Ray tracing isn’t the simplest of applied sciences to clarify in case you don’t have a monster PC proper in entrance of you, and even in case you do, sport help is at the moment restricted and vastly taxing at excessive resolutions. Not everybody has the posh of with the ability to manipulate an in depth surroundings in actual time and see how its lighting realistically interacts with each object within the scene, which is the final word finish purpose.
Luckily, the tech seems to be simply as cool when utilized to 22-year-old first-person shooters — and in some methods, cooler. Id Software program’s mega-hit Quake II was modified to run with ray tracing earlier this yr by Christoph Schied, and now Nvidia is releasing the challenge as Quake II RTX. I simply performed it for some time at Nvidia’s Taipei headquarters and got here away actually impressed.
Quake II is a quite simple sport by at present’s graphical requirements, which makes the extraordinary visible results in Quake II RTX stand out much more. Issues just like the delicate falloff of sunshine streaming by means of a window or the reflections on a weapon have an uncannily sensible impact that clearly wouldn’t have been attainable to render in actual time only a few years in the past, by no means thoughts 1997.
To be clear, it’s not simply ray tracing that converts the sport into a visible stunner: it has new textures, gun fashions, and so forth. However a lot of the belongings are the identical, and it’s clearly nonetheless Quake II — only a weird dreamland model of Quake II with mathematically correct lighting.
The ray tracing implementation is arguably extra full than most up-to-date high-profile video games that help Nvidia’s RTX-series GPUs, as a result of they have an inclination to concentrate on a single ingredient equivalent to shadows or reflections. The whole lot feels in line with Quake II RTX, and it’s additionally loads simpler to run it at excessive resolutions and body charges.
Nvidia is releasing the primary three ranges of Quake II RTX at no cost, shareware-style, on June sixth, and the total sport will likely be obtainable to anybody with a replica of Quake II. Proper now that prices $4.99 on Steam. You’ll, nonetheless, want an RTX GPU from Nvidia to run it.