Much like Valve’s Team Fortress 2, the critically acclaimed Half-Life 2 has received an official update from the in-house development team to make the videogame compatible with Oculus Rift. Despite the age of Half-Life 2 it still plays fantastically and acts as a wonderful showcase of what this new age of Virtual Reality can achieve.
Due to the fact that Half-Life 2 has been retroactively updated by Valve themselves, preparing the videogame for use with Oculus Rift is a very simple process. However, Half-Life 2 utilises the same player profile system as Team Fortress 2, and so VRFocus recommends that you follow the process outlined in the Mod of the Week: Team Fortress 2 article before beginning with Half-Life 2. Once that process has been completed simply follow the instructions below!
Begin by installing Half-Life 2 direct from Steam. A fresh install is recommended, though you will be able to import any existing save data if you so wish. Set a shortcut link on your desktop (or anywhere else you wish) so that you can run Half-Life 2 without booting Steam.
Next, right-click on the Half-Life 2 entry in your Steam library and select ‘Properties’. Under the ‘Updates’ tab select the option ‘High Priority – Always auto-update this game ASAP’ to directly initiate the latest build update. Once this update has been completed you may revert to a different option on the ‘Updates’ tab if you so wish.
Close Steam and reboot your PC. Once your desktop has loaded, boot Half-Life 2 directly from the shortcut you have created. Click ‘Options’ and select the ‘Video’ tab, then set ‘Virtual Reality’ to ‘Enabled’. Close the options menu and select ‘Quit’ from the main menu. Set your desktop resolution to 1280 x 800 pixels and boot the videogame once again. Select ‘Activate Virtual Reality’, and begin the videogame.
NOTE: Half-Life 2 adjusts options to suit your display and the profile established with Team Fortress 2 automatically, therefore the intro sequence may skip in-and-out of focus and stereoscopic 3D. However, by the time the player takes control the videogame will have established it’s boundaries and will be fully compatible with both the motion-detection and stereoscopic 3D of the Oculus Rift headset.