New Half-Life RT mod proves the quality of Valve’s original work

March 11, 2023
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Half-Life is one of the most influential games of all time, thanks not just to its immersive setting, story and visuals, but to its ‘modability’. Long after most people had played through Half-Life’s campaign, games and mods powered by the GoldSrc engine continued to entertain and amaze. Almost 25 years after its original release, a new mod for Half-Life has arrived: a fully ray-traced version of the game, courtesy of modder Sultim Tsyrendashiev – who previously produced ray-traced versions of Serious Sam, Doom and Quake.

The mod completely remakes the game’s lighting using path tracing while maintaining its assets, thereby providing an alternate vision of a modern Half-Life compared to, say, the popular fan remake Black Mesa. It’s a transformative upgrade that’s well worth experiencing, so we played through the RT version to break down what exactly the mod does, how it compares to the original 1998 release and see how well it performs on modern graphics cards.

Getting started is thankfully straightforward – just install Half-Life on Steam, then download the necessary files from Sultim’s Github page, following the instructions provided.

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