Besides making one of the most influential VR games to date, Valve also made sure Half-Life: Alyx was just as moddable as its other iconic titles. And thankfully there’s no shortage of talented modders out there who have built extended campaigns and new levels for the PC VR shooter.

One such HLA modder is Nate ‘Polygrove’ Grove, an Environment Artist and Designer at game publisher Annapurna Interactive, which is known for titles such as Outer Wilds, Stray, and What Remains of Edith Finch.

Last Friday Grove released their first solo HLA mod project, called ‘Re-Education’, something the environment artist calls a “medium-length campaign (30 minutes to an hour) featuring standard Half-Life Alyx style gameplay with a focus on slower pacing and environmental storytelling.”

You can check out the trailer below:

In Re-Education, the idea is to scavenge, explore, and make the dangerous journey while en route to a safehouse on the outskirts of City 17. There, Alyx finds her commandeered train has been halted by a Combine barricade.

“She must make her way through a long-abandoned school to access the switch that unblocks the tracks, but the task may prove more difficult than expected,” the DLC’s description reads.

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The free DLC can be downloaded though Steam Workshops, which of course means you’ll need the base game to play.

This isn’t Grove’s first HLA mod either. You may also recognize the developer’s ‘Polygrove’ handle from the credits in the Half-Life: Incursion mod as well, which included the talents of Maarten Frooninckx (Hammer scripting), Ross Joseph Gardner (script writing), and Joey Bracken (voice over).

There’s a host of great content to explore outside of Re-Education and Incursion too, with one of our top picks being the Half-Life: Alyx ‘Levitation’ mod, which brings around 3-4 hours of Combine-ganking fun in an unofficial chapter that you’d swear is direct from Valve.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Tommy

    Yep! Keep em comin!

  • looks boring

    • Hivemind9000

      You’re boring

    • Alexisms

      Instead of a two word critique tell us why it “looks boring” how you’d “improve” it?

      • it look boring as hell, i saw nothing that excited me in that… not my job to improve anything. people can like what they like but for me this does nothing

        • Alexisms

          Which part “look boring as hell”?. Come on you can do it.

  • ViRGiN

    The best PCVR has to offer, is a custom single player level for a 3+ year old single player game.
    Never change, PCVR. Keep it going.

    Somehow Contractors VR doesn’t get any recognition here, despite already pointing it out as a base for great article actually covering true VR advanced and community-building. This isn’t about free time or never hearing about this title – this is clearly about the money. Contractors had to rent a space here to even get a word out; the same with Vail VR – but unlike Vail, Contractors is a true success story.

    • Ookami

      Cry me a river and ride a boat down it.

      • ViRGiN

        muh alyx!

        • LMAO

          Ignorant troll alert!.

      • Jorge

        No Paddles????

        • Ookami

          Paddles are acceptable

    • LMAO

      Ignorant troll alert!

      • ViRGiN

        LMAO

        • LMAO

          Ignorant troll alert!

    • Tommy

      Totally disagree about PCVR. Totally agree with your view on Contractors.

  • Ookami

    You gotta love the modding community for all the content they provide us for free. I’m in the middle of setting up Skyrim VR, and boy is there a lot of good stuff for that.

    • ViRGiN

      Skyrim VR, whoah! Gotta install 500 GB of mods to have semi acceptable experience!

      Valve still haven’t released Source 2 for people to make games as promised. Shitty valve, as always.

      • LMAO

        Ignorant troll alert!..

      • Ookami

        cry me an ocean and go scuba diving in it.

  • Sven Viking

    Valve also made sure Half-Life: Alyx was just as moddable as its other iconic titles.

    Unfortunately not true — the things we’d be seeing by now if a full SDK had been released would be incredible. Still great modding support compared to most games though.

    • wheeler

      I know I don’t have to tell you, but just to expand on this for others:

      The tools released for Goldsrc and Source 1 allowed modders to not just create simple clones of the base game (as we’re seeing with HLA) but gave modders extensibility well beyond anything HLA has permitted. Some of the more successful renditions of these mods went on to redefine PC gaming. If Valve would actually take advantage of its modding community and give them the tools to leverage the groundwork Alyx provides in tandem with a higher degree of extensibility (as well as things like multiplayer), you would see a practical renaissance in VR content that simultaneously looks great, is comfortable, and has a solid foundation of interactions. The fact that we’ve seen so many great mods even with Alyx’s extremely limited tooling is proof of this. It would provide a VR optimized framework well suited to the size and nature of the VR market.

      Meanwhile I’m still loading up VR games where the devs struggle with picking up objects, throwing, movement, player-environment collision, and many other things, never mind making something that actually looks good. And it’s not the fault of developers, this stuff is just hard and VR is currently (and, imo, by its very nature) small/niche, and it would be great if “the basics/groundwork” were available to them.

      • Sven Viking

        Yeah 100%. Also sad for non-VR modders waiting for Source 2 since 2015.

      • Ookami

        I honestly don’t know why more VR devs (on Unity anyways) don’t use things like UltimateXR. It doesn’t even cost anything but already gives high-quality vr interaction for the devs to build upon. No need to constantly reinvent the wheel, just get to the stuff that makes your game unique.
        Granted, I haven’t ever tried it myself, so I don’t know if there’s some kind of issue with it, but I’ve only heard good things

      • david vincent

        IKR, Valve releasing modding tools for Alyx would be a game changer for PCVR

  • Cheese

    I cannot find any of the mods for half life Alyx that were mentioned ,WHY , if you post something like incursion ya should give a brief explanation on the navigation process , tried on steam with no success ,

    • NL_VR

      Klick on half life alyx in your library then on workshop.
      You have missed alot if you didnt know of Steam workshop, many games use steam workshop :)

      • Cheese

        I tried that and i cant locate any of the big dlc mentioned in the article

        • NL_VR

          weird the mod in this article is litterly the first think that pops up for me on the first page..
          have you tryed to search for it? if it doesnt work maybe your steam installation is broken and try to reinstall.

    • Ookami

      steamcommunity . com / sharedfiles / filedetails / ?id=2944449326
      (get rid of spaces)

  • brandon9271

    Why hasn’t everybody blocked this loser yet? lol

  • Chris

    slower pace ? Alyx was already pretty slow.

    Still the greatest game in VR by miles. When PSVR2 people start crowing about their headset, I just think OK, but you can’t play Half Life Alyx, so you can’t play the greatest VR game ever made…

  • Paul Bellino

    Yes, But when is all this coming to the PSVR 2 ???

    • Ookami

      Hopefully soon

  • nylDFny

    Sad that these mods are even available… how much of the same game can you play already. Same weapons, voices , enemies just different level layouts. Not trying to downplay the modder but Valve should use it’s resources to make some more VR games instead of letting other people just remake the same game over and over and over…

    • Stefan Pierdzioch

      Exactly, with some exceptions like in Chapter 2 of Return to Rapture and a mod with controllable mech whose name I can’t remember, and possibly other mods I haven’t played. Don’t get me wrong, many, like most mods, are awesome even with a basic weapon/progression loop, but there is a noticeable lack of gameplay innovation.

  • Mike EY

    Should call it HL:A – De*pression mod