Half-Life: Alyx has only been out for a week, and the Alyx-specific version of Valve’s “Hammer” mapping tool isn’t yet available. That, however, has not stopped one enterprising modder from cracking open the dystopian destination VRcation, scooping out its insides, and replacing them with Half-Life 2's.
Without streamlined level-creation tools at their fingertips, modder Vect0R had to take preexisting Half-Life 2 assets and map files and convert them for use in Half-Life: Alyx’s Source 2 engine. The end result is a “showcase demo” that Vect0R described on YouTube as “limited.” Still, it’s pretty cool to see someone ducking, dodging, and shimmying through one of Half-Life 2's first outdoor areas with the smoothness of Alyx’s cutting-edge VR tech.
It’s just a quick shootout in a courtyard, but it’s a courtyard that feels like home. The lighting is a bit off and the giant floating hologram of Dr. Breen’s face isn’t there, but you get the idea.
While Alyx’s Steam store page says that “tools for building new environments” were set to ship with the game, that didn’t end up happening. There’s still no word on when they’ll arrive. A full Source 2 software development kit, meanwhile, is a Valve pipe dream, rather than a plan set in stone. Doubtless, we’ll see more Half-Life: Alyx mods in the future (several thousand of which will attempt to transform the VR masterclass into a game that’s somehow enjoyable sans VR), but the scope of those mods will likely be more limited than what came out of the mid-2000s Half-Life 2 modding boom.