Still Alive

15 years ago, one sci-fi game changed everything — now, it's getting an upgrade

Science has never looked better.

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Valve

If you were playing FPS games in 2007, you probably remember the Orange Box. Along with Half-Life 2 and Team Fortress 2, the box included a groundbreaking physics-based puzzle game called Portal.

Now, 15 years after Portal’s debut, it’s getting an unexpected update from Nvidia. At its 2022 GTC event, the graphics card maker announced it’s bringing ray-tracing to the original Portal.

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You may ask: why add ray-tracing to a 15-year-old puzzle game?

Who knows? It does look amazing, though.

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In 2007, Portal looked great. It’s still not too shabby, just a bit dull even compared to its 2010 sequel. Regardless of how it looks, Portal is still worth playing.

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The ray-tracing update just makes it a more beautiful experience, thanks to its enhanced lighting.

Light from portals illuminates the surroundings, so Aperture Labs feels more like a real place (not that we’d want to visit).

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Valve

The original Portal’s reflective surfaces and shadowy corridors make it a better candidate for ray-tracing than you might expect.

Water surfaces get a major overhaul in the new update...

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as does Portal’s fiery finale.

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Entirely new art assets have been created as well, adding a satisfying glow to buttons and boxes (and presumably the beloved Companion Cube).

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The downside:

You’ll need an RTX-capable graphics card to get the shiny new Portal experience. For those with money to burn, the $1,600 RTX 4090 further improves things with DLSS 3.

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If your PC can handle it,

Portal with RTX is a free DLC update coming to Steam in November 2022.

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