Half-Life 2 RTX: A Fan-Made Project to Revive a Classic with Ray Tracing

Half-Life 2 RTX: A Fan-Made Project to Revive a Classic with Ray Tracing

Half-Life 2 is one of the most acclaimed games of all time, but it's also nearly 20 years old. That's why a fan studio called Orbifold Studios is working on a project to update the game's graphics with ray tracing and improved textures, using Nvidia's modding tools and platform. The project, called Half-Life 2 RTX, aims to enhance the game's visuals and atmosphere, while preserving its original gameplay and story.

The project has recently released a new trailer, showing off the ray-traced effects in the spooky town of Ravenholm, one of the game's most memorable chapters. The trailer compares the new graphics with the old ones, highlighting the difference in lighting, shadows, reflections, and details. The project also features a redesigned H.E.V suit for Gordon Freeman, the game's protagonist.

Half-Life 2 RTX trailer - The differences are outstanding!

Half-Life 2 RTX is not the only project that uses Nvidia's RTX Remix platform, which allows developers to add ray tracing to older games. Nvidia itself has released a remastered version of Portal, another classic game from Valve, with ray tracing support. Fans have also used the platform to mod the original Half-Life and its expansions with ray tracing.

Portal with RTX on Steam
Experience the critically acclaimed and award-winning Portal™ reimagined with ray tracing in this free DLC for Portal owners. Start thinking with portals, with RTX on.

Half-Life 2 RTX is still in development, and there is no official release date yet. However, the project's progress is impressive, and it shows how much ray tracing can enhance the visual quality of older games. Half-Life 2 RTX is a tribute to a legendary game, and a testament to the creativity and passion of the modding community.

As a huge Half-Life fan (I own a Half-Life headcrab plushie!), this project solves one missing piece in my collection: Black Mesa remastering Half-Life 1, and this RTX project essentially giving a majorly refreshed Half-Life 2 experience.

For linux gamers: Portal RTX is a similar 'remaster' and runs quite nicely on my Nvidia card. AMD's Vulkan drivers also have support for raytracing - so expect Half-Life 2 RTX to be fully Linux compatible!

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