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Return to Rapture is a full campaign that merges the worlds of Half-Life and BioShock in a single narrative campaign, developed by Belgian modder Wim Buytaert.
Buytaert had previously released a small BioShock mod last October that offered around 30 minutes of gameplay, but it was unclear if the project would be completed.
It’s since evolved into an eight-part campaign after some of BioShock’s developers allegedly gave their blessing for Buytaert to continue, he told UploadVR, and allowed him to use around 200 assets from the original game.
The developer also hired a professional voice actor to narrate the story, which sees Half-Life protagonist Alyx crash-land outside the entrance to Rapture.
“The Combine have discovered the whereabouts of Rapture,” begins the plot description on the mod’s Steam Workshop page. “Rumors exist that the suitcase of Andrew Ryan has yet to be found. Within it are the secrets to ADAM and the plasmids.
“The quest for this artefact is not archaeology, it’s a race against evil. If it is captured by the Combine the armies of darkness will march all over the face of the earth.”
The mod features a brand new soundtrack. It also includes audio diaries and written notes to expand the game’s lore, as well as other BioShock features like Vita Chambers for saving the game, Little Sister machines and vending machines.
Valve released the editing tools for Half-Life: Alyx in May 2020, allowing the community to create its own levels, models, textures and animations for the VR shooter. There are now over pieces of 800 user-created content on the game’s Steam Workshop page, ranging from new weapons to complete stages.