This Half-Life: Alyx Mod Leaves VR Headsets Behind For Classic Headcrab Stompin' Fun

Half-Life: Alyx
Valve would be tickled pink if you plunked down a grand for its Index VR Kit to play Half-Life: Alyx, a VR-only game that raced out to rave reviews when it launched in March. It is playable on less expensive VR headsets as well. But what is a Half-Life fanatic to do if they don't own a VR headset? They can either buy one, or give a new mod a whirl, which makes Half-Life: Alyx playable with a traditional keyboard and mouse combo.

This is the not the first mod of its kind for Half-Life: Alyx—there have been others that also make it playable without a VR headset. But as a game designed specifically for VR, the experience is definitely different on a keyboard and mouse, and certainly not as the developers intended it to be. So, it's been kind of hit or miss when going that route.

Perhaps in a partial attempt to rectify that, the new "Pancake FPS Starter Kit" (PFSK) mod available on GitHub optionally makes the game playable without a VR headset, while swapping the floating virtual hands for a set of Gordon Freeman arms from Half-Life 2. The arms are presented in a traditional first-person perspective, and they make the game play more like a non-VR title.

Have a watch...

As the mods developer (KonqiTheKonqueror) explains, PFSK also adds the ability to add custom weapon scripts. In the video above, we see the base mode (Pancake Base), with weapons ported over from Half-Life 2:MMod.

"In no way am I saying that you should play Half-Life: Alyx without VR. I am using and showing this mod because I wanted to showcase Source 2 in a style similar to Half-Life 2, not because I don't want to play normal VR Half-Life: Alyx. If you're gonna play Half-Life: Alyx, play it in VR," the developer says.

Indeed, the best experience in Half-Life: Alyx is with a VR headset, as the game was built from the ground up with that type of gamplay in mind. It is also worth noting that this mod is a "not production ready," so there could be bugs and glitches.

That said, it's neat to see this sort of thing. If you are not able or willing to buy a VR headset, this at least allows for some enjoyment from Half-Life: Alyx, which would otherwise be missed out on.