Here is Half-Life: Alyx being played with mouse and keyboard, and without a VR headset

DSOGaming writes: "Half-Life: Alyx is the latest Half-Life VR game from Valve. The game came out three days ago and it took 2 days until PC gamers were able to run it without a VR headset. Yeap, you read that right; there is a way to play Half-Life: Alyx without a VR headset."

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Apocalypse Shadow8d ago

It just lost everything that made Alyx special. Bravo. Using a mouse and keyboard instead of motion controls. No immersion with a feeling of presence be it visual or 3D sound by looking at a flat screen. You think you're *playing it* but you're not PLAYING IT as INTENDED.

Gamers expect VR to grow and move beyond the nonsense of calling it a gimmick. Not having great graphics or calling VR games "tech demos" for being shorter games. Say things like "Where are the AAA developers?" But then whine and complain when a AAA developer makes an excellent game in VR like you asked. Yes. They used a known franchise. But they didn't call it "3." They did it to get gamers to notice VR but not hurt fans by making a sequel exclusive to VR that might be hard to get. There's plenty of excellent VR games NOW. But gamers aren't noticing. But now you DO don't you? Turned your heads real quick. Careful with the whiplash.

People are complaining and calling it a disservice to the fans. Actually, stripping out what Valve is trying to do in moving VR forward is a disservice to Valve and the game. Watching the ending or saying you'll never play because it's in VR is a disservice to Valve and the game. It's understandable if you don't have a powerful PC or can't afford it. But you got to let Valve try and set a standard for VR for others to emulate or surpass with their own VR games. This actually helps VR. Crying that VR is being promoted at all. Then crying you can't play a good game that requires a headset. And crying it uses a big name. Sorry to bust some bubbles but there will be more franchises that will be in VR that won't be a regular game. Get used to it. Or use all that hoarded toilet paper to wipe your eyes and blow your nose.

Who in their right mind expects the next 50 years to be played in front of a television like almost the last 50 years? Sure. Regular gaming is still cool. But stagnant at the same time. Let Valve take us a step forward.

-Foxtrot7d ago

So basically what your saying is without VR it’s a shit game?


If this was made as a standard Half Life game everyone would have still loved it, no one would be complaining in massive crowds about no VR they would have never given it a thought. The best you’d get is people asking for a VR mode, which they’d most likely get after launch.

VR as an option? Sure. Great. You’d still get to feel special about playing it in a new way with VR and see Valve push something while others would still be playing a great new Half Life game. Who looses here? Please tell me because I don’t see a downfall to it, options please everyone.

The fact the game has been watched on Twitch or other places more than actually buying and playing the game is NO ONES fault but Valves

They can still take a step forward while appealing to everyone, this is not a “one or the other” situation. They are one of the best developers, especially money wise to put the resources into both areas. So there’s no excuse.

“But they didn't call it "3." They did it to get gamers to notice VR but not hurt fans by making a sequel exclusive to VR that might be hard to get”

I’ll keep saying this because no one seems to get it...THE ENDING OF THIS NEEDS TO BE WATCHED. This isn’t a willy nilly prequel which you can miss and just play the main line games where you won’t miss much. Without playing this game the future of Half Life in the main series is going to confuse you especially coming off Episode 2.

Next time don’t call people whiners and make shitty comments when your post is basically you having a hissy fit over the people who want options. If people said no VR at all I’d get it but you’re acting the same you’re trying to call me and others for

L7CHAPEL7d ago

Everyone wants to say that it wouldn't be the same/ wouldn't exist without VR.
Fact is if they could have made it for console, pc too, you'd have a much larger group playing it's saying this is great,and who dont give a shit about VR.
just another slap in the face and shows what an asshole Gabe really is...

fr0sty7d ago

We're saying you're crapping on a good game by not playing it the way it was intended to be played. I could play almost any game using a D-Pad, skipping analog control, but I lose a lot of the accuracy analog control provides by doing so. VR is far more complex than that, when it comes to the accuracy it provides (being that your body is the input device), and 360 degree 3D immersion with 3D audio can't be replicated on a flat screen.

But if you have to put your training wheels on to ride the bike, do what you must.

-Foxtrot7d ago


Huh that’s funny....

You say that but I’ve never called the game shit

Never called the quality

Never said it’s a bad game

So let’s not twist it to say I’m crapping on the game, I’m crapping on the decision to cut out a large portion of fans for VR on a game we’ve waited years for a continuation and have the ending directly set up future HL games where if you don’t play this you’re going to be so lost

That’s what I’m crapping on...and I don’t get how any person who’s watched that ending can can disagree with at least that point.

