If you want to play Half-Life: Alyx without VR, Valve is confident there’ll be a mod for that – perhaps that confidence stems partly from the fact that the developers already had a non-VR mode up and running in the game. It’s broken, it’s janky, and it’s definitely not the way to play Half-Life: Alyx, but it shipped in the launch version of the game.
It seems Valve had a debug mode for Alyx which would allow devs to move through the game’s environments without strapping on a headset. Now that the game is live and dataminers have had their day, they’ve unearthed a set of launch parameters and console commands to get that mode up and running at home.
Valve has already patched the debug mode out of the game, though it’s still possible to download old versions of Alyx thanks to Steam’s depot downloader – you can get instructions on how to use that on Reddit, and information on the special launch parameters from indie dev Casey Billadeau on Twitter.