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Half-Life's Long-Awaited Ray Tracing Mod Is Out Now




The original Half-Life remains an incredible experience. The pacing, the surprises, the ineffable sense of place and atmosphere that Valve created for the Game. While the 1998 title was remade by third-party developer Crowbar Collective a few years ago, with the excellent Black Mesa, there is still something special about the original. And now a mod is available that transforms Half-Life into something that is that much more lit.

That's because a PC mod for the original Half-Life has released that adds realtime path-traced ray tracing to the game. Translation? Once installed, Half-Life is going to look a lot more dramatic and beautiful. It's the work of creator Sultim Tsyrendashiev (sultim-t) who first teased the project more than a year ago. His Half-Life 1: Ray Traced mod is now live on GitHub. And the creator also showed off the impressive work in a trailer.

Related: Half-Life 3’s Cancelled 2015 Build Was The Perfect Sequel

Sultim-t has previous form when it comes to this kind of ray tracing work, with similar mods for the original Doom and Quake Games, but this newest one could be the best yet. Checking out the trailer and looking at the before-and-after shots, it's clear that the addition of realtime path-traced ray tracing lends a lovely look to many scenes, creating a better sense of depth and realism. Rooms look more dramatic; the shadows of enemies give them more weight and presence; and beams of light look bask worthy. All of it goes to show just how important lighting is to Games. But of course, don't take my word for it, just take a look yourself:

Obviously, this is a 24-year-old game so while ray tracing does add clear improvements to the visuals, the game will still have textures and asset work of its time. But even here, sultim-t's craftsmanship can be seen, with new custom assets such as monitors and mirrors being added.

Those who've seen the mod author's work have been left impressed while the combo of RT and the original Game is a special one. "Low poly Games with ray traced lighting and GI have such a unique and compelling look to me", said 'Solid' over on ResetEra.

Those wanting to add the Half-Life 1: Ray Traced mod will need to have the Game installed on Steam, and the mod, courtesy of sultim-1, can be found on GitHub here.

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