Just after Computex, NVIDIA released Quake II RTX, a new take on the classic that infuses ray tracing into the engine. The result is pretty impressive, with the real-time lighting effect delivering believable, and perhaps more immersive, environments. Of course, ray tracing isn’t light on computation (pun intended), so the faster your GPU, the better the experience. Right now, the best experience belongs with NVIDIA’s RTX cards, thanks to their inclusion of ray tracing accelerators (RT cores).
Quake II RTX
After Quake II RTX was released, the reaction seemed to be pretty good around the web, which is interesting since we’re dealing with such an aging game here. People really do love nostalgia, though, especially when you can put that nostalgia in a new light (sorry). The game’s release led many to wonder: “What other classic games would look good with ray tracing?”
In the previous post, I mentioned that Duke Nukem 3D would be a great game to be infused with ray tracing, but there are honestly a countless number of games that would be vastly improved with it. When I learned of AMID EVIL last night, I felt like it would have been a great game to infuse ray tracing into, because it features a ton of eye candy throughout. Plus, while it’s based on UE4, it blends old with new, and looks pretty sweet overall (I definitely plan to test it out soon).
One redditor yesterday posted about Alien vs. Predator being a great candidate for ray tracing, and I would have to agree – it seems perfect. When that game came out, I didn’t have a PC capable of running it, but a friend did, and I will never forget my first impressions with the game. The graphics were simply stunning. I remember thinking that I couldn’t believe just how good gaming graphics became. Of course, all this time later, those same graphics are almost laughable by today’s standards, but the same goes for Quake II, yet it still managed to be improved with ray tracing.
1999’s Aliens vs. Predator
Half-Life seems like another obvious choice, though I personally find it hard to choose between the original or the sequels to be blessed with ray tracing. Or how about Forsaken or Descent? Those shooters could look downright stunning with ray tracing.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
But, it doesn’t just have to be first-person shooters that are treated to ray tracing. I think back to eye candy-packed racing games like Rollcage or Re-volt, and can only imagine how cool they’d look with updated technologies.
At this point, the most unfortunate thing about ray tracing is that AMD has confirmed its own solution is a few years off. The company has used the excuse that the market just isn’t ready for it yet, but I’d have to argue against that considering a handful of AAA titles (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Cyberpunk 2077, to name two big ones) were unveiled to have ray tracing support at last week’s E3. We’d expect that NVIDIA’s next-gen parts will only improve things, and AMD isn’t supposed to have anything available until two generations from now.
That all said, we do know that AMD has something in the works, and it’ll surely work just fine with DXR just like NVIDIA’s RTX does. That should mean that once AMD does unveil its own solution, previous content only available on RTX should also work on AMD’s solution. We’d hope so, anyway. By that time, we might actually have the computational horsepower to increase resolution beyond 1080p for modern games.