Next week, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Launches on PC! Many of you have asked for details about the technologies used and the system requirements. Today we’re answering those questions, plus we have some exciting new feature announcements.
To ensure a smooth dimension hopping experience, our team implemented DirectStorage 1.2 in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart for PC, including GPU decompression.
Richard van der Laan, Senior Lead Programmer at Nixxes Software, explains: “To enable fast loading and instant transition between dimensions, the game needs to be able to load assets quickly. DirectStorage ensures fast load times and GPU decompression is used at high graphics settings to stream assets in the background while gaming. Traditionally