Watch as VR speedrunner Buffet Time crawls his way through an amazing 40-minute run.
Games Done Quick (GDQ), the immensely popular charitable fundraising organization known for its biannual video game speedrun events, this week featured its first VR speedrun as part of its ongoing Summer Games Done Quick 2020 event. Normally performed on-stage in front of massive crowds composed of hardcore fans—depending on the game that is—this year’s participants were forced to conduct their runs from the safety of their homes.
Despite these new restrictions, however, Summer Games 2020 is drawing big numbers on Twitch, thanks in large part to this year’s unique selection of titles. This includes a fascinating speedrun of Valve’s Half-Life: Alyx by player ‘Buffet Time,’ marking the first VR speedrun ever submitted to the long-running biannual event.
In this spectacular 40-minute run, Buffet Time shows off some truly unique techniques as he breezes through the 12-15 hour campaign using some interesting techniques. It’s a fairly educational run; commentators break down each of Buffet Time’s moves in real-time, allowing for a bit more clarity. For instance, throughout several portions of the run, Buffet Time rushes through certain metal gates without having to shoot any of the locks. The commentators explain how the gates in HL:A are “a suggestion”; players can actually grab the handle and yank themselves through without clipping.
Later on, Buffet Time drops to his hands and knees and begins crawling underneath the in-game world in order to bypass a certain obstacle. Referred to as the “Hatch Skip,” Buffet Time begins by height-adjusting downwards and crawling back and forth underneath the map. As he physically moves from side-to-side in the real-world he rotates his playspace, inching himself further into a new area of the map. He then rises from underneath the ground and emerges in a new location, bypassing a major obstacle and saving him a significant amount of time in the process.
While it may not have been the fastest Half-Life: Alyx run on record, Buffet Time’s attempt represents a major leap forward in VR gaming as the first VR title featured as part of Games Done Quick. As a longtime fan of GDQ, it was exciting to VR gaming receive official recognition from the speedrunning community. Personally, I’d love to see additional VR titles, such as SUPERHOT VR and Boneworks make their way to the celebrated event.
Image Credit: GDQ