Best pc games 2021 Half-Life: Alyx No VR mod is also coming; now, you can draw with the pen.

Half-Life Alyx

There are many mods out there to let you play Half-Life: Alyx minus a VR headset. One that’s now still in the works is being developed by SoMNst, who was unfortunately slowed down by catching Covid earlier this year.

Sonos has since recovered, and development is progressing.

Among the new features: working pen. You can draw out with them using your mouse, as revealed at the starting of this video when SoMNst doodles a stunning Gordon Freeman on a window before adding monster to Eli Vance on a monitor

. This latest update features better collision, UI improvements, custom hints, custom items (a pipe), and changes to some more complex puzzles to ensure they work for flat screen players.

The in-game menu now works correctly.

Watching it in action, moments like the scenes where you’re captured and the Combine request you raise your hands do lose anything in the translation to make tactile motions like climbing ladders and flicking objects with your wrist.

However, it’s still worth it to make Half-Life: Alyx playable for people who don’t have VR.

Hell, I’ve got an Oculus Quest 2, and I still haven’t finished Alyx because I play VR games in such short sessions. If it were flat-screen, I’d have played the whole thing by now.

VR-free versions of Half-Life: Alyx keep improving

Kongi the Conqueror Pancake FPS Starter Kit for Source 2 game is not primarily intended for played Half-Life Alyx, as the newest is at pain to explain.

“Please boycott use this to play Half-Life Alyx and then complain about the game being bad,” as the GitHub pages put it.

“This was NOT planned to be used to play Half-Life Alyx with It is intended to be a base for non-VR supported addons for the Source 2 Engine to use!!!”

But guess what? People have been utilized it to play Half-Life Alyx and YouTubers Goutrial, who combined it with many other mods for what seems like the ultimate non-VR Alyx experience.

The Half-Life 2: MMOD Team came up with many weapons sounds and animations.

Half-Life Alyx Jun Choi over on ArtStation modeled the weapons themselves, and then Shadow_Run on GameBanana combined those animations with those weapons models.

Jeremy Lorelli on GitHub provided the Vscripts, and when you add those things together, you get a version of Half-Life: Alyx with first-person arms holding guns that you can shoot with your mouse.

Is it going to be the best way to play Alyx? No, it’s a game designed for VR; of course, that’s the best way to experience it; what a silly question.

But people who can’t afford VR or find it makes them sick can use stuff like this to play the new Half-Life with, and that’s OK.

PC gaming is all about messing with mods and options to get everything the way you want it, which is undoubtedly a thing people want.


Valve has to create both a great VR game and another fantastic Half-Life game.

I am playing the final three hours of Half-Life: Alyx in one session. Before Alyx, I never used VR for not more than 30 minutes at a time.

I don’t get motion stuck, but I do get generally tired of VR.

I was tired of having a hunk of the plastic strap to my face, of having to stand and stoop and reach tricky around, of not be able to check my phone or have a sip of coffee.

But I didn’t take a break, the last chapter of Half-Life: Alyx. I wasn’t tired.

I was utterly dazzling and unwilling to stop playing.

When I was playing through the ending (no spoilers here, but trust me, you’ll want to keep your VR headset on ongoing the credits), I reloaded my final autosave and playing through the ending a second time.

And then, I went back to the starting point of the game and started playing again.

I do not doubt Half-Life: Alyx would be a great VR experience—Valve made its own VR headset and software, after all. But I was skeptical it could as well as be a great, properly Half-Life game, and I was thrilled to discover it is.

While it’s sandwiched between the event of Half-Life 1 and Half-Life 2, the effect of its story extends well into whatever future there is for the Half-Life series, and its technical.

Accomplishments will leave other developers, once again, struggle to keep up.

On a rail

Five years before Half-Life 2, Alyx Vance is performed surveillance and recon in the Combine-controlled Citys 17.

It’s immediately engaging to be back in Citys 17 again, so familiar yet so much more massive in VR, an environment I don’t need to look at to admire but one I can actually run my virtual fingertip’s across and crane my neck back to take in fully.

When a city scanner takes my pics, I naturally hold my hands against its blinding camera flash. Combine Metro police seem larger than life because they’re now actually life-size.

