Frustrated by Valve, fans bring VR to Half-Life 2

Half-Life 2: VR, a mod which takes the classic shooter and gives it a virtual reality makeover that supports both HTC Vive and Oculus Rift has been green-lit on Steam.

The mod was approved in just four days, following a huge number of ‘yes’ votes from gamers on Steam; in fact it notched up almost 16,000 supporters, with an overwhelming 95% of those voting saying yes.

That’s an impressive groundswell of support in a very short time, which shows just how keen people are to relive Half-Life 2 in full virtual reality. And that makes it all the more surprising that it has taken a modding team to realize this project rather than Valve itself, given how the latter is busy enthusing about the importance of virtual reality and making a trio of full-on VR games.

At any rate, having been green-lit, Valve is now working with the developers to get Half-Life 2: VR ready to be pushed out on the Steam platform. The mod will be a free download, but to run it you’ll need to have purchased Half-Life 2, along with Half-Life 2: Episode One and Episode Two on Steam.

Remodeled for VR

The mod supports motion controllers and has a sparkly new 3D HUD, along with fully remodeled weapons for VR. Furthermore, the maps, models and textures have been updated, and HDR lighting effects added for good measure.

Excited yet and want to know when’s it coming? The development team won’t give any firm indication, and have just said that it will be ‘soon’ in an announcement on Steam.

However, the devs did tell Road to VR that it would be a matter of ‘months’, so we’ll perhaps see the mod come to fruition before the year is out.

This project is actually a (substantially) revamped version of the HLVR mod that came out some four years ago. The latter only works with the old Rift DK1 (developer’s version of the headset) because Valve didn’t support the Rift in the Source engine beyond that.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).