Edgelordsupreme7d ago

A headset is like 500 dollars or even cheaper if you go with a Windows Mix reality headset, if you want to play it do it right. The game looks awful without the motion controls, that's pretty plain to see.

Why did you go and watch the ending if you haven't played the game? What's wrong with you? You've repeated that on multiple articles, and I cant understand why you would do that to yourself.

-Foxtrot7d ago (Edited 7d ago )


"Why did you go and watch the ending if you haven't played the game? What's wrong with you? You've repeated that on multiple articles, and I cant understand why you would do that to yourself."

I already explained this before, you've just said I've repeated myself on other articles but are still asking why

Like I've said, I did it because

1) I'm obviously never going to own this, especially what's going on today in the world and work places being uneasy. Money doesn't grow on trees...I know, shocker. The money I can save is going towards things I need and other games that are coming out.

2) It's the internet and it's Half Life, bad combination because it would end up getting spoilt eventually or a friend of a friend will be a dick, blurting it out. Which kind of did happen a little before I watched it, it's what pushed me to do it because one thing lead me to speculate and I put pieces together based on what he said. I was kind of right. Still...the ending was shocking.

So yeah, and honestly it's not just me doing it

S2Killinit7d ago (Edited 7d ago )

You have to admit, VR is what makes it special. Anyone who has played VR games would understand where Im coming from.

generic-user-name7d ago

Horizon 2 on PS5 and not PS4?! Why would they do that to the huge horizon fanbase that they have on PS4? And I need a 4k HDR TV to enjoy the game at it's best? What a huge slap in the face to the 1080p fans on sdr.

Stop crying, you want it? Buy it, you're entitled to nothing. No developer needs to sacrifice their game design to satisfy some loud man babies.

Profchaos7d ago (Edited 7d ago )

I don't think he was trying to say without the VR it's a shit game but without the VR it's a quarter of a game it's lost a lot of what makes the game unique.
If you play through just for the story it's going to be boring the enemy's are set up in a VR playstyle mostly attacking from the front giving players lots of dynamic objects and using VR tropes to make players comfortable it doesn't really translate to an interesting flat screen game.

By all means if you are a fan you will want to play through for the story and personally I can't stand twitch streamers i could be watching the best game ever and be bored out of my mind.

I honestly think this game needs to be actually experienced with the index and finger tracking. Having the freedom to move your hands independently of one another brings the world to life much more than a key board and mouse can.
People are not saying you shouldn't try this game with a keyboard and mouse they are just pointing out that you will lose the special sauce it's like playing Mario galaxy on a PC with an emulator using keyboard controls it can be done it has been done but it kind of sucks.

The reverse can be true of other games that shoehorn VR in I just played la noire in VR and it sucked the world was unresponsive only done objects could be interacted with and I was limited to the original canned animations I thought it was a great game but a horrible VR experience.

The key takeaway is game design should not be the same unless your game allows for it resident evil 7 was perfect to cross both flat and VR as it was a slow pace game first person and most of the enemies came from in front of you lots of puzzles and jump scares featured which work well in both.

But game design should not suffer because it's trying to cross both platforms and I say platform's because even though alyx is a PC games it's a VR title and I'd call VR a platform on its own and I do understand it's not accessible to most people right now but it's in its infancy still costs will eventually go down and quality increase. Most games still remind me of PS2 era titles nothing is standard and everyone is figuring things out still

Valve just spent countless dollars making the index it makes sense that they are using the HL franchise to headline it. I wouldn't be shocked if we don't see a follow up but I can't see portal working in VR nor left for dead and there isn't enough headsets in the wild to warrant team fortress or counter strike and for their big platform launch why would they risk a new IP flopping

carcarias7d ago

I'm not having a go at you here Fox, you're ok by me.

TL;DR = I know I'm just another random on the net but, for what little it's worth, just trust me. I'm half-way through and it feels amazing because, and only because, of VR.

Longer version = This game really doesn't have much going for it without of VR. In standard format it's, at best, a mildly amusing fps game and a short one at that. All you'll get is some HL atmosphere and some HL story. You won't get the 'real game'.

If people can't play it in VR (I use my brother's) then they really may just as well watch it on Twitch because they won't be missing out on any gameplay of value. I suspect an experienced gamer like yourself won't be missing out on any gameplay that you haven't had before and also, over the many years, had much better.