I’ve seen passerby before but will never have one step over me in VR as I stared up at it, totally dumbfounded, watching it sink its massive feet into the side of a building, using the crumbling trade as a step to walk itself up to a rooftop.

The starting minute, and at sufficient times during the entire game, I just had to stop, stand still, and take it all in.

The attention to detail is evident not just in how the world looks but in the ways you can connect with it.

Alyx’s ghostly hands react wonderfully to each object in the world Half-Life Alyx .

It’s hard not to stand there admiring the way my virtual finger close in different ways depending on what I have held:

curling around a bottle, gently crushing an iron railing, have held a discarded cigarette butt between my thumb and forefinger, gripping an empty water jug by the handle Half-Life Alyx

Pulling up the wire and then gently twisting the tuning knob on a radio.

It is delightful to find that I can pick up a marker to scribble something on a dirty windowpane and then realize I can use an eraser to wipe it off.

You could easily spend 15 minutes just disorganization around with the physical objects in the introduction, and that’s absolutely what I did.

Even while dallying, it’s a surprisingly brief starting introduction when compared with Half-Life’s opening train ride and Half-Life 2’s related lengthy stroll through City 17.

Half-Life Alyx While there is a tour through the city streets and a train ride at the start of Half-Life: Alyx, you’ll still pretty quickly behave held your first gun and wearing a pair of gravity gloves.

Half-Life Alyx (or, as their creator Russell likes to call them, Russells) which point to an object and yank it going on air and into your hand with a satisfying and straightforward flick of the wrist. 

How many objects did I Forcefully-pull to my hand throughout Half-Life: Alyx? Hundreds? A thousand? I do not know, but it never once got old.

After the intro, you descend into City 17 quarantine zone and a murky labyrinth closed off by walls within the wall of City 17, where most of the game taken place.

Your father, Eli, had it captured by the Combines, and you’re trying to cut off the trains his on by making your way through a Xen pandemic that has filled metro tunnels, dark sewers, and basements of crumbling buildings.


The Half-Life series, incredibly the original, has always been as much about horror as about action, and that horror was often gross.

Plump, fleshy head crabs leaping at your face from darkened air ducts, shambling zombie’s with bloody, extended claws and gaping midsections suddenly lurching to life.

The monarch’s massive and pendulous testicles swinging as it gallops after you, the gigantic fetus like body and swollen cranium of the Nihilanth. Disgusting.

Here in VR, the graphic’s grossness increases by at least a factor of 10.

Barnacles with sticky, dangling tongues belch, and barf human remains right onto me when they disappear, given to me another good reason to avoid standing under them.

Home walls are covered with pulsating tendrils, toothy alien blossoming that gibber and snap at my fingertip if I drift too close.

Shiny gas discharge clings to the walls, swelling and filled when I approach until they rupture and spew harmful particles into the air.

Corps sit upright at desks, dangle from holes in the cell, and lean through windows, silently bolding me to nudge them out of the way or collecting ammo clips and health syringes from the bloody bodies.

Smooth the act of healing is gross, as I put a glass cylinder hold a living alien food into a wall-mounted health station and seen as it’s crushed into a sick.

Liquid just inches from my face, following by skittering pointer jabbing into the backs of my fingers as the machine gather health back into my bed.

Not to declare the lengthy stealth sequence where I’m stalked by a creature who insta-kill me by vomiting gallons of black slime direct onto my face.

While the grossness feels blowup at times, it’s also pretty neat that headcrabs and barnacles and another monster I’ve been shooting at since 1998 are now freshly scaring and terrible in the VR.

Advance through the quarantine zone is slow work, both due to the identity of movement in VR, the need to search direct each room for another ammo and resin.

(a resource you can use to improve your artillery), and the unsettling, spooky, occasionally pitch-black atmosphere. Thankfully, jump scares are downright controlled, so they nowise feel cheap.

Sure, I yelled when opening a kitchen buffet, and a dead headcrab rolled onto me.

I jumped when a zombie struck a hand against a window as I walked by, but these abrupt scares do not occur as hourly as they could, and the horror strikes a fair balance between pressure, dread, and astonishing”Oh shit!” moments. 

