Well, that didn’t take long.
Half-Life: Alyx is here and it manages to prove that all these years later, Valve still has that magic touch. The game is quite good, and looks to be one of the most refined VR experiences around. Of course, for some fans, the VR experience is less than ideal. For those who can’t afford the tech, or just aren’t a fan of it, the VR-only nature was a bitter pill in what would have been an otherwise great announcement. Well, it seems the game is already playable without VR, though in a rough state.
Streamer/YouTuber TylerMcVicker discovered that you can actually play the shooter without the need of a VR headset. While people have been expecting mods to do that since the reveal, this actually isn’t a mod. McVicker used some simple commands to basically force the game to start sans a headset. You can check out his Twitch to see this in action. As you can also see, it’s rather glitchy and it’s not clear if you can actually play the entire game this way. But it does show that modders probably aren’t going to have a lot of issues making a non-VR version if it’s this easy already.
One of the designers of Half-Life: Alyx said he’s looking forward to VR being modded out, just so it can prove how important that aspect is to the game. One of the reasons Valve has given for why Alyx is VR-only is because of how integrated its systems are to the virtual reality. Well, at this point, it’s only a matter of time before that happens, so we’ll see.