The lack of an SDK hasn’t stopped people from working on mods for Half-Life: Alyx. We’ve already had one this week that sort of lets you play the game without VR. Today, I discovered XenThug, a horde mode map that throws an ever-growing number of Half-Life enemies at your face. I’d be playing it right now if I weren’t writing this.
It’s an unsurprising release. A lot of VR games follow the horde mode template, and Alyx’s gunplay never really got an extended workout in the full game. It does in this. You begin scouring a warehouse for guns and ammo, while a slow but steady dripfeed of headcrabs skitter across the floor towards you. Every dead creep will drop some resin, a currency used in vending machines to buy more ammo and health. You'll grow to love those vending machines.
A lot can go wrong. The map is crammed with physics objects to use for defensive cover, which you can easily break or flip over as you fight, or can be thrown at you by those bloody zombies. There's a lot of scrabbling and dodging, so be careful with your fists in the real world. By the time you're finished, you'll be out of breath, and the map will look like a tornado has passed through.
In order to actually play this, you need to download the latest release from here.
Now go to your Half-Life: Alyx folder and cut and paste the contents of the archive into the Half-Life: Alyx/game/hlvr/ folder.
Right-click Half-Life: Alyx in your library and select Properties. In “set launch options" put in +map warehouse.
When you load up the game the map will load. If you want to play the full game again, just delete the launch option setting. Oh, and enjoy!