A new beta branch has been discovered for Half-Life 2, updating the game to meet modern standards in preparation for Valves' new laptop, Steam Deck, and their verified program. The company's new handheld device will launch in December and will allow users to play any game in its Steam library that supports Proton, a compatibility software that allows SteamOS to run Windows-based games. While not all titles are confirmed to be available at the Steam Decks launch, 16,000 Steam games are already known to be compatible with the software, and developers are working on updates to ensure the 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 left gamers speechless. The title introduced immersive storytelling and the fluidity of the game world with Valves' new advanced Source engine that sets a new standard for the industry. Almost two decades later, Half-Life 2 is considered one of the best video games of all time and continues to receive support from its fans. Half-Life 2: Remastered Collection was recently discovered and could bring improved graphics, textures, and loading times to the timeless classic.
While created by fans, the collection is recognized by Valve and will possibly launch at the end of the year, just in time for the Steam Deck. While no public announcement was made directly, prominent Valve and Youtuber reporter Tyler McVicker saw the Half-Life 2 beta branch update on SteamDB, (via Eurogamer) and shared a detailed video covering all. the changes. The new beta update brings long-standing fixes with additional options for all three parts of the title to ensure that the FPS is eligible for the upcoming Valves Steam Deck. McVicker highlights that the game received ultra-wide resolution support, adjustable and customizable UI for aspect ratio, increased FOV to 110, and most notably the addition of Vulkan rendering API support. This feature will allow Half-Life 2 to run more smoothly on Linux-based operating systems such as Steam Decks SteamOS.
Compatibility has been a crucial issue for both consumers and the Valves digital store, as most titles on Steam will not run on Linux. However, the company has been working to ensure that 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 the Steam Deck, with a green verification badge indicating that the games work "out of the box."
Valves Half-Life 2 remains an eternal relic and continues to receive support, and the title is being prepared to be fully supported in the next Steam Deck. While no public announcement has been made regarding the update, more Valves catalog is expected to be updated as the new handheld will launch this holiday.