‘Half-Life 2: RTX’ Remaster Could Mean Big Upgrades for ‘Half-Life 2’ VR


NVIDIA this week announced Half-Life 2: RTX, a community-made remaster of the legendary game featuring all-new assets, textures, and lighting. Pieces of the remaster are likely to make their way to the already existing Half-Life 2: VR Mod.

When it rains, it pours, as they say.

After years of delays, Half-Life and VR fans have been treated over the last 12 months to full VR mods of Half-Life, Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode Oneand Half-Life 2: Episode Two.

And now it seems that fans are in for another treat; the Half-Life 2: VR Mod is likely to get a range of graphical upgrades thanks to the newly announced Half-Life 2: RTX remaster.

Though it already featured improved graphics and lighting over the original Half-Life 2, the Half-Life 2: VR Mod largely focused on touching up the game’s existing assets, and enhancing some key 3D models while building out full support for VR.

Half-Life 2: RTX, on the other hand, is a complete graphical overhaul says Nvidia.

The project is described as being in “early development,” with developers consisting of a range of experienced Half-Life 2 modding teams, including folks from the Half-Life 2: VR Mod team. The teams are working under the banner Orbifold Studios and say they’re seeking more talented people to work on the project.

According to Nvidia, the project will see “every asset reconstructed in high fidelity,” textures built with physically-based rendering techniques, and RTX ray-tracing support.

And while the project will likely mean that high quality 3D assets will make it over to the Half-Life 2: VR Mod, unfortunately RTX ray-tracing probably won’t.

A member of the Half-Life 2: VR Mod team called modding the full Half-Life 2: RTX game to support VR “just a pipe dream at the moment.”

“Currently RTX Remix [the platform used to build Half-Life 2: RTX] is not compatible with Half-Life 2: VR Mod, since they both hook into the rendering pipeline and abuse it in different and incompatible ways,” they said.

But, the member says there are plans to “work with other members of this new super-team [that’s working on Half-Life 2: RTX] on back-porting as much of the shiny new HD content as we can to the old source engine, and putting them into our Half-Life 2: VR Mod graphics update.”

There’s no timeline at the moment for when that might happen, but hey, these things, they take time.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Frozenbizkit

    This looks sick!!

  • ViRGiN

    Gamers does what Valvedon’t.

    • LMAO

      Ignorant troll alert!

      • Lucidfeuer

        I mean he’s right on this one

        • Frozenbizkit

          Valve is too busy making that passive income from Steam. Only going to give it to Virgin this one time… lol

    • CrusaderCaracal

      Yeah lol, have you seen some of the remakes for Portal? Almost better than the actual game

  • XRC

    That’s great news. Quake II RTX was a fresh experience of an old and very familiar game I’d played on numerous platforms

  • Kamala

    Numerous games that has RTX like Doom, Quake II RTX already got a 3D fix in Vulkan

  • Tanix Tx3

    Guess it’s good they only take the textures. Experience with other Nvidia RTX ‘upgrades’ showed the very bad performance impact.
    Nvidia just seem to use RTX mods as a selling point for ada gpus.
    I don’t need RTX @13fps on a 3080.

  • This is beautiful!

  • chaos_in_ashland

    Shiny glossy headcrabs

  • MarcDwonn

    Now that’s a difficult decision: Do i wanna play the RTX version on my 38″ ultrawide monitor or the enhanced PCVR version on Quest 3? It’s basically “beautiful semi-realistic lighting” vs “stereoscopic depth and scale”. That’s like someone asks you to chose between the cheese and the salami on the pizza, LOL…

    • Arno van Wingerde

      Oh, come on! 38″ or being inside? No competition!

      • MarcDwonn

        But i can drink and snack while gaming on my ultrawide. Depending on mood and/or season, i could strongly prefer that.

    • Arturo

      Do both!!

      • MarcDwonn

        Not a bad idea. I did that mid-playthrough in The Witcher 3 + DLC: started it in VR (Reverb G2 v2) on my couch, and then played the last third on my ultrawide with drink and snack on hand. But now that i have the Quest 3, i’ll probably prefer to play it in VR. :)

  • CrusaderCaracal

    This looks awesome, not as sick as the Portal 2 remake though