I found the combat to suck, in previous Half Life games it’s fast paced, but in this it’s slow, you barely have ammo and enemies soak up too much damage. Doom did that VR game and that was fast and fun, but this just feels like every other VR game where you stand on a spot and shoot clumsily. It doesn’t even feel better than most, I mean Super Hot did something new and innovative… why didn’t Valve buy them guys up and use that idea like they did for Portal 2.
What makes it all worse though is I expect to be able to have realistic interactions with the world, but there isn’t even any melee. Like in a Half Life game why is there no Melee? I go to break planks and it only allows you to lift them off… but again in Half Life games I’ve always broken them with Crowbars. The same goes for enemies, you cannot hit them with Melee… it sucks!
Speaking of the enemies, what is up with the AI? It is so dumb… I mean HL AI has never been great, but this is even dumber. The whole game feels like it was designed to be your first VR game. I have to ask the question why they designed it like that? No one is buying an expensive PC and headset on this game, the only people playing are the existing audience of hardcore users. If it was a PSVR game I’d understand, but this is on Steam for fans.
There is no platforming either, and Il’ll guess they didn’t do any Airboats or whatever? For me HL has always been about platforming, I do it in lots of VR games and it gives you an amazing sense of freedom. I mean has anyone played The Climb? That does it so well… why isn’t it in this game? Again it feels like they made a safe VR game, they didn’t push anything. The Climbing is totally broken, you either warp up… well why didn’t you just design levels better so you don’t need ladders? Or can manually climb, but it’s one of the worst implementations of it where you feel no weight, and when you get near the top it is so awkward to get over… again other games like the Climb have done it so much better.
I don’t like the movement, it feels super clunky, again other games have done it better. Here it feels like they weren’t brave enough to stick to one type and flesh it out, instead they all feel bad. Has any one played Lone Echo? I mean they nail it in that game… back in 2016.
I don’t like how in a VR game they have my character talking, and it isn’t even the original voice Actress. What is the point if you’re not going to use the original? I don’t feel like I’m Alyx, I keep forgetting and thinking I’m a generic female character. It makes me not care about the story either… which again I don’t get why they started it the way they did, where is my Train ride?
Plus character faces look really bad if they’re not the main ones. The very first person you see through the window near the start… why not make her look a lot better at the very least? It took me out of the experience with how bad that face was.
There was one other major thing that annoyed me which I’ve forgotten about now.
Other than that I just found it to be really dull, it does nothing new, I don’t feel invested in the story, and I’ve played much better VR games. I had way more fun with Super Hot for example. This feels like HL2: Episode 1 if I’m to compared it to any other game, small, samey and disappointing.
Thankfully Valve gave me a refund, so that is one positive.
What it has taught me however is I don’t want AAA games like this in VR, they’re just not as good as what you can do with a Mouse and Keyboard on a Monitor. For me VR is all about smaller innovative experiences, so probably an indie developers dream. I just don’t think people will spend money for that though, which is why I think VR is already dead in the water.