Half-Life Ray Traced Mod Looks Fantastic In Delay Trailer As Quake RT Releases To Gamers

half life raytraced radioactive spill
It's almost time for Half-Life to celebrate its 24-year anniversary. The Valve Software team, led by Gabe Newell, a former Microsoft engineer, released the genre-defining first-person shooter in 1998. Unfortunately, though, the real-time ray-traced update to the game we saw in January has been delayed.

Ray tracing is all the rave, and GitHub User Sultim Tsyrendashiev, who goes by the moniker sultim-t, has been churning out project after project implementing the feature. One such project we covered was their release of ray-traced DOOM. Another notable project by the talented programmer is a ray-traced Serious Sam release as well.

There's some significant promise in Half-Life getting ray tracing based on the screenshot and YouTube video posted by sultim-t, but it will likely take some time. The video features a voiceover from the G-Man saying, "Well, it looks like we won't be working together." After panning through some ray-traced sections of the game, the user is then shown a mission brief text that is almost synonymous with the franchise indicating that the project is "postponed" and "awaiting further data." This is vague, but it does provide an excellent transition opportunity in the video.

That video transition turns the disappointment into delight for fans of other first-person shooters, especially if you really want to talk about genre-defining. Sultim-t has instead pushed out a ray traced version of the original Quake for people to enjoy! This mod implements the RayTracedGL1 library, also sultim-t's project into Quake and brings the graphics libraries up to the Vulkan SDK.

YouTube Video of Half-Life Ray-Traced Delay, and Quake Ray-Traced Release

So what do you need to play Ray Traced quake? Rather simple, you need a Steam edition of Quake. Once the game is installed, run it one time then close it to extract the necessary game files. Then unzip the file downloaded from the releases page to an empty folder somewhere. Run the "vkQuake.exe" file. The vkQuake installer should find the Quake installation directory automatically. If you want to swap between ray-trace and non-ray-trace, tap F.

You must have a ray-trace compatible card to use this. So, if you're on AMD you'll need an AMD RX 6600 XT or better, and on Nvidia you'll need a GeForce RTX card—the GeForce GTX models won't cut it.

quake shotgun real time ray trace
Screenshot of Quake Ray-Traced

It's beautiful work, and for many of us who truly enjoyed these classic titles, it's almost like playing them as though they are new again. We are sad that Half-Life fans have to wait a little while longer, but, if you want a higher fidelity experience of the original title, Black Mesa is an excellent fan remake that we highly recommend you try in the meantime.