Half-Life mod is giving it a ray-tracing overhaul

(Image credit: Valve)

The first Half-Life is being given a ray-traced coat of paint thanks to a new mod.

The mod, which is officially dubbed "Half-Life: RAY TRACED" was revealed earlier this month on January 2 in a brief YouTube video. The minute-long trailer gives a glimpse into the new mod from YouTuber 'sultim_t,' showing Gordon Freeman roaming around the Black Mesa facility.

This new mod, when eventually released, will integrate real-time path tracing into the original Half-Life from all the way back in 1998, according to the YouTube video's description. It'll also offer "global illumination, reflections, refractions, soft shadows and other visual effects with interactive framerates," according to the description.

It actually turns out that this Half-Life mod is the reengineered version of a separate mod, which also provided ray-tracing for the original game. The mod itself, which you can explore over on GitHub, is actually a work in progress, just like the new mod from sultim_t, and is proceeding through development with a total of 10 fans working on it.

It'll be interesting to see which one of these overhauled Half-Life mods actually ends up launching first. Considering that the newer spin-off mod appears to only have one developer working on it, perhaps the older mod on GitHub will be with us sooner, given that it's got an entire team seemingly working on it. Either way, Gordon Freeman's original adventure from all the way back in the late 90s will soon be getting a pretty impressive graphical upgrade.

Check out our full best FPS games guide if you're looking to experience some other classic shooters aside from Valve's original Half-Life.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.