Not content with their Wolfenstein: Youngblood RTX
bundle, NVIDIA also announces
that on June 6th they will release Quake II RTX
as a free download. This brings
the 20+ year-old shooter into the modern age with ray-tracing support. Word is:
"Quake II RTX includes the first three single-player levels of the beloved PC
gaming classic. Gamers that already own Quake II can experience the whole game
in its entirety, including multiplayer deathmatch and cooperative multiplayer
modes, all fully path traced."
details on remastering the game, while the
official announce trailer
offers a look at all the new graphical effects in action. Here's more on what
path tracing and Vulkan are adding to this rerelease:
stunning new look of the classic game is achieved by a ray-tracing technique
known as path tracing, which traces light rays (paths) through the scene in a
way that unifies all lighting effects into a single ray-traced algorithm. This
elegant form of rendering is used in computer graphics in films but has
previously been too expensive for games.
The lighting effects in Quake II RTX are so advanced they require hardware
support for ray tracing, such as the specialized RT Cores found in the Turing™
architecture and NVIDIA GeForce RTX™ GPUs, to run in real time. The minimum
specification for running Quake II RTX in real time is a GeForce RTX 2060 GPU.
New levels of realism seen in Quake II RTX include real-time, high-dynamic range
time of day lighting, with accurate sun light and indirect illumination.
Physically based materials are rendered accurately. For example, water and glass
refract light accurately, emissive surfaces get dramatic soft lighting effects,
surfaces deliver accurate reflections and light sources illuminate surrounding
objects. Weapon model details and textures have also been increased, and an
improved denoiser has been added to increase image quality.
Quake II RTX uses NVIDIA VKRay™, an extension that allows any developer using
the Vulkan API to add ray-traced effects to their games. Building on Q2VKPT, a
version of the game created by Christoph Schied using the open-sourced Quake II
game engine, Quake II RTX is a pure ray-traced game that runs on a Vulkan
renderer with support for Linux.
“Quake II RTX demonstrates that the Vulkan API with real-time ray tracing can be
used to create stunning gaming experiences using some of the most advanced
rendering techniques available to game developers,” said Neil Trevett, president
of the Khronos Group and vice president of developer ecosystems at NVIDIA. “And,
having Quake II RTX available as a free download makes it accessible to both
Windows and Linux gamers everywhere.”