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Long-in-the-works Half-Life 2 VR mod gets public beta next month

After being stuck in "development hell".

A fan-made Half-Life 2 VR mod nearly eight years in the making will finally be getting a public release next month in the form of an open beta.

Eurogamer first reported on the Source VR Mod Team's Half-Life 2: VR mod in 2017, but that version was actually an extension of an earlier mod released for Razer Hydra back in 2013. Some time after the new version's announcement, the project appeared to stall - it entered "its own kind of development hell and was all but abandoned", according to the team's website - but it re-emerged in 2021 and is slowly approaching the finish line.

Half-Life 2: VR - one of several attempts to bring Valve's seminal shooter sequel to virtual reality headsets - promises a range of features, including room scale VR, the ability to manipulate items and weapons directly with your hands, full locomotion, a weapon selection menu inspired by Valve's Half-Life: Alyx, and tweaked vehicle rides intended to help reduce motion sickness.

Half-Life 2: VR — Public Beta Announcement Trailer.

Following a "new influx of team members [that] revitalised" development, the Half-Life 2: VR project is now close to its public release. However, while the team says the game can "be fully completed from start to finish" and is "very enjoyable to do so", there's still work to be done, as detailed on its roadmap.

As such, Half-Life 2: VR will initially launch as a public beta - free and playable by anyone that owns Valve's original game - so the team can "make it the best VR experience we possibly can".

Currently, the goal is to launch the mod via Steam, but the team says it's still waiting on approval from Valve and does not know how much longer that will take. If a store page is approved by September, it'll launch on Steam as intended, otherwise alternative launch plans will be made. Expect additional details, including a firm release date, soon.

And if you want to see it in action before then, Eurogamer's Ian Higton took the Half-Life 2: VR mod for a (somewhat terrifying) spin earlier this year.

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Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.