Valve's Portal is widely regarded as one of the greatest video games in existence, with the 2010 first-person puzzler raising the bar for the genre as a result of its creative gameplay and fantastic writing. While many players have already enjoyed this classic, Nvidia and Valve have teamed up to give them another reason to revisit the Aperture Science Labs.
Announced at Nvidia's recent GTC Sept 2022 Keynote, Portal will be getting free ray-tracing to avail the next-gen RTX 4000 series GPUs. Similar to Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition, this is a discreet game and not really an update to the original. It is built on the Nvidia RTX Remix, a new modding tool recently announced by the company. Here's all you need to know.
When can players get their hands on Portal RTX?
Officially titled "Portal with RTX", it will be available in November 2022, around the same time the brand new RTX 4000 GPUs from Nvidia are made available. RTX 4080 and 4090 are the latest additions from the GPU manufacturer, sporting DLSS 3. The 4080 launches in November, while the flagship 4090 releases in October 2022.
With this enhancement for Portal, players will be treated to enhanced textures and assets driven by modern physical-based rendering techniques and of course ray-traced features such as lighting, ambient occlusion, and more.
How does all of this work?
The way it works is that Nvidia RTX Remix is used to capture the game into USD then loaded into the Nvidia Omniverse, which eventually results in creating a mod pack for final use.
If that was difficult to grasp, here is a simpler explanation.
USD stands for Universal Scene Description, an open-source software from Pixar Animation Studios essentially acting as a file format system. Omniverse, meanwhile, is a graphics collaboration platform for artists to work on projects. Nvidia RTX Remix (which is built on Omniverse) is a free and easy-to-use tool aimed at modders; it features deep-learning models to upscale assets and an AI model to help introduce physically accurate elements into the mix.
The end result is nothing short of a full-on remaster. This was also demonstrated using Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind as an example, which saw a respectable upgrade to its graphics. The enhanced Portal experience is expected work on older RTX GPUs as well.
It is the same old experience with a new coat of paint, so players should not expect anything different except for the mind-blowing visuals. Are you looking forward to playing it?