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The Game

What would it be like if you had to deal with a tear in the fabric of reality that unleashed strange alien creatures and chaos? It’s actually pretty fun! If you’re playing as Gordon Freeman in Half-Life 2, that is.  If you own the Oculus Rift, the Razer Hydra, and have played enough on the Rift to build up a tolerance for motion sickness, then you must play the Half Life VR Mod.  The website for the mod is here.  You  can also see videos of the mod in action, and there is a download link and intructional link at the top of that page.

What Was It Like To Play?

This was, hands down, the best experience with the Oculus Rift I’ve had!  I love first person shooters, and to actually be inside one of my favorite games, see everything in life-sized 3D and be able to move my gun around and have it match my real life hand almost perfectly is beyond amazing. It was so much fun, I ended up going through the entire game over the course of a few days.  Just know that the game can be scary. It’s so immersive, it can feel like these strange alien creatures are right next to you. There were points where I had to turn my head away from a monster, while shooting at it with my hand pointed in a direction that I wasn’t able to see. While that’s pretty embarassing, it’s very impressive that the game let me do this. That is impossible to do in almost any other first person shooter.  I was also able to look down the sight of my gun, which I had to do with the crossbow, because it has a magnifying scope that I needed to use to hit distant targets. All of this is even more impressive due to the fact that this game was not originally designed with virtual reality headsets in mind.  The sense of scale is very good.  The game never forces your head to look at something you don’t choose to look at, which can cause motion sickness while wearing the Rift.  The only times I can remember feeling a little uncomfortable is when entering and exiting vehicles. Your view kind of slides around. I learned to just close my eyes when I was entering or exiting vehicles, and then didn’t have a problem.

What If I Don’t Have a Hydra?

If you only have the Oculus Rift, and not the Razer Hydra, you won’t be able to play this version of the game, but you can get Half-Life 2 from Steam and play it with the Oculus Rift. You’ll be able to look around with the Rift, but you won’t have motion control for the gun. I haven’t played it this way, so I can’t say exactly how it’s different from using the Razer Hydra. Unfortunately, the Razer Hydra has been discontinued. It’s still possible to find some for sale here and there, but the prices are much higher than they were before. Sixense, the company that created the Hydra, is working on a new wireless version of the technology called the Stem System that will have some body tracking as well as wireless hand controllers. I’m very excited about it, and I’ll try to talk about it after it’s released.