TechSpot means tech analysis and advice you can trust. Read our ethics statement.
Highly anticipated: If you have played SourceVR's Half-Life 2: VR Mod, it's likely left you wanting more. The good news is the team is already working on converting HL2: Episode One to VR. Even more good news is it's slated to arrive within the first quarter of this year. Yep. The decade-long wait for Half-Life 2: VR got a bit sweeter, knowing that the follow-up episodes are coming sooner than we thought.
Running off the momentum of its recent Half-Life 2: VR Mod beta release, SourceVR Mod Team revealed that it already has Half-Life 2: Episode One in working order. The fan-developed mod should launch sometime in Q1 2023, although the team didn't indicate whether it would be a beta or fully complete.
Considering that HL2: VR is still in beta on Steam, one of two things could happen. Since development undoubtedly coincided with the mod for the core game, Episode One could launch just as SourceVR releases the final version of HL2: VR. Conversely, it could enter an indefinite early-access beta state like its predecessor.
In either case, it's exciting to know that we won't have to wait another 10 years for the follow-up content. SourceVR's conversion of Half-Life 2 was a long time coming but was well worth the wait, having everything you would expect for a triple-A VR title. It puts Valve's short-lived weak effort at an HL2 VR version to shame.
The Episode One mod should be more of the same, considering its imminent release indicates the team has gathered a full head of Steam (pun intended) to push it out so soon after the previous effort's beta launch. SourceVR seems to have hit its development groove on the project, and it would not be surprising to hear that Episode 2 is nearing completion in a few months. Cross your fingers.
Keep in mind that the entire Half-Life 2: VR project is a mod and does require the original non-VR Valve game. However, The Orange Box, which includes the core game and both episodes, is only $20. The Box also comes with Portal, so the purchase is a no-brainer. And as long as you are passing a few bucks to Valve for basically doing nothing, why not buy the SourceVR team a coffee for its hard work. You can donate to the cause on its Ko-fi page.
Regarding VR setups, SourceVR recommends running the mods on an Intel 8th-gen or AMD Ryzen 3000 processor or better. You can get away with 8GB of RAM, but 16GB or more would be better. You'll also want a GeForce GTX 1080 or Radeon RX 5700 to play with higher fidelity and frame rates. Also, be sure your headset and controllers are SteamVR compatible.