Portal with RTX now has a release date, so anyone with a) a copy of Portal on Steam and b) a ray tracing-capable graphics card will be able to explore a freshly polished Aperture Science from December 8th.
If you missed its reveal during the Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 series launch event, Portal with RTX is free DLC for Portal that adds both fully ray traced lighting/reflection effects and DLSS upscaling support. The latter includes DLSS 3, so if you’ve early-adopted an RTX 4090 or RTX 4080, you’ll also be able to use the latest version’s new frame generation function to boost framerates even higher. And that’s rarely a bad thing when demanding RT effects are having the opposite effect. Nvidia themselves have released a new trailer, showing all this new graphical whizz-banging in action:
Mmm, yes, pretty swish indeed. The ray tracing looks like it may have been toned down from the original, reflection-drenched reveal, but that’s not a complaint: I think anything too lustrous would have conflicted with the slight grottiness that makes Portal’s test chambers look Portallish.
Portal with RTX was put together by Nvidia’s in-house Lightspeed Studios using RTX Remix, a set of modding tools designed to add modern graphics features (like ray tracing and DLSS) to older games. It’s based around employing the AI smarts of RTX 40 series GPUs to add new effects and even textures almost automatically, so while a cynical mind could think of RTX Remix’s true purpose as being a driver of graphics card sales, it could still be a very interesting addition to PC modding if the results are good.
We’ll be able to judge for ourselves on December 8th. Portal with RTX’s Steam page confirms you don’t strictly need an Nvidia RTX GPU to run it, just one with DirectX ray tracing support, though performance will be much higher if you can enable DLSS while you’re at it. Especially so with DLSS 3; the trailer suggests this can nearly quintuple performance versus running Portal RTX at native resolution, which seems kinda fanciful to me, though I have seen DLSS 3 triple the frames-per-second count in Cyberpunk 2077 and F1 22. That ain’t nothing.