Halo Reach (2010), the final Halo game from the series’ original developer, Bungie, is coming to PC in December, and could wind up with a VR support through an unofficial mod. Zack “Nibre” Fannon, the creator of the Alien: Isolation VR mod, is experimenting with VR support for Halo Reach.

As a massively popular franchise, calls for a Halo VR game have been heard plenty over the years, but with the latest incarnation of the games stuck on Xbox, Halo has still not gotten the VR treatment (unless you count that tease which Microsoft never followed up on).

With Halo Reach making the leap to PC on December 3rd, however, we just might get a taste of a full Halo game on modern VR headsets, albeit unofficially.

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Zack “Nibre” Fannon, creator of the Alien: Isolation VR mod and self-described “Halo addict,” today posted clips on Twitter showing they were experimenting with adding some VR functionality to Halo Reach.

Apparently working with a version of the game from public beta tests earlier this year, the clips show they have managed to bring rotational and positional tracking from the Rift into Halo Reach. This is a minor (but essential) achievement compared with the complexity of getting the game to render with proper distortion and stereoscopy. If it were anyone else we might just say “neat,” and move along with our day, but Nibre’s work with Alien: Isolation shows they may have the skills to deliver a fully functional Halo Reach VR mod.

Prior to its 2014 launch, Alien: Isolation was briefly demoed with a VR mode running on the second Rift development kit (DK2). It proved to be a terrifying experience, though with only tens of thousands of Rift DK2s out in the wild, the developers of the game didn’t bother to implement the VR mode for the launch of the game. It turns out though that the game’s files shipped with the VR mode hidden, and some intrepid folks figured out how to activate it so they could play the game on the DK2.

But between the DK2 and the launch of the consumer Rift in 2016, the Oculus SDK (which interfaces with the game to make it work inside the headset) changed drastically, meaning that the hidden Alien: Isolation VR mode wasn’t compatible with the consumer Rift.

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But that didn’t stop people from clamoring to play the game in VR. Their desire spawned multiple petitions to try to get publisher Sega to update the game with modern VR support. Despite one petition with more than 2,500 signatures, the game’s VR mode remained outdated and unplayable with the consumer Rift headset.

That’s when Nibre decided to take action into their own hands and released the so-called ‘MotherVR’ mod which not only enabled VR support but also improved upon the original implementation, bringing it in line with a more modern application of VR comfort design and even adding support for VR controllers.

As for Halo Reach in VR, Nibre hasn’t committed to creating a full blown mod just yet, but they are clearly experimenting. “Now that [Halo Reach] is finally coming to PC, it opens a lot of doors…,” they teased on Twitter.

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  • Yaniv Ben David

    Looks awesome

  • The Bard

    Microsoft teased Halo VR with VR demo in Microsoft store, but then does nothing about it. Disappointing company and management.

    • gothicvillas

      Micro$ are stuck in dark ages. Havent been innovating for a long time.

      • bud01

        I was about to post.. yeah they most likely only spend more than the GDP of one or several small nation states (combined) on R&D to not only push forward humanity in one or two ways but several.. but lets see those numbers..

        Google keyword “microsoft 2019 research budget”

        Microsoft’s research and development expenditure amounted to around 16.9 billion U.S. dollars in its 2019 fiscal year, a record high. Microsoft ranks the second among software and computer service companies worldwide in terms of R&D spend, behind only Google’s parent company Alphabet.

        Cant be correct?
        Microsoft’s expenditure on research and development from 2002 to 2019 (in million U.S. dollars)

        Cant be correct?
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dd80937c50868467d617a114ce971472cdc847d1433a11f6a399d490a67da878.jpg

        “Micro$ are stuck in dark ages. Havent been innovating for a long time.”

        So that might not be totally correct, thanks for putting that comment out, I learnt some thing also.

        • Hivemind9000

          Yeah, but R&D is a pretty broad field and doesn’t necessarily mean innovation. R&D can often mean simply researching what others are doing and figuring out how to catch them (MS does a lot of this as they have been slow to move in many fields – mobile, cloud services etc).

          I don’t think Microsoft believe in VR and seem to be committing resources more to AR – so yes, I agree they are innovating, but not in the field of VR. Which sucks since it means we only have one major console manufacturer pushing VR forward – Sony.

          • bud01

            VR long term will most likely be moved across into Neuralink type technologies, Brain to brain high fidelity visual override is possible so actual attach or localised stimulation to single or groups of neurons should see the eventual path for VR to be by way of brain interface. Not investing or pushing hard on the VR front by MS does taste sour thou, if that is indeed what they are doing.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        gothicvilla is stuck in dark ages, and doesn’t know what he’s talking about.. yeah in regard to VR they might not have been innovating…

  • antonio mora

    For me VR mods is some of the best VR I’ve experienced so far. GTA V mod is nothing short of spectacular.

  • Andrew Jakobs

    It’s a shame Sega doesn’t release a VR enabled version of Alien isolation, just give this zack some money and let him add it officially and sell it as an addon for $5. It’ll sell the original game again with all it’s DLC including the VR addon to a lot of people, earning at least the money they gave this zack..
    And his work on Halo looks great.

  • Yeshaya

    Does he have any plans for doing mods for other games in the Master Chief collection? That would be amazing

  • T2814

    I’ve been playing Alien Isolation with the MotherVR mod on my Rift S and it’s been a lot of fun and really well done, with a nice sense of scale and presence.

    While I’d prefer to see the first Halo game, Combat Evolved, get the VR treatment first, any Halo game with VR support would probably be a very cool experience.

    It will be interesting to see how, if at all, Microsoft reacts to any potential mods and whether they will look the other way or move to squash it. It would be more than a little embarrassing for them if a few indies could do what they themselves have been unwilling to do amid all their “VR is not ready for primetime” proclamations.

  • now this has me excited

  • NooYawker

    He already moved on from alien isolation? Did he ever get it to work with motion controllers?

  • JesuSaveSouls

    I will get the game when the mod gets released.