“Rise and shine, Mr. Freeman,” begins what is perhaps the most famous game intro of its era. Now, modders are going to use Half-Life: Alyx’s tools to recreate Half-life 2’s opening as a VR experience. It’s not a bad idea, because Point Insertion has very little actual gameplay other than walking and looking at neat stuff. Unless you count picking up cans, which I’m sure is going to be thrilling in VR.
Point Insertion is the first level of Half-Life 2, a narrative and atmospheric game opening that, for its era, is a lot of impressive game work. It was the kind of cold open that lots of games afterwards have tried to mimic, the kind that immerses a player in a world they don’t know anything about or understand without confusing them or driving them away.
Point Insertion is cinematic and chilling—it was a downright thrill to play at the time. It takes players through a noisy, eerily empty train station into the Combine’s dystopian security nightmare. Later they step out into the alien-inflected metropolis of City 17, getting a look at the Spire and other iconic Half-Life 2 scenes.
The modders behind the remake are called Project 17, and their trailer—above—looks pretty slick. You can keep up with the project at its official website, project17vr.com.