 Exterior pressure 

 As in the originally Half-Life, there are those valuable moments where you are fit to soar from the inhuman stitchers and mines and get to stand outside under the sky again, feeling relief, relaxing in the supererogatory.

Space where the walls are dozens of yards out instead of within arm’s reach.

It’s hourly just a tease, a brief respite to walk around outside the claustrophobic ceilings and corridors for just numerous nanoseconds until you discover.

Half-Life Alyx The only way to progress is back down some bleak set of the concrete route as the game once again pushes you into the murk. 

 And as the starting six or seven hours sluggishly passed, I ran a bit intolerant to move onto a different type of medium, to spend some real quality time above ground Half-Life Alyx .

Despite some instigative Half-Life Alyx new foe types savoring movables up in the incarceration zone, I did sometimes grow sick while putting numerous farther pellets into numerous farther headcrabs.

I traveled through yet another gross, creepy stitcherv Half-Life Alyx . 

 Thankfully the identical half of the game opens up into the else dynamic combat run-ins I loved from earlier Half-Life games.

Antlions are also overrunning the megacity, and they are much else fun to fight than headcrabs and zombies — fleetly, alarmingly huge, and much more directly aggressive.

To stop them, you will need to target their boughs and guts, which is not easy when a pack of them are scoot toward you, and you are fumbling to reload one of your artillery Half-Life Alyx .

Yea, an antlion with a single leg still attached will drag itself diligently toward you, making their stylish feeling of Starship Trooper’s Arachnids. 

 Combine’s fighters begin showing up additional than in the extra half of the game, too, both to fight you and the antlions.

After an hour of sluggishly creeping through the early seamsters and basements, you can ultimately freely navigate the climate, take cover, displace.

When you come across a fight before in progress, you have time to plan your strike by using an explosive barrel to conserve ammo.

The nature of VR movement means you are not precisely assailing around at full speed, and these fights usually are brief, but they are still delightful, chaotic, and burdensome Half-Life Alyx . 

 Blast concavity 

 Unlike Gordon Freeman, Alyx Vance doesn’t have a massive armory to deal with her adversaries.

In addition to a standard dynamo, you will ultimately acquire a one-handed shotgun and a Combine beat dynamo. The artillery each have a different form of reloading, which makes them enjoyably distinct. 

Ejecta spent periodical from your fireball, snap another from your packsack or use your sobriety gloves to yank one into your hand, poke it home, and click the slide into place.

The gun breaks open, allowing you to shove in fresh shells two before the break it closed again with a quick hand movement.

The Combine beat dynamo loads ammo armors from a side affluent, and a short sideways flip of the wrist snaps it shut again.

It’s not all that different than reloading artillery in the other VR shooters I have played.

Half-Life Alyx Still, the address remains satisfying to perform, especially during a delirious scramble as antlions scuttle toward you or Combine dogfaces try to abut your position. 

 Blast cavity 

Unlike Gordon Freeman, Alyx Vance doesn’t have a massive armory to deal with her antagonists.

Half-Life Alyx In addition to a standard dynamo, you will ultimately acquire a one-handed shotgun and a Combine beating dynamo. The artillery each have a different how of reloading, which makes them enjoyably distinct. 

Ejecta spent gazette from your dynamo, catch another from your knapsack or use your graveness gloves to yank one into your hand, cut it home, and click the slide into place.

The gun breaks open, allowing you to shove in fresh shells two before snapping it closed again with a quick hand movement.

The Combine beating dynamo loads ammo casings from a wide bayou and a quick sideways flip of the wrist snaps it shut again.

It’s not all that different than reloading artillery in the other VR shooters I have played.

Still, the bearing remains satisfying to perform, especially during a feverish scramble as antlions scuttle toward you or Combine legionaries try to abut your position. 

Your other contraption is a multi-tool used to break 3D enigmas attached to Combine force caches, ammunitions fibbers, and especially for rerouting power.

Max of the mysteries are like beginning and grow more demanding as you progress.

The power enigmas are probably the most satisfying, as you use the tool to follow electrical laces first through walls, either ultimately up to ceilings, around corners, down hallways, and through entire apartments.

It involves you in the place configuration as you quest for the power junctions, sometimes having to open presses or stand on top of junkers to get close enough to the power strings buried in the walls. 


