True to Valve’s phrase, Half-Life: Alyx, out now on SteamVR, runs simply wonderful on virtually any PC VR headset.
However, as Valve made clear when it revealed Alyx late final yr, the Index model of the sport comes with some small extras that change sure components just a little. These are too minute to be thought-about game-changers, however do go some strategy to enhancing immersion.
So, how does enjoying Half-Life: Alyx on Oculus Rift S stack as much as the Index expertise?
The very first thing to say is that I initially performed all of Alyx with a Rift S as a result of, properly, I didn’t have an Index but. Valve despatched one over for testing, which arrived after my first runthrough. I’ve now performed your entire recreation once more completely on Index. I performed on Regular issue on Rift S and Laborious issue on Index.
Index’s preliminary advantages are the identical as they’re with another SteamVR recreation. The headset is extra snug than a Rift S, its decision is barely higher, the built-in audio answer is a lot better and you will get a wider subject of view out of the headset than the Rift S, must you so select. For a recreation as excessive constancy as Alyx, which is arguably VR’s best-looking recreation so far, this can be a large benefit. The world of Metropolis 17 is clearer and simpler to understand contained in the Index, and the sport’s top-notch audio design thrives there.
In fact, Index additionally comes with a pair of controllers which are technically extra superior than the Rift S’s Contact controllers. Index options finger monitoring, studying when your fingers are gripping the controller deal with and when your hand is open. When it’s open, the controller sticks to your palm with a strap. Contact has a extra primary type of finger-tracking that may inform when your index finger is on the set off and your thumb is raised, however your different three fingers are tied to the identical detection sensor, you’ll be able to’t transfer them individually.
On Index, this leads to extra intuitive grabbing of things and, sure, you’ll be able to flip off a headcrab when it makes you leap. When it comes to unique advantages, it’s ever-so-slight. You in all probability already knew which you can crush a can by squeezing your controller when holding it. It’s cool, however it has completely no impact on the gameplay itself. You too can activate Xen grenades — natural explosive inexperienced issues — by doing the identical. And, properly, that’s just about it.
Nevertheless it additionally simply leads to a smoother general recreation expertise. I discovered gripping the holographic orbs that home Alyx’s puzzles a lot simpler with the Index controllers versus Contact’s buttons. Additionally gripping your gun with two palms on the Index’s curved controllers feels way more pure than with the Rift S controllers, which stumble upon one another.
That mentioned, it’s well-known that Index finger monitoring could be spotty in locations. Taking part in by the sport once more, I encountered some irritating situations the place a grenade didn’t depart my hand once I tried to throw it and Alyx would make bizarre hand indicators when my palm was both full open or closed. This didn’t occur typically, thoughts you.
So, sure, enjoying Half-Life: Alyx on Valve Index is certainly the easiest way to see the sport, however not by a lot. In actual fact, with Rift S at $399 and Index at $999 and with Rift S’s inside-out monitoring, I might actually advise choosing up the Oculus choice should you’re searching for a good way to get into Alyx shortly. In fact, each the Index and Rift S are out of inventory in the meanwhile, and that’s not more likely to change anytime quickly. When you wait, why not try our full evaluate of the sport?
Additionally, we performed the sport on Oculus Quest as properly in each Digital Desktop and Oculus Hyperlink modes and have a rundown of that have as properly.