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 Half-Life: 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 Mod 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.
Smooth locomotion is enabled by default, which means you move around in the world with the off-hand joystick and the main hand joystick controls turning. We support both snap and smooth turning. All the bindings can be customized via SteamVR controller bindings.
A teleport movement option is also supported! (See the Manual for details.)
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 Half-Life: 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 have also implemented 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 intuitive.
In HL2 you spend a good deal of your time in certain levels in the airboat or buggy. These vehicle rides can be fairly intense even in the flat game and are a challenge to stomach in VR, even for some 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 have implemented several comfort options, including decoupled camera control and a third person camera. We also intend to offer an option to switch the vehicle rides to a projected 2D view. While not as immersive of an experience, we hope these options help allow everyone to play through these rough rides.
Toggle your flashlight by “tapping” your head with the Use button. Simple!