You can stroll round some Half-Life: Alyx environments in VR now, so I have

Half-Life: Alyx is so shut I’ve began rearranging furnishings in my home so I’ll have extra space to play it. I don’t want to attend any longer if I wish to go to a few the game’s environments with my headset, nonetheless. Last evening, Valve launched two areas from HL: Alyx to be used in SteamVR Home – that’s the staging space you seem inside once you first load SteamVR, earlier than you select what game you’re going to play. I’ve had a wander round a City 17 backalley, gazed up on the unfinished Citadel, and am extra prepared for the game than ever.

The first of the environments is ready in City 17, as seen above. You begin off in an alleyway, after which can transfer via a hall to a youngsters’s swing park. Those fleshy Combine gunships fly overhead, you may hear the distant stomps of a Strider, and there are cables, posters and different alien detritus scattered round. It’s visually wealthy in a approach most VR games should not, and I notably love the mushy lighting and the low clouds.

SteamVR Home environments are principally ornamental, designed to both load shortly so you may choose a game from a menu, or as haunt areas for gathering buddies inside earlier than you go play. As a consequence, they’re so much much less interactive than the environments possible might be in Half-Life: Alyx correct. For one, you don’t have fancy gloves for grabbing issues from afar, although there are a couple of physics objects to select up and throw round. And as per each SteamVR Home setting, you may spawn your personal gadgets and furnishings and save them in place for the following time you come.

Then there’s the second setting…

This is Russel’s lab. Russel is the character launched in Half-Life: Alyx’s first trailer, who offers Alyx these physics gloves (and a supposedly unloaded gun). He’s voiced by Rhys Darby, and it looks like he’ll spend a lot of the game speaking to you over an earpiece.

He’s not in his lab – SteamVR Home doesn’t have characters – however there’s heaps to poke round at. There’s a button to open a secret doorway to the place he works. There’s a fridge filled with powdered meals and what seems to be a vac-packed headcrab labelled “DO NOT EAT”. There are outdated TVs and CRT screens in every single place, some displaying faint Black Mesa logos. And within the again, there’s the contraption from which you’ll presumably take the magic gloves within the game itself:

I don’t suppose I’d wish to make both of those environments my everlasting SteamVR Home – neither has a very chill vibe, given the indicators of navy occupation and dereliction. They are a tiny style of what Half-Life: Alyx guarantees to ship, nonetheless: the prospect to completely inhabit Half-Life’s gorgeous setting design. Scale has all the time been one of many issues VR is greatest at, and I’m determined to crane my neck upwards on the Citadel some extra.

For those that have a Valve Index, you may seize these environments now by way of the Steam Workshop: the City 17 alleyway and Russell’s lab, and also you’ll want this Half-Life: Alyx asset pack as properly. Once downloaded, you may then load them up from SteamVR Home by urgent B in your controller, going to ‘Environments’, and so they’ll seem within the menu. If you have got a headset aside from the Valve Index, you’ll must discover a pal who owns one and be part of a room they’re internet hosting by way of SteamVR Home.

If you need extra interactivity, you may all the time try playing Half-Life 1 in VR whilst you wait on Alyx, or hit up our checklist of the best VR games.


Half-Life: Alyx, SteamVR, Valve, Valve Index

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