Half-Life remake Black Mesa gets massive VR overhaul

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The complete and massively impressive Half-Life remake Black Mesa can now be played in full VR thanks to a sweeping new mod built on the foundations of the recent Half-Life 2 Episode 2 VR port. If you haven’t tried the Valve-inspired Steam FPS game already, or if you want to experience the original Half-Life in the most modern way possible, you can get the virtual-reality-enabled version of Black Mesa for free right now.

Created by modder ‘Ashok,’ Black mesa Source VR uses the framework provided by the recent VR ports of Half-Life 2 and its associated episodes. It allows you to play the shooter, which originally launched in 2012, and has been successively updated since, using a VR headset and motion controls.

Though the integration is pretty smooth, Ashok outlines a few issues with introducing VR capability to the Black Mesa base code. Essentially, rather than using Black Mesa as the mod’s basis, maps from Black Mesa are recreated in Half-Life 2, and then the VR compatibility is added on top. You still need a retail version of Black Mesa in order to play, but there are a couple of issues at present.

NPCs for example will use Half-Life 2’s rather than Black Mesa’s AI systems, which are somewhat less sophisticated. The only weapons supported for motion controls are Half-Life 2 weapons, and there are a few AI and spawning bugs with enemies – when you get to the alien world Xen, for example, you may notice that the alien portal effects don’t work, and rather than materialise as you play, all the Xen creatures are simply present on the map from when it first loads.

Nevertheless, Ashok provides simple installation instructions and will hopefully update Black Mesa VR in the future. For the time being, you can find it here.

If you’re a big Half-Life buff, you might want to check out some other great old games that you can still run on your PC. You might also want to know whatever happened to Half-Life 3, or maybe try out some of the other best VR games that you can play right now.

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