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<pre><pre>Quake II RTX is the perfect ray tracing demo and it's free next week

Ray Tracing is not the easiest of technologies to explain if you don't have a monster PC in front of you and even if you do, game support is currently limited and heavily burdensome with high resolutions. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to manipulate a detailed environment in real time and see how its lighting interacts realistically with every object in the scene, which is the ultimate goal.

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Fortunately, the technology is just as cool as applied to 22-year-old first-person shooters – and in some ways cooler. The mega-hit from Id Software Quake II was modified earlier this year by Rayoph Schied with ray tracing, and now Nvidia publishes the project as Quake II RTX. I just played it for a while at the Nvidia headquarters in Taipei and was really impressed.

Quake II is a very simple game according to current graphic standards, which means that the extraordinary visual effects occur Quake II RTX stand out even more. Things like the subtle fall-off of light flowing through a window or the reflections on a weapon have a creepy realistic effect that clearly could not be displayed in real time, just a few years ago, let alone 1997.

For clarity, it's not just ray tracing that turns the game into a visual stunner: it has new textures, gun models, and so on. But most assets are the same, and it is clearly still Quake II – just a bizarre dreamland version of Quake II with mathematically accurate lighting.

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

Nvidia releases the first three levels Quake II RTX free, in shareware style, on June 6 and the full game is available to anyone with a copy Quake II. It currently costs $ 4.99 on Steam. However, you need a Nvidia RTX GPU to perform it.