Valve has secretly updated Half-Life 2 with a new beta branch that introduces fixes and new options to prepare the title for its upcoming Steam Deck.
A new beta branch for Half-Life 2 has been discovered, updating the game to fulfill modern standards in preparation for Valve’s new handheld PC, Steam Deck, and its Verified program. The companies new handheld device is set to release in December and will grant users to play any game in their Steam library that supports Proton, a compatibility software that allows SteamOS to run Windows-based games. While not every title is confirmed to be available on Steam Decks launch, 16,000 Steam games are already known to be compatible with the software, and developers are working on updates to ensure that games are compatible with the new device.
Half-Life 2 originally came out in 2004 as a sequel to one of the most influential FPS games ever made and blew players away. The title introduced immersive storytelling and game-world fluidity with Valve’s brand new advanced Source engine setting a new standard for the industry. Almost two decades later, Half-Life 2 is regarded as one of the greatest video games of all time and continues to receive support from its fans. Half-Life 2: Remastered Collection was recently spotted and could bring improved graphics, textures, and load times to the ageless classic. While being created by fans, the collection is acknowledged by Valve and is possibly set to release by the end of the year, just in time for the Steam Deck.
While a public announcement wasn’t made directly, notable Valve reporter and Youtuber, Tyler McVicker spotted the update to Half-Life 2‘s beta branch on SteamDB, (via Eurogamer) and shared a detailed video covering all the changes. The new beta update brings long-overdue fixes with additional options to all three parts of the title to ensure the FPS is eligible for Valve’s upcoming Steam Deck. McVicker highlights that the game received ultrawide resolution support, adjustable and customizable UI for aspect ratio, FOV increase to 110, and most notably the addition of Vulkan rendering API support. This feature will allow Half-Life 2 to run smoother on Linux-based operating systems like Steam Deck’s SteamOS.
Compatibility has been a crucial problem for both consumers and Valve’s digital storefront, as most titles on Steam won’t run on Linux. The company has however been working to ensure its SteamOS Proton software supports as many Windows games as possible and has even announced a Steam Deck Verified program. This system will notify players which titles are available to play on Steam Deck, with a green verification badge indicating that games work “right out of the box.“
Valve’s Half-Life 2 is upheld as an ageless relic and continues to receive support, with the title being prepared to fully be compatible on the upcoming Steam Deck. While no public announcement has been made regarding the update, more of Valve’s catalog is expected to be updated as the new handheld PC is set to release this holiday.
Half-Life 2 is available on PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox and Xbox 360.
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