Quake II RTX is the perfect ray tracing demo, and it’s out for free next week

Lightning tracking is not the easiest technology to explain if you do not have a monstrous PC in front of you, and even if you do, game support is currently limited and extremely demanding at high resolutions. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to manipulate a detailed environment in real time and see how their lighting interacts realistically with each object in the scene, which is the ultimate goal.

Fortunately, the technology turns out to be so cool when applied to the first-person shooter of 22 years, and in some ways, cooler. The great success of Id Software Quake II was modified to run with ray tracing earlier this year by Christoph Schied, and now Nvidia is launching the project as Quake II RTX . I played it for a while at the Nvidia headquarters in Taipei and I was really impressed.

Quake II is a very simple game according to the graphic standards of today, which makes the extraordinary visual effects of Quake II RTX stand out even more. Things like the subtle fall of light that flows through a window or the reflections in a weapon have an incredibly realistic effect that clearly would not have been possible to reproduce in real time a few years ago, no matter 1997.

To be clear, it is not just the ray tracing that makes the game a visual stunner: it has new textures, weapons models, etc. But most of the assets are the same, and obviously it is still Quake II – just a strange dream version of Quake II with mathematically precise lighting.

The implementation of ray tracing is possibly more complete than the latest high-profile games that support the Nvidia RTX series GPUs, because they tend to focus on a single element, such as shadows or reflections. Everything feels consistent with Quake II RTX and it's also much easier to run at high resolutions and frame rates.

Nvidia will release the first three levels of Quake II RTX for free, shareware style, on June 6, and the full game will be available to anyone with a copy of Quake II . Right now that costs $ 4.99 on Steam. However, you will need an Nvidia RTX GPU to run it.

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