For those that pre-ordered the game, Valve has brought two Half-Life: Alyx environments to SteamVR Home, giving players their first chance to step inside the game. Even if you didn’t pre-order the game, it’s still easy to check out the new environments by joining a user-hosted room.
Half-Life: Alyx is less than three weeks away and Valve today released the first of the pre-order bonus content that will come with the game—two environments ripped straight from the game and converted into SteamVR Home spaces which you can explore at your leisure.
If you pre-ordered the game you’ll be able to launch the new environments by opening the menu in SteamVR Home and finding the ‘Russell’s Lab‘ and ‘City 17 Alleyway‘ environments. If they don’t load right away when you click on them, they will likely have been queued for downloading; both are about 1GB, so you may need to wait a little while (you can see the progress in the usual Steam download manager).
If you didn’t pre-order Alyx, you’re in luck. In SteamVR Home you can join public rooms with other players, including those with the ‘Russell’s Lab’ and ‘City 17 Alleyway’ environments. You can see a list of public rooms in the SteamVR Home interface, and once you join a room with one of the Half-Life: Alyx environments, you can save it to your own list of environments to check out later. We also captured footage to give you a glimpse inside:
City 17 Alleyway
Both environments are just a preview and don’t have any actual gameplay, but they represent real areas ripped right from the game. Granted, Valve notes that “the rendering technology available in [SteamVR Home] is different than that in Half-Life: Alyx, and the interactivity is significantly lower than what the game itself provides. So while these scenes do not have quite as much fidelity as they will in the actual game, we think they are a faithful enough translation to provide a fun VR preview of the game’s setting.”