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Portal RTX Modders Make It Less Shiny With Original Aesthetic Overhaul




Portal RTX came out last November as a showcase for Nvidia's RTX Remix Technology. The software basically takes old Games and adds ray tracing, the new standard for lighting in Games. Ray tracing can provide virtual environments with incredibly realistic lighting and shadows, reflecting light beams off different surfaces in ways that are as true to real life as current Technology allows.

RTX-enabled Games undeniably look better, but not everyone was impressed with Portal RTX when it first arrived. Yes, ray tracing did make reflective surfaces shinier and the new textures made gave the Game a definite glow-up, but it also changed the look and feel of Portal in some unexpected ways. Rooms that were merely dark in the original became black holes while brightly lit platforms became reflective pools. As our own Ben Sledge explained in his review, the original Game used lighting as an evocative tool, but Portal RTX used it as a technological cudgel.

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Enter Flawol RTX. Courtesy of mod maker Ossilia Flawol, the environmental artist on Portal 2: Desolation and Portal Epic Edition, Flawol created Flawol-RTX to tone down Portal RTX's ray tracing and bring back at least some of the original Game's lighting. Flawol-RTX is made from "resources created for Portal RTX itself," as Nvidia has released relatively few tools to mod Games released using RTX Remix.

As you can see in the screenshots, Flawol-RTX certainly looks more like the first Portal in terms of presentation. It still has the upgraded models and textures of Portal RTX, but the wildly different lighting has been replaced with something that brings back Portal 1's visual identity.

Flawol warns us that this mod is "incredibly experimental," so don't expect it to run absolutely perfectly. Also, Flawol said that the mod has yet to achieve "its full goals," so we can likely expect updates in the coming weeks.

Head on over to OssyFlawol's GitHub page to download the Flawol-RTX mod. Instructions are in the directory, but you'll basically be replacing Portal RTX assets in your install folder. Uninstalling the mod is as simple as asking Steam to verify the integrity of Portal RTX.

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