Half-Life: Alyx, the first official Valve Half-Life game in thirteen years, is upon us, and it's a VR-only game. Even so, dataminers have managed to unearth a slightly broken non-VR mode that appears to have been left in the game. Valve have patched the mode out now, but not before Valve News Network's Tyler McVicker got his hands on it.
The non-VR mode in Half-Life: Alyx seems to be a developer-centric mode designed to allow the devs to wander around Alyx's environments and test them without a VR headset on. That makes a lot of sense; it's not really practical for a dev team to wear the headset every time they need to tweak something or test something. Still, it's interesting that Valve missed the chance to take it out prior to launch. You can see a clip of McVicker playing Half-Life: Alyx without a VR headset right here.
By and large, Half-Life: Alyx appears to work in Valve's debug non-VR mode, but it's broken in some places. Some aspects of the game, such as the Gravity Gloves, don't work in the debug mode. Again, that's to be expected; this wasn't a mode intended for consumer use, after all. Over on his Twitter feed, McVicker is collecting info he and others have found on Alyx, including a fully operational "fast headcrab" NPC model that doesn't seem to be in the game. Go check it out if you just can't get enough behind-the-scenes info on Alyx.
Half-Life: Alyx has a fully modeled and scripted Fast Headcrab NPC, which does not appear once in the game (to my knowledge) pic.twitter.com/DJ833uynTl— Jaycie λ (@JaycieErysdren) March 25, 2020
It likely won't be too long before some enterprising modder or other figures out a way to get Alyx up and running without VR, and this debug mode will likely provide an incentive to do so. Indeed, Valve already believes this is likely to happen sooner rather than later. Until then, you can check out Half-Life: Alyx right now on Steam. If you don't already own a headset, the Valve Index comes with a free copy of Half-Life: Alyx.
Would you like to play Half-Life: Alyx without a VR headset? Looking forward to a potential non-VR Half-Life entry in the future? Let us know in the comments below!