Without VR there'll be virtually no challenge (it's fairly easy even on hard), the game will be completed a hell of a lot faster (and it's already a fairly short game) and you can forget any the same sense of exploration, wonder and also most of the puzzles.

This truly isn't a standard game that has simply had VR slapped on it my friend - on the contrary, it's built from the ground up to use what VR offers and show off how VR feels at its best so far. It's a completely different beast.

Now, having said that, people are perfectly entitled to complain that a HL game has been made in VR. That's fine by me and I understand completely and sympathise. It limits the amount of people who can play a game from a franchise that's incredibly respected and anticipated. But seriously, you can't just stick a normal keyboard mouse on this and expect a great time.

I could go into detail about the exact gameplay loops or the combat situations but I've written too much already. Suffice to say that when you eventually play this in VR, you'll know what people mean and why Valve made this decision.

I also suspect that HL3 will be VR only too...this is the tech they've been waiting for in order to finish the story and I think Alyx is their prototype.

harmny7d ago (Edited 7d ago )

Don't you get tired of being wrong?Grow up whiner.

by the time the next half life comes out in 2035 everyone will be able to play alyx in an iPhone don't worry.

CrimsonWing696d ago

I’m m not sure you get it.

Yea a lot of it is special in VR. You take that away and it’s like the difference between watching something on the Travel Channel versus actually physically being at the place.

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L7CHAPEL7d ago

No, what he's done is actually prove what a full of shit liar Gabe is, yet again...
I don't need valve to take me anywhere.
Could have made it as a service to all of his fans,and for the people that don't want VR, wouldn't have affected his vision, sales of the game, or sales of VR in the slightest.
In reality he be tripling his sales just by making it available for console MPC without a head(ache)set.
for a lot of us it's a huge slap in the face, and if you don't get that it's because you're too full of yourself,
you're entitled to your opinion.
and so are all of us that are pissed off at this asshole.

jjb19817d ago (Edited 7d ago )

I'm glad they made THIS game in VR. Modders will do what they do. Valve made something amazing. I love Half-Life as much as anyone but they decided to take a leap forward with this game and it shows. Maybe this is a way for them to test the waters with a new generation of gamers. Episode two came out 13 years ago. I think it's hard to come out and meet the expectations of hardcore fans and casuals at the same time. Hopefully they are learning from this and make a pancake version of Half-Life 3 with a fully optional VR version for the fans of Alyx. I know if I had the option I'd play the next Half-life game in VR.
There are also options for headsets like the Samsung Odyssey+ for $229 which is a great headset by the way. Valve optimized this game to work with different machine specs to run as smooth as possible. Let us VR fans have a win. This is the Triple-A non-tech-demo we've been waiting for. Don't be so sour about it.

carcarias7d ago


I'm loving it too and agree with your viewpoint about Alyx.

I would be shocked if they made a standard HL3 at this point. The whole reason they didn't make it was because they were waiting for an innovative/revolutionary 'hook' to hang the game on.

VR is that hook, it is that tech. Alyx is the prototype and if HL3 gets made, I think it's highly likely it'll be VR like Alyx. Like you, I'd be fine with HL3.

I think the people who are knocking VR need to ask themselves this question. If innovation is what drives the HL devs and stopped them from making standard HL3, then why make Alyx VR, have it get rave reviews, then make a standard format HL3? I think they'd see that as a step backwards.

D3vilzRightHand7d ago

Agree: Even if its great that people are so good at doing these things so fast. THIS GAME should not have been done it with (imo).

The experience in this game is out of this world in VR and YES i say this game without VR is basically NOT as good as on a normal screen. Let me explain why.

The experience of VR to a lot of non VR ppl is something that a lot of ppl just cant grip. Its not the visuals a VR player car about, That most 2D Screen players care so highly about, Its not either the movement if its good with a controller or mouse (We dont give a shit to tell the truth). Its not about the sound even if that is important. Its the SCALE.

Like in ALYX, Everything is in perfect 1:1 scale. Head crabs are actually big (think a football) and having one of those coming at you on a 2D screen in the darkness can be scary yes, But it never even come close to in VR when that football sized crab coming jumping towards you, And when your brain tell you to duck, You actually do it in game. THAT IS VR - The experience.

That is also why i say that on a 2D screen this game is actually close to a shit game, Because there is so much in game thanks to physics and you being THERE that not a 2D game can do. It can simulate the physics yes, But it will never get close to you being there.

