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No anti-aliasing in Half-Life 2?

Multisampling, supersampling, centroid sampling. And subrects.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Half-Life 2 may be one of the prettiest and most interactive-looking titles anyone's ever seen, but it won't immediately benefit from anti-aliasing graphics card tech, as noted on a forum thread over at According to Valve's Gary McTaggart, "you wouldn't want to run the game with AA enabled... you'd see some pretty bad artefacts."

Later on, in a post worthy of the mighty John Carmack's infamous .plan, fans were told that "Drivers aren't likely to fix the problem, with the exception of the ATI 9500-9800. There's hope there for being able to use FSAA properly. You are out of luck on NVIDIA unless either NVIDIA or us come up with some clever way of solving this problem."

According to sources quoted at Blue's News, "The problem is specifically with multisample antialiasing on any card that uses multisample antialiasing. If you use supersampling you should be fine. Actually, this problem has existed for any game that uses light maps that are packed into a subrect (like Quake 3, etc). You will be able to turn FSAA if you like (in the control panel for your video card), but it's likely to have artefacts on triangle boundaries. We don't recommend turning multisample antialiasing on for cards that don't have centroid sampling... your mileage may vary."

Still, having seen first hand how impressive the game looks at E3, we doubt anybody will be complaining about the state of Half-Life 2's visuals, anti-aliasing or no.

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