The question is: What will be lost in translation?
Half-Life: Alyx

Half-Life: Alyx was just released and with it has come a heap of praise from those with VR headsets along with a heap of complaints from those who are against the mere idea of virtual reality. If you are expecting Valve to release a official version of the game that strips out the VR aspect, you are most certainly barking up the wrong tree. Half-Life: Alyx was built around VR, not the other way around. To release a version of the game without VR would be akin to ordering a hamburger without the meat. You lose the very core idea, the pull of why it the game succeeds because of VR.

But, Valve also knows its community. They know that people can and will make a mod for Half-Life: Alyx that attempts to strip out the VR component and make it playable on flat monitors. In speaking with Polygon, Valve's Robin Walker says that he "knows it's going to happen." Polygon asked Walker if he or anyone at Valve are worried about the idea that the game will have VR modded out.

"The answer to this diverges significantly depending on which members of the team you talk to, so this answer is definitely just from me,” Walker explained. “There are a set of people on the team that are concerned about that. Personally, I’m not concerned about it at all.

"It will clearly demonstrate to people why we did this in VR. It will be a very crisp way of seeing all the stuff we got for the move into VR. If people play [a modded version on a standard display] and say this is is just as good, that will teach me a lot. I will realize I’m wrong, and we didn’t get as much as we thought, and I love to know whenever I’m wrong."
As Polygon has pointed out, even the opening areas of the game are tailored to VR. Instead of merely hitting a button on a keyboard to reload your weapon, you are physically reaching behind you and grabbing a fresh magazine from your virtual backpack. You then shove the magazine into the gun and chamber the first round by actually grabbing the slide and racking it. When you blind fire around a corner, you are literally blind firing around a corner. You get a renewed sense of appreciation for the absolutely massive and sometimes frightening scale of Striders as they walk by you, especially as one of their legs comes thundering down mere feet away from your face. When you are picking up a box to use as a shield against headcrabs, you are actually holding that out in front of you. You are taught fairly early in the game how to use the Russells, aka: Gravity Gloves, to pull things towards you and catch them with your hands in three-dimensional virtual space. Even puzzles are presented in 3D space in Half-Life: Alyx.

The list can easily go on and on, but it's honestly getting very late here. The idea is that yeah, some of these things can be presented with a non-VR analog, but the experience would not even come close to being comparable. Of course, some people don't care about that. There will be a mod made that finds non-VR solutions for many of these core functions within Alyx. It would be incredibly, incredibly surprising if the two experiences were at all close to being the same.

"Yes, it’s going to happen. I’m fine with it, for the sake of the other members of the team I don’t want to say I encourage you to do it, but it’s going to happen,” Walker said. “I think people will then hopefully have an even greater understanding of why we decided to build the product in VR than they do now."
I'm working on playing through Half-Life: Alyx and hope to have a review for it in the upcoming days. I did not receive my review code until the day of release, so I'm essentially right there alongside everyone else playing right now. However, my remarks on here and Twitter should paint a clear picture that I am already finding this to be the best VR game I've ever played and possibly my favorite game released in 2020 thus far.