It’s a well-established fact that these days, you can run id Software’s first Doom game on basically anything, from a potato to a pregnancy test kit. Recently, one Redditor that goes by the handle zbios, recently succeeded in doing something similar in the DIY spirit: running Half-Life 2 on a Raspberry Pi 4 and Apple M2 Silicon.
Now, before you start thinking that this is some new trend where gamers and DIY enthusiasts are starting a new trend of trying to get Half-Life 2 to run on any electronic device, that not the case. Fact of the matter is, the Redditor simply wanted to see if Valve’s Source Engine, the engine that powers the entire game, was able to run on the ARM platform. To that end, the Raspberry Pi 4 wasn’t the component they wanted to run it on, but the Apple M2 Macbook Air that they had.
Half-Life 2 Running on Raspberry Pi 4 Natively from HalfLife
That being said, zbios was successful in getting Half-Life 2 running on the M2 Macbook Air, but the experience wasn’t, as the saying goes, smooth sailing. With its graphics set to a mix of low and high settings, and at 1280 x 720, the game was only able to eke out anything between 15 and 20 fps. After bumping the resolution up to Full HD, that average framerate dropped to below the 10 fps mark. The barely playable framerates aside, the exercise did prove that the Source Engine is capable of running on an ARM-based platform. As an extra added bonus, the experiement was conducted on a Linux OS.
zbios explains that his experiment with the Source Engine started with the leak of the Team Fortress 2 source code in 2018, which then led to the Valve’s game engine being made free via GitHub. From there, modders also began using the Raspberry Pi (RP) build to modify the game for Apple’s M2 silicon, on which it showed an enormous amount of potential.
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