Valve made a miraculous return to the Half-Life franchise last year with Alyx releasing back in March 2020, and with it the proper debut of their new Source 2 engine was unveiled. Valve even reignited their failed attempt at a card game, Artifact, and a recent update to the new Artifact Beta has seemingly added some settings involving ray tracing…

Whether this means Artifact will be getting ray tracing support, or the whole Source 2 engine as a whole is still unknown. Though given the gameplay and popularity of Artifact at the moment, it’s more than likely to be the latter. The evidence that we do have right now lies within the latest update’s game files, which added two strings to the game: “RTX” and “Raytracing Shader”:

Obviously this has sparked some discussion online. The first and most obvious would be adding ray tracing to Half-Life: Alyx, but that would likely be too intensive on system performance to even think about right now, and you’d probably have to have an extremely beefy setup in order to even have a chance at running it. Though ray tracing in VR would surely amp up the immersion significantly.

The second theory is that some old Valve games would be getting the engine upgrade treatment. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Team Fortress 2 are the most requested candidates so far. Though previous attempts by Valve to do this kind of maneuver haven't always gone down well.

Whatever it is that’s going on behind the scenes, it’s clear that Valve is interested in the tech. But as we know with multiple Valve projects in the past: if they are interested, it doesn't always mean it’s going to happen, and could just as easily be dropped as quick as it was picked up.

What do you think? Would you be interested in ray tracing support for Source 2 games? What about Source 2 remakes of old Valve games? Let us know!

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