Plenty of fans haven't been able to play Half-Life: Alyx due to its VR exclusivity, but a new mod aimed to fix that bottleneck makes the entire game playable without a VR headset.
The first mod to make Half-Life: Alyx non-VR play possible is an impressive feat, no doubt, but its rather janky condition made beating the game virtually impossible. The latest claims to be the first mod that allows you to complete Half-Life: Alyx without VR.
Watching the mod in action, I'm impressed by how playable the action looks on a mouse and keyboard - truly, I can't imagine the work and know-how that surely went into adapting a VR-exclusive game for regular PC controls. That said, it's apparent Half-Life: Alyx was built from the ground up for VR play. You can still see a stiff pair of hands separated from their wrists in a first-person perspective, HTC Vive controllers during loading screens, and some occasional jank. Regardless, for the moment it's probably your best bet at experiencing the entirety of Half-Life: Alyx without shelling out for a VR kit.
You can get your hands on the Half-Life: Alyx no-VR mod, as well as detailed setup instructions, here. Having personally decided to wait until I have a VR setup at home, I'm interested to hear player perspectives on how it feels to play Half-Life: Alyx without a VR headset.
Half-Life: Alyx has seen mostly glowing reviews since its release last month. GamesRadar's own Rachel Weber called it "a love letter to Half-Life" and "a truly immersive experience that will impress Half-Life hardliners and newcomers alike." While I'm refraining from giving it a go without VR, I can't blame Half-Life fans too excited about Alyx to resist the new mod.