Half-Life Modder Adds Ray Tracing, Giving New Life to Classic Game


Iconic first-person shooter Half-Life gets an upgrade thanks to a modder, who has added ray tracing to the original game, enhancing the visuals.

Gordon Freeman is back, and now in even greater detail, thanks to a brand new teaser for an upgraded Half-Life mod. Over two decades after the iconic first-person shooter was released, and a year after the most recent installment into the Half-Life series was released, it seems that fans are getting the opportunity to play the original game on upgraded consoles.

Half-Life revolutionized the first-person shooter genre not only with its storytelling devices and fluid gameplay but by also opening up the tool kit for other, smaller developers that piggy-backed off Valve’s original code. Mods and ports of Half-Life became several iconic multiplayer games like Counter-Strike and Team Fortress, with assistance and support from Valve. The series itself continued with several installments beyond the original Half-Life, including the acclaimed Half-Life 2, which itself led to two sequels. The series remained dormant after the release of Half-Life 2: Episode 2, until the release of VR game Half-Life: Alyx in 2020. However, Half-Life: Alyx took place between Half-Life and Half-Life 2, meaning that fans of the series were left in suspense knowing the fates of Gordon Freeman and Alyx Vance, who were under attack by Advisors at the end of Half-Life 2: Episode 2. Although the future of the Half-Life series is up in the air, one fan seems to be trying to bring the original game onto today’s consoles.

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Related: Why GTA 6 Won’t Be Rockstar’s Half-Life 3

Modder sultim_t shared a teaser on YouTube (via PC Gamer), which shows a version of the original Half-Life with updated graphics that include ray tracing. Players get a look at the Black Mesa Research Facility in stunning detail (at least compared to the original). Sultim_t notes that this mod will allow Half-Life to run on optimized PCs and consoles, with enhanced lighting and visual effects that weren’t possible when the original game was released in 1998.

Ray tracing has been a hot topic among the modding community, with many modders taking advantage of this new technology to enhance old titles. For instance, one modder upgraded Super Mario 64 with ray tracing to improve the Nintendo 64’s visuals. Even though it may seem like a small improvement, adding ray tracing can enhance these older games and make them more accessible to the current generation of gamers.


Although it’s unclear when the mythical Half-Life 3 might release (if ever), sultim_t’s mod is a great opportunity for younger players who never got to experience Half-Life with improved graphics. Hopefully, Valve will take note of the improved graphics and make the gorgeous Half-Life 3 that gamers have been waiting for.

Next: Will Half-Life 3 Be In VR Like Alyx?

Source: sultim_t/YouTube (via PC Gamer)

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