Like for an example: 2D ALYX = Press E to open door to make cover (for an example).
IN VR: You peak out behind a corner while bullets are slowly making it crumble, You run over (ducking irl) and use your hand IRL to open the door, That have weight to it, With a handle that you have to push down first. Where you feel the impact of the bullets in the door through your controller. THAT IS VR.

Fear not tho: This is coming 4 sure to Playstation 5 and New Xbox - but i say - Let it STAY in VR and let the next Half life (3?) and Left for dead 3 also be in VR - WHY? Because VR is the next step in gaming. Like it or not.

I feel a lot of ppl are stuck in the same idea that the older generation (the ppl that are 70+) now had about color tv when it came, In the beginning they dident understand the point, There TV they had already worked percectly then anything else, Until they got it and got use to it. Then they could not go back. That is what i feel more ppl need to do with VR.

Take your time to try it. Get use to it. Dont just try it 1h and then say : No its not for me. Try it 5+ h and let your eyes and brain get use to it. Then when you can handle it, THEN you will truly understand why VR is so different from 2D gaming and 2D gaming will never be close.

Its not about the graphics, Its not about the sound, Its not about the Movement. Its about the EXPERIENCE of BEING THERE:

roadkillers7d ago

Did anyone else skip these rants? I'm glad there are more options, I will play this on VR because there are a lot of great VR games that my friends and I like (super hot, beat Saber, etc.).

Valve said in an interview that they expect moders to do this. They are a company that became huge because of mods. Correct me if I am wrong DOTA, CS, and basically every Valve game not named Portal or Half life was created by modding...

zacfoldor7d ago (Edited 7d ago )

VR tech isn't there yet imo. It needs another decade. Just my opinion. Also, I watched the ending. Also, I have a GTX 2080, Oculus Rift, PSVR, PS4 Pro, Virtual Boy. I have them all. I have the custom made prescription lenses for the rift. I just don't think they are nearly as relaxing/fun/good/enjoyable as playing on a standard monitor for me personally. As for motion controls vs mouse/keyboard or controller, well I can't play Nioh 2 by waving my hands around in the air, and I don't want to. Sorry. I looked up the ending spoilers in an article, but I will buy the next non-VR game they make, most likely.

IMO Valve probably did this because they want to push VR, probably because it will make them money if it catches on somehow, but that's just a guess.

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FlyingFoxy8d ago

I might just order a Rift S today, i wouldn't like to play it with stuff cut out intentionally. And apparently the game will run decent and look good even on my 980Ti at lower settings, i realise that's not ideal but I'm not upgrading my GPU yet with new ones due in <6 months.

So yeah I'm tempted to try it, if I'm not happy at least i can always sell the headset even if at a small loss.

RaidenBlack7d ago

Getting exposed like this, Valve might release the non-VR version themselves!

FlyingFoxy7d ago

The thing is the game has been made with VR in mind. So if you mod it to use keyboard and mouse it's going to make the game much easier, enemies are slower among other things. A lot of things would need changing for it to work well by changing the controls completely, and some things may not even work well or at all so what do they do with that stuff? Simply remove it?

RaidenBlack7d ago

That's why I said Valve might release the non-VR version themselves, so as to alter the game world themselves to better suit the traditional mouse and keyboard method of playing.

L7CHAPEL7d ago

The same things, and adjustments everybody else makes, for every other game that's on PC or console.
please, enough with the false concept that it's some "unique masterpiece" bullshit,
that can't be adapted/ported... really?

carcarias7d ago (Edited 7d ago )

I'm not sure they're getting exposed.

One of the devs said he was actually hoping people would mod it soon so they can see that Valve were right all along, that without VR it's not much of a game. 'Butchered' was the word he used I believe.

I think you'd find the game underwhelming without VR. I know I would.

QuePasa877d ago

An official non-VR version would have been to so I could play it now and then in VR when I can afford a headset. Much like with RE7

Neonridr7d ago

Resident Evil 7 wasn't built for VR though. VR was tacked on, which is why all you were able to do was move your head around.

carcarias7d ago

This is an important point you make, a point that people just don't seem to grasp. So many seem to think that Valve went and made a proper HL game and then stuck VR on as some kind of barrier to force people to buy Vives.

No, they did it to make a true VR experience, a VR game from the ground up, because the HL devs are interested in pushing the envelope and creating new experiences.

FullDiveDerail7d ago

TYler worships Valve but always does far more harm

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