiming. There are also plans to bring VR to Half-Life 2: Episode One and Episode Two, and the developer is hoping to get Half-Life 2 VR approved on Steam, though apparently it is still waiting for the final word from Valve. Nevertheless, when it does launch, Half-Life 2 VR will be free to download.
If you’re determined to keep the dream alive, and want to know all the rumours, facts, and speculation, we recommend our guide to the complete saga of Half-Life 3. You might also want to get ready for Half-Life VR with our list of the best VR headsets, or maybe check out some alternative shooters from our guide to the best VR games on PC, which naturally includes Half-Life: Alyx.