We have aimed to make Half-Life 2 feel as native and fluid in VR as we possibly can. Our interactions and UX are highly inspired by HL: Alyx.
Full roomscale VR
The game supports full roomscale VR. You can physically move and use your hands to pick up stuff and aim your weapons. You can lean over objects, and there is no push back; if you lean into walls or obstacles, the screen will gently fade to black and encourage you to move back.
Half-Life 2: VR features floating hands that support Index controller finger tracking. You may have noticed in video footage from the current build that hands vanish when holding weapons or objects. Full animated hand poses are planned and will be added gradually, it just takes a bit of time.
By default, you move around in the world with the joystick on your off hand - left for right handers or right for left handers. The main hand joystick controls turning. We support both snap and smooth turning. By default, jumping is up on the main hand joystick and crouch toggle will eventually be on stick down. All of these bindings can be customized via SteamVR controller bindings.
There is currently no teleport option. Due to HL2’s ever-present physics engine, it is incredibly hard to prevent any and all possible induced locomotion on the player, and so it is not yet clear if teleport can be implemented in a meaningful way. We are still looking into it, but can’t make any promises.
It is our aim to make all the weapons feel natural and immersive while still being simple and straight-forward to use. Weapons are controlled by your dominant hand; many of the later weapons can also be grabbed with the off hand for increased weapon stabilization. The default reloading mechanic is similar to HL: Alyx: eject the empty magazine (if applicable), then grab behind your shoulder to fetch a new magazine and insert it into the weapon.
Since HL2 is a faster paced game and some people may not enjoy the frantic nature of manual reloading in intense firefights, we will eventually also implement a quick reload option.
Half-Life 2 has a lot of weapons. Being able to switch between them quickly and reliably is a very important mechanic. In order to accomplish this, we have adopted the weapon selection from HL: Alyx. Pressing the right joystick or trackpad opens up a weapon selection menu in front of your hand where all your available weapons are laid out in a hexagonal grid. Move your hand to the spot of the desired weapon to switch to it. It’s quick and it’s intuitive.
In HL2 you spend a good deal of your time in certain levels on the airboat or the jeep. These vehicle rides can be fairly intense even in the flat game and are a challenge to stomach in VR even for experienced players.
We have done our best to smooth the view during those rides to minimize motion sickness. All of those little bumps and shakes that the airboat feels are filtered out, and the view is kept constantly upright.
Even so, the rides still require strong VR legs. For players who struggle with this, we intend to offer an option to switch the vehicle rides to a projected 2D view. While not as immersive of an experience, it should at least allow everyone to get through the rides.
Toggle your flashlight by “tapping” your head. Simple and intuitive.