Out of excitement for today’s release from Valve, we wrote about Half-Life yesterday. In that article, we highlighted that this game would possibly get support for a non-VR version and how that would help the game with purchases and ultimately lead to a wider adoption of VR. Today, we report that Half-Life: Alyx will not be receiving any PC support and will only be playable with virtual reality headsets.
Half-Life: Alyx is a full AAA virtual reality game that is set to be released next year. Plenty of full VR games support playing on the flatscreen, but this Valve exclusive won’t. There are plenty of reasons for this, but we have specific answers. Valve’s very own Dario Casali was a part of a roundtable discussion today, and when asked about Half-Life coming to the PC without the VR headset, he said that they didn’t anticipate bringing this game to the flatscreen medium.
“We would love to be delivering a version of this that you could play with a mouse and a keyboard, but like as we said it began as an exploration of VR,” Casali said. “The more we used the controllers and the headset we realized — the amount of interactions this give us, the amount of possibilities these things give us, the more we explored it, the more we realized that there’s so much opportunity that we can’t really translate back to the keyboard.”
From this exact quote above, it sounds like this wasn’t the original plan. Half-Life did such a fantastic job on the PC, so taking it away from the original platform was clearly never the main idea. But the more they developed this game, the more they realized that VR was going to be a better platform for this game. You watch the trailer above, you will notice how some of the interactions in the game are perfect for virtual reality. Doing multiple things with either hand while the other is busy is something you simply can’t do with a keyboard and mouse.
“When you can track your hands separately from your head, they’re all 3D space, all simultaneously tracking and moving — you just can’t really get that with a mouse and keyboard,” Casali continued. “And when you put that into game mechanics the kinds of interactions that we can do now we couldn’t possibly do with a mouse and keyboard.”
This game is being built from the ground up for virtual reality, something we have been doing a little more recently. With that being said, not all of these games are perfect. In our opinion, Stormland isn’t as good as No Man’s Sky. No Man’s Sky wasn’t built for VR originally, but Stormland was. Just because your game started in VR doesn’t mean it is going to be a hit.
With that being said, Half-Life already has a great following, and it has the chance to pull a new crowd into virtual reality. For more VR gaming news and updates, make sure to check back at VRGear.com.