Half-life: Alyx

TLDR: Highly Recommended.

The game is set 5 years before the events in Half-Life 2. You play Alyx, the daughter of Eli Vance. Eli is Taken, and you need to Get Him Back.
Your constant ear-companion is Russell (voiced by Rhys Darby), inventor supreme and friend of Eli Vance.

You can play the game seated or standing. I’ve opted for seated, since I’m lazy. You have various movement options. I find that if I set continuous movement, I’m fine, but as soon as I use continuous turning (smooth turning) I instantly feel nauseous. On the other hand, in Skyrim VR I have continuous movement and turning and have no problems - probably because I have slight blinders enabled on turning, which causes a brief tunnel vision like effect as you turn which seems to eliminate the nausea for me. Also, with continuous movement, I couldn’t figure out how to jump, whereas with blink/shift you just put your marker down where you want to go and voila you’re there (there is a limit to the distance you can travel in one move)

I was using blink movement and snap turning, but I’ve now changed to shift movement, still using snap turning. The difference between blink and shift is that blink is literally that, image instantly fades out and fades back in at new location, but with shift, your camera does a fast slide forward to the new position.

Your tools are gravity gloves, a pistol, eventually a pistol-grip shotgun, eventually a torch, and a multi-tool which is mostly used for solving puzzles involved electrical conduits and unlocking combine fabricators. Apparently you pick up an SMG at some point, and you can upgrade the shotgun with a grenade launcher.

The details in this game are amazing. When you get your gravity gloves, if you take a close look at your hands, the gloves are very intricate. You can take a close look at your weapons too.

The trigger button operates the index finger, and the grip button operates the rest of the fingers, you can point at things and pick things up. You can pick up almost all small objects, and admire the details. You can pick up containers and look inside them. You can open drawers to find goodies, so there’s tons of exploring you can do. Collectible items are ammo and “resin” which is used to apply weapon upgrades at combine fabricators.

With the gravity gloves, you can aim your hands at distant objects and flick them towards you, then grab them out the air. To put an item in your inventory, you drop it over your shoulder.

You need to manually reload your weapons. This makes fights rather intense, especially if you forget how to do it. When your pistol clip empties, you need to press a button to drop the clip, then reach over your shoulder to grab a new clip, slap it into the bottom of the gun, then press another button to cock the gun.
The shotgun is slightly different. It takes two shells normally (I’ve somehow loaded it with 3 before, not sure how I got that right). To reload it you press the drop clip button which causes the gun to split in half. You grab new shells out of your inventory and put them in the gun. But instead of pressing a button, you flip your wrist to snap the gun back together, then you have to cock it with your left hand. Trying to remember this procedure while you’re in the middle of a gun fight makes things interesting!

There isn’t any melee to speak of, but nothing stopping you from picking up a random object and throwing it at something.

You have two wrist inventory slots, one for each wrist, so you can pick up a health injector or health canister (that you use to reload one of the health machines that you occasionally find attached to walls) and have them handy. Apparently later on you can pick up grenades and store them in the same slot, too.

The game is very enjoyable, if very intense. There’s nothing quite like playing a game like this in VR.

I am interested in trying out VR, but at this time it requires both the headset as well as a major PC upgrade, and that’s just not in the budget.

Which VR headset do you have?

HP Reverb G2 (V2) - although I think you only get the V2 here anyway.

My only bugbear about it, so far, is that the controllers chew through normal alkaline AA batteries (2 per controller). Playing skyrim VR I could do about 2 hours before needing to change them out. Either that, or I got a bad batch of batteries. Skyrim VR is quite intense with controller vibrations I think. Didn’t have that particular issue while playing arizona sunshine or half-life alyx.

Anyway, I ordered 8x Ni-Zn rechargeable 1.6v batteries, and they have been good so far. Got a few sessions out of a single set, still haven’t needed to charge them. You can’t use normal 1.2v rechargeables as the controllers will spew low battery warnings and operate in low battery mode. Although I haven’t tried them with SkyrimVR yet.