 Half-Life Alyx introduces some new characters, also their normal bones. Russell ( expressed by Rhys Darby) nicely fills in for the absence.

Kleiner, delivering an amalgamation of jokes, details, and warm comments on your plight over a headset. Eli ( now played by James Moses ) is great as a father, concerned for his offshoot, and supremely confident in her capacities. 

 And of course, there is Alyx herself ( now expressed by Ozioma Akagha), who, as in Half-Life 2, remains a source of temper, determination, and empathy.

Half-Life Alyx She incontinently feels comfortable to inhabit, having spent such earthshaking time with her in Half-Life 2 and the following events, and it’s beautiful to not just spend time with her but walk in her shoe.

It requests it feels odd to play a Half-Life game to an expressed champion, but it’s not. Having heard Alyx talk much in Half-Life 2, she feels entirely natural to speak now. 

 Despite the perfect cast, Half-Life Alyx feels a bit more solitary than the last games.

We constantly encountered long-haired scientists and gun-packing Barneys that made the Black Mesa Complex feel more populated throughout our adventure in the original Half-Life.

Half-Life Alyx

In Half-Life 2, there were several characters we could spend time with, from scientists to resistance members to, you know, Alyx herself.

It surprised me that there are not numerous face-to-face skirmishes in Half-Life Alyx, which is a bit of a shame since it’s so significant.

VR to participate a space with another character, feel them looking into your eyes, and participating in your area. I wish there were a bit further of it in Half-Life Alyx. 

 What Half-Life Alyx lacks in close-up relations it makes up for in the sheer titillation of being in a new Half-Life game after all these whiles.

It’s a bit of a charge when the discussion turns from the matter at hand to Half-Life history to said of the Black Mesa incident.

I remember that! I was there! When the issue of Gordon Freeman comes up, it’s an exhilarating feeling. Hey, I have heard of him. It was him! And as the brief turned from the deliverance of Eli Vance to the delving of a dark secret held by the Combine, the conspiracy and excitement propelled me forward through the rest of the game, eager to have my quires answered, to uncover new problems, to discover what was began added to the lore and history of the Half-Life narrative that I have enjoyed for decades. I was not disappointed. 

 Power up 

I play Half-Life Alyx using the HTC Vive Pro and spent several other hours replaying it with a Valve Index. (It’s worth mentioning that the rendition I played was still being revamped daily by Valve to upgrade performance and fix bugs.) Apart from a single crash to pc and one quicksave that wouldn’t reload, I did not witness any specialized issues. On several occasions when starting a game, my framerate was too choppy to play comfortably, though rebooting the game Half-Life Alyx always fixed the problem. 

 Both supplied a smooth experience with all Half-Life Alyx performance settings on high with my Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080. The Vive Pro regulators worked well with Alyx and are more straightforward (for me) to manage than the Index regulators. The Index regulators are a bit other fun since it separately tracks all five gâteaux, though I find fast reaching all the buttons is a bit trickier to manage than on the Vive. You can read our far-reaching performance analysis and see what we suppose is the sporty GPU and VR headset for Half-Life Alyx presently. 

  Half-Life Alyx I recommend saving your game hourly — while the autosave system feels generous, it once saved while I was in immediate trouble and reloading that save fizzled in being necessarily killed. In an up-and-comer to earlier Half-Life games, weight times between strata (are installed my round on an HDD) can sometimes drag on, and they feel longer when you are staying in VR and can not do anything besides standing there gawking and biding. 

 Sudden consequences 

 Half-Life Alyx took me roughly 13 hour’s to complete. While the slow and measured pace and limited setting of the first half felt occasionally stifling, the separate half flew by as the design of the story took hold. The combat got far more inciting, varied, and fleetly- paced. 

Half-Life Alyx Indeed, the ending is uncompelling, surprising, piquing, not to mention anything but a bit puzzling when you stop to suppose about it. I am eager to see Half-Life suckers respond and deconstruct and moot it, as I am sure they will for months after that, and it makes all varieties of follow-ups to Half-Life Alyx sound possible. I fervently hope whatever that follow-up is, that Valve (please, please) does not make us stay another 13 vintages for it Half-Life Alyx . 

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