In preparation for Steam Deck, Valve is adapting Half-Life 2 so that the shooter can also always be played on the handheld device. The new beta branch reveals several upcoming changes to the game.
Valve guard Tyler McVicker has already considered the upcoming version and all in one Youtube video Although there are no patch notes, important innovations have been collected. Half-Life 2 doesn’t run very smoothly with the beta update, but it does introduce a slew of new features. According to McVicker, this includes a number of bug fixes that the fan base has long wanted, as well as improvements specific to the upcoming mobile device.
In the options, there is now the option to scale the interface and thus adapt it to higher pixel densities. At the same time, resolution is supported with additional aspect ratios, including 21:9, and the corresponding field-of-view settings. This means that alternative solutions can be dispensed with in the future. Oddly enough, McVicker explains, the aspect ratio of the resolution and HUD can be set separately.
There is also new support for the Vulkan API, which, unlike Microsoft DirectX, can be used natively in Linux and speeds up games there. Since Portal 2 came with Vulkan support at the beginning of the year, it can be assumed that Valve will update all of its recent games based on the source engine for Linux and Steam Deck.
Good reasons to update
After Valve started checking games on Steam for compatibility with Steam Deck and clearly showing the result, this improvement seems almost mandatory. On the one hand, it provides other developers with explanatory materials in the form of a typical work, potential buyers with evidence of the seriousness of the publisher, and on the other hand, by hand with a greater scope. With Steam Deck hardware only having limited performance, Valves are really old, but basically timeless games in this respect that are perfect for mobile playback.