Half-Life 2: Valve optimizes the first person shooter for the Steam Deck

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In preparation for the Steam Deck, Valve is adapting Half-Life 2 so that the shooter evergreen can also be played on the handheld. A new beta branch reveals numerous changes that are imminent for the game.

Valve guard Tyler McVicker has already watched the upcoming version and in a YouTube video despite its absence collected essential innovations from patch notes. Half-Life 2 does not run completely smoothly with the beta update, but it shows a considerable number of new features. According to McVicker, this includes a number of bug fixes that the fan base has long wanted, as well as optimizations specifically for the upcoming handheld.

In the options, there is now the option of scaling the interface and thus adapting it for high pixel densities. At the same time, resolutions with additional aspect ratios, including 21: 9, and corresponding FOV settings are supported. This means that workarounds can be dispensed with in the future. Strangely enough, explains McVicker, the aspect ratio of resolution and HUD can be set separately.

There is also new support for the Vulkan API, which, unlike Microsoft's DirectX, can be used natively under Linux and accelerates games there. Since Portal 2 was provided with Vulkan support at the beginning of the year, it can be assumed that Valve will update all of its latest games based on the source engine for Linux and the Steam Deck.

Good reasons for the update

After Valve started playing Steam – To check the offer for compatibility with the Steam Deck and to show the result visibly, such an optimization seems almost mandatory. On the one hand, it provides other developers with illustrative material in the form of exemplary action, potential buyers with evidence of the seriousness of the publisher and, on the other hand, the handheld with a larger range. Since the hardware of the Steam Deck is only of limited performance, Valves are already older, but basically timeless games in this respect perfect for mobile playback.