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Half-Life 2 gets a ray-traced remake courtesy of NVIDIA's RTX Remix platform

By The Count - on 28 Aug 2023, 3:28pm

Half-Life 2 gets a ray-traced remake courtesy of NVIDIA's RTX Remix platform

For fans of the iconic 2004 first-person shooter, Half-Life 2, there's some exciting news on the horizon. NVIDIA has recently showcased the first trailer at Gamescom for a remade version of the game, christened somewhat clumsily as Half-Life 2 RTX: An RTX Remix Project. While the name might not win accolades for originality, the visual enhancements certainly promise to be an eye-catching treat for gaming aficionados.

This ambitious project has been undertaken by Orbifold Studios, an amalgamation of four dedicated Half-Life 2 mod teams. They've capitalised on NVIDIA’s early access RTX Remix platform to recreate the game. The new version boasts of PBR (physically based rendering) properties, offering a richer visual texture to the gameplay. Moreover, it also incorporates new geometric intricacies to elevate the gaming experience.

Notably, Half-Life 2 RTX uses the RTX IO feature, which ensures swift and seamless asset loading. This feature can also be spotted in recent games such as Portal: Prelude RTX and the PC version of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. The game also comes with the added benefits of full ray tracing and DLSS 3 support. However, eager gamers might have to rein in their anticipation a tad longer since NVIDIA hasn't announced a release date for the game. For now, one can only marvel at the enticing comparison images on offer.

Interestingly, this isn't the maiden attempt to bestow ray tracing on the Half-Life series. Earlier this year, a modder introduced ray tracing to the original 1998 Half-Life, offering a refreshed look albeit retaining its signature ’90s charm. This mod did demand significant power from the most advanced RTX video cards, suggesting the new Half-Life 2 RTX might have similar requirements.

The latest Half-Life 2 RTX version seems to have been given a complete overhaul, distinctively setting it apart from previous mods. Notably, the mastermind behind the original Half-Life ray-tracing mod, Sultim Tsyrendashiev, is now a rendering engineer with NVIDIA. It's evident that a path-traced Half-Life served as an impressive portfolio piece for him.

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