Image: Source VR Mod Team
Last week, Half-Life 2 VR successfully launched into open beta. The team is planning numerous improvements, including a graphics remaster.
The long-awaited VR mod for Half-Life 2 has been well received by VR fans: After just a few days, the game has already received nearly 1,500 positive reviews on Steam.
I also grabbed the crowbar last week and was impressed with how much attention to detail the development team put into bringing the first-person shooter into virtual reality and how smoothly the game runs on my PC. Immersing myself in the virtual environments I remember from my youth is a spine-tingling experience.
I have to agree with my MIXED colleague Max: Half-Life 2 is the better game in VR.
HL2 VR: Preview of upcoming graphics upgrade
The original was released almost 19 years ago. It’s clear that it doesn’t offer as much graphically as it did back then. Especially the textures and lighting leave a lot to be desired by today’s standards.
This is precisely where the mod team wants to start with a future graphics remaster. The project’s roadmap states that they wish to rework graphical assets and textures, partly manually and partly via AI upscaling, to get more details and sharpness out of Valve’s game world. In addition, the team hopes to improve all levels in terms of lighting and details.
On Twitter, the team previews the remaster and shows how atmospheric the game world looks with improved lighting.
A few screenshots of the updated lighting coming to Half-Life 2 VR pic.twitter.com/JpEDuCHfbP
— Flat2VR (@Flat2VR) September 18, 2022
This will roll out gradually as an optional download: Fans of the original will still be able to play Half-Life 2 as it was released in 2004.
Experience better HL2 graphics already now
It is not known when the first upgrades will appear. On Twitter, the team says that they are working hard on a major graphics update.
If you want to experience Half-Life 2 VR in better graphics already, you can try out a mod pack that the modder Ashok has put together. You can find it on Github or Pastebin.
In addition to graphics mods, the mod pack contains new campaigns that have been tested for their VR suitability and should entertain for hours.
The Source VR mod team is also working on other things besides the graphics remaster: Firstly, weapon interactions and comfort options will be further improved, and secondly, the team wants to port Episodes 1 and 2 for VR as well. You can read more about it on the project’s official website.
You can download Half-Life 2 VR Mod for free on Steam. The VR mod requires that you own the original.