The Original Portal Gets A Refresh With RTX Remix Integration!

Portal has been one of Valve’s oldest releases to date that’s still enjoyed, with a few mods and fan projects here and there. The game is nearly two decades old, with the title being released back in 2007. But the Portal community lives on, and Nvidia is well aware of that. Adding life to older releases, Nvidia has introduced RTX Remix for the original Portal as a DLC update, allowing users to come back to Valve’s first-person puzzle title once again.

Portal Gets DLC Content With RTX Remix Overhaul

Portal’s gameplay is timeless, but in the 15 years since its release GPUs have become hundreds of times faster. Our new GeForce RTX 40 Series graphics cards are beyond fast and come loaded with immersive features, such as ray tracing and AI graphics, that weren’t possible all those years ago.

To demonstrate the capabilities of these incredible new GPUs, we’re releasing Portal with RTX, which reimagines the classic game’s graphics with full ray tracing and entirely new art evocative of the original. Portal with RTX will be free for existing Portal owners. – Nvidia

According to Nvidia, their RTX Remix platform allows users to integrate ray tracing into older titles with just a few clicks of a mouse button. This allows modders the necessary tools to make remasters of their own, especially for games that previously proved to be unmoddable.

This RTX upgrade builds-upon our work on Quake II and Minecraft, but is extra special, as the tool used to make Portal with RTX will be released for free, allowing you to give the RTX treatment to other classic games.

Called NVIDIA RTX Remix, this ingenious modding platform can add ray tracing with just a few clicks, and gives modders the tools to make ambitious remasters, even for games that were previously unmoddable. Simply press a hotkey to import a game, use AI to enhance materials, build custom assets using Omniverse, and export an RTX Mod complete with ray tracing, NVIDIA DLSS 3, and NVIDIA Reflex. RTX Remix elevates modding to a whole new level. – Nvidia

portal rtx remix
Ray Tracing showcase in Portal’s RTX Remix DLC | Nvidia

It was announced during Geforce Beyond that the mod would be free in November to those that already own Portal on Windows PC.

In Portal with RTX, full ray tracing transforms each level, enabling light to bounce and be affected by the scene’s geometry and materials. Every light is ray-traced and casts shadows, global illumination indirect lighting naturally illuminates and darkens rooms, volumetric ray-traced lighting scatters through fog and smoke, and shadows are pixel perfect.

With RTX Remix, the game runs in the background and we replace the old rendering APIs and systems with RTX Remix’s 64-bit Vulkan renderer. This enables the addition of ray-tracing to classic games and it all updates in real-time as lights and objects move. Light can be cast from behind the player, or from another room, and in Portal with RTX, light even travels through portals. Glass refracts light, surfaces reflect detail based on their glossiness, and reflections can be cast into the scene from behind the player, objects can self-reflect, and indirect light from off-screen illuminates and affects what you see.

To take full advantage of ray tracing, your game assets need to have physically based properties, and ideally be geometrically detailed, too. Without physically based rendering (PBR) materials, light reacts identically on all surfaces. By specifying the attributes of each material and their reflectivity, light bounces, reflects, diffuses and dissipates realistically across each texture. – Nvidia

But that’s not all. Nvidia has gone far and beyond to create unique assets of their own for Portal, which they claim are in the same spirits as Valve’s original work.

portal rtx remix
The Cake is a lie, or is it? Find out once again in Portal’s upcoming RTX Remix DLC update. | Nvidia

As for surfaces, if they’re flat, as most were in games back in 2007, light won’t react realistically. In the process of remaking each of Portal’s surface materials, we’ve introduced detail, such as bumps, divots and rivets, allowing light to fall across them accurately, bouncing light, creating new shadows, and generating accurate reflections.

To maximize the benefit of upgraded materials and surfaces, our team remade many of Portal’s models. Silhouettes were retained to avoid changing their appearance, but in every other respect models were updated, increasing polygon counts and adding geometric detail, allowing them to interact flawlessly with ray tracing, and to look appropriately detailed alongside the game-changing ray-raced effects.

A continually-seen example is on the Portal gun: its plastics react differently, and the cylinder is upgraded with ray-traced glass, with accurate fresnel properties, showing accurate real-time reflections that bend and distort across the glass as you attempt to escape from the test facility.

Even decals, such as bullet holes, blood splatters and scorch marks, have been upgraded with PBR properties. Remix’s AI texture tools transform the decals to accurately blend with the upgraded scenery, and interact naturally with ray tracing. – Nvidia

Portal is a puzzle game that originally debuted as a part of Valve’s The Orange Box. Players get to navigate environments by opening and closing portals they can walk through.

The game featured a dark but humorous narrative as players cleared puzzles and navigated their way through the mysterious Aperature Science Laboratories.

The end result is incredible, enhancing Portal, putting it on par visually with today’s latest and greatest games. And with gameplay that’s still as good today as was in 2007, Portal with RTX delivers the definitive experience for anyone discovering Portal for the first time, or returning for a fresh playthrough. – Nvidia

During the Stream, Nvidia also revealed their next generation of graphics cards, headlined by their Flagship Nvidia RTX 4090, for which the classic title with the RTX Remix integration serves as a demonstration of new technologies and features added into the mix.

Portal is available for the Xbox 360, PS3, Mac OSX, Linux, Android, Nintendo Switch and Windows PC, but Portal’s RTX Remix Update is exclusive for PCs featuring Nvidia RTX GPUs.

So, what do you think of the classic Portal getting a refresh with the upcoming RTX Remix DLC set for November? Let us know in the comments below. We upload daily on Appuals, so stay tuned for more. Till then, see you later and goodbye!

Naseer Abbas
Naseer has been interested in PCs and videogames since his childhood. If he isn't busy playing retro shooters, he's tinkering with emulators or learning something new.