Portal is getting ray-tracing and it looks amazing

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? In an unexpected turn of events, Valve’s beloved but aged first-person puzzle title Portal is receiving a ray tracing boost in an upcoming free update from Nvidia.

Announced during Nvidia’s GeForce Beyond show at GTC, Portal with RTX is a mod that will be available free to anyone who owns the game on Steam this November. Leveraging the power of its new RTX 40 Series cards, Nvidia has brought a level of detail to an aging game that impresses beyond belief, updating the experience with light that can bounce, reflect, and diffuse realistically across every surface in the game — even going so far as to allow light to pass through portals.

A photo of a Portal level showcasing the new ray tracing mod.

It may seem unlikely for such an old game to feel so new, but Nvidia’s update is pretty drastic, as the mod even features updates to many of the game’s flat surfaces to add more detail and depth that will allow for significantly better light reflection and shadows. This increase in polygon counts and geometric detail gives Portal an entirely new look and feel beyond the addition of ray tracing, and with such an exciting breadth of changes, it’s all but certain to entice longtime fans to dive back in.

Portal was first released in 2007 and is set in the same universe as Valve’s immensely popular Half-Life series. The game casts players as a human test subject who is tasked with testing a portal gun within a research facility — where they appear to be held against their will. Not only is it often considered among the best puzzle games ever created, one which features one of gaming’s most recognizable villains, but it even went on to spawn a meme so well-known that it transcended the gaming space altogether.

Portal‘s ray tracing update will release in November and be free to all existing owners of the game. You can put it on your wish list on Steam now.

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