Nvidia Drops Some Major Ray-Traced Teasers Pre-Gamescom
Nvidia has made a spectacle at Gamecom 2018 with the announcement of the RTX Series, and now they are at it again. Gamescom has nary arrived and Nvidia is raising the gauntlet of ray-traced titles by including some major players not just in gaming but productivity workflow apps as well.
Minecraft, the RTX title you did not know you needed.
I think at this point most PC gamers are readily aware of Minecraft as it has served not just for teaching tool but a fun sandbox and even survival centric gameplay spanning several age groups. For full transparency, I myself have run my own personal Minecraft server which is just a creative free build environment to have fun. Never in my wildest dreams did I think Minecraft all those years ago would become what it has today.
Then add to this the announcements we see from Gamescom where Nvidia has worked with the Minecraft team and integration of RTX tech. We know this Gamescom is something that’s gonna be pivotal for gamers.
Here we have it, Minecraft, now (or soon) to employ DXR/RTX support allowing for proper lighting, shading and reflection techniques for RTX card owners. This has been somewhat possible previously with various shader and texture modifications that made the game exhibit various adjustable rates of realistic lighting with a heavy performance tax. I am interested to see once it is available how it will perform. One thing to note is that ‘realistic lighting’ or the such can be great buzzwords but don’t really create a mental image of the difference so you have that above. The non RTX image is vanilla Minecraft which has everything evenly lit in a similar manner. The RTX on image shows full path traced lighting and pretty strong light shafts/god rays. I do hope that is adjustable as while it is somewhat realistic the light shafts almost feel distracting to the environment like they are too prominent.
Here we have another representation of not just light shafts but the ambient illumination from the lava below. default the textures feel flat with very little if any light effects coming from the illuminated lava. When you switch to RTX enabled it is a stark difference in depth for the textures and realism along with the lighting creating what looks to be a more immersive environment. Before we step away from Minecraft to talk about some of the other game announcements, I want to say that if someone had told me that Minecraft was getting the RTX treatment. I likely would have replied with meh, or not really given it much of a thought as Minecraft had never really been about the visuals. However, after looking at the video and stills Nvidia showed off, it truly is a sight to be seen, and I am waiting very impatiently to give it a shot myself.
To close the Minecraft content, let’s show the trailer video below.
More Games, More RTX
Nvidia dropped a veritable bombshell of new titles coming that will support RTX/DXR features either straight out of the box or via updates. This has been met with some speculation even by myself as many games announced to have RTX features such as DLSS coming (PUBG, one I play regularly) is now a year into RTX availability and many of them still have not seen the updates for DXR based features.
Here is the list of the games as you see above:
- Wolfenstein Youngblood
- Dying Light 2
- Minecraft (As mentioned previously)
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
- Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2
- Watchdogs Legion
- Synced: Off Planet
Being the games listed in the image above are new titles or DLC’s with the exception of Wolfenstein Youngblood and Minecraft, I will expect that the DXR/RTX implementation will come baked in or at least I really hope to be how good the upcoming screen grabs are showing it to be.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, probably one of the most iconic titles from years past has gotten its own remake/reboot. Now the question becomes is it a worthy reboot, only time will tell. Having DXR/RTX enabled as you see in the screenshot allows some nice looking lighting and makes for a more immersive environment. I have said before when talking on RTX content but it bears repeating, for story mode, I think RTX is great as you can take in the ambiance. For multi[player which most FPS players enjoy, I’m not sure if similar to Battlefield V many players will opt for the much higher FPS with DXR/RTX disabled.
Watch Dogs LEgion is another one that looks like it will be taking full advantage of the lighting and reflection effects offered by full ray/path tracing offered by DXR/RTX.
Here we have the Nvidia supplied RTX ON/OFF demonstration. While the RTX off scene still looks plenty nice, so users of non-RTX cards will still have a fulfilling experience with the title, when switching RTX on, it simply brings things to a completely new level where the depth and immersive nature of the scene from the light scatter and reflection quality fo any surface deemed reflective looks admittedly stunning. I think for those choosing Watchdogs Legion, in RTX if this look holds true to the actual gameplay will be one of the proofs needed to show hold outs that RTX may be worth diving into.
Synced Off-planet is a title I am admittedly not very familiar with but the reflections shown in the single scene look damn good. This almost looks like a Ring of Elysium style PUBG clone which may be something worth looking at, if further gameplay looks compelling to me.
Lastly, of course, is Nvidia touting the RTX content available now/soon. This is part of their current game bundle with control, then we have a DLC for Metro Exodus that will add far more RTX effects than what we have seen already with its lighting effects.
Nvidia once again had some really cool announcements for Gamescom, while it’s not new graphics hardware, it is more content to fulfill some of those RTX owners waiting for new RTX content to put their cards to work.
What do you think? What game are you excited about from above? Is there a game you would like to see RTX come into?