You can now play the original Half-Life with full ray-tracing

A new mod for the original Half-Life give the iconic shooter from 1998 the ray-tracing treatment, and the results look spectacular.

You can now play the original Half-Life with full ray-tracing
1 minute & 8 seconds read time

The original Half-Life from Valve was released in 1998 for PC, an iconic and groundbreaking first-person shooter that would serve as a milestone release to help shape the genre over the next few decades. It introduced us to the crowbar-wielding scientist Gordon Freedom amid a full-scale alien invasion at the mysterious Black Mesa Research Facility. Half-Life would also pave the way for the multiplayer hit Counter-Strike, which is still one of the most popular competitive shooters.

And now the classic shooter has been given the ray-tracing makeover treatment via a new mod that offers real-time path-tracing for Half-Life (1998). The results are impressive and similar to what we saw from NVIDIA with its Quake II RTX mod from a few years ago in that it replaces all in-game lighting with ray-traced goodness.

As per the release trailer for the mod, we can see that the original 1998 textures and models haven't changed. They're still as blocky and chunky as ever, but the difference RT brings to Half-Life is undoubtedly impressive.

The mod is available to download via GitHub, where installation instructions are provided (the mod is not compatible with the Half-Life: Source remaster), in addition to being able to add some DLSS rendering to improve performance on GeForce RTX graphics cards because even games from 1998 with ray-tracing is taxing on modern GPU hardware.

One great feature you can see in the trailer is the ability to switch between the classic visuals and the new ray-traced lighting as you play, which shows how much the tech can visually transform older games.

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Kosta might be a relatively new member of TweakTown, but he’s a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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