It seems that every week since release, the standard for Half-Life: Alyx custom content has been kicked up a notch. This week is no exception — we tried out a new custom map by Brad Lynch called Crash Course, which has some awesome scripted events and a higher level of polish than we’ve seen in other community content so far.
So far, there’s been some pretty fantastic Alyx community content — we’ve seen a working crowbar mod, a sandbox map that lets take on Jeff as Gordon Freeman and a whole recreation of the first level of Wolfenstein 3D. However, nothing so far has appeared quite as polished as Crash Course.
The level starts in a well-themed room with a couple of scripted events. I won’t spoil these too much, as they’re the highlights of the map, but they place you as the spectator as Combine soldiers interact with the world around you. There’s only a few of them and while they’re small touches, they really help make the map feel alive more than just a series of well-placed assets.
You’ll also briefly get to use a crowbar and there’s a cool sequence that will see you use a candle to navigate a dark area. If you don’t mind spoilers, we’ve recorded the first ten minutes of the level, embedded below.
I played for more than 20 minutes and still hadn’t made it to the end of the map, but your mileage might depend on the speed and difficulty at which you play. Nonetheless, it’s a good chunk of content with polished environments if you’re looking for a fix of extra Alyx.
What continues to impress is that all of these custom Alyx maps are being made without official support or mapping tools. Valve has promised support and updated authoring tools, but in the meantime the community has found a way to make do to produce these maps.
If you want to try out Crash Course for yourself, you’ll need to know how to download, install and run Half-Life: Alyx custom maps. If you’re unsure on the process, be sure to check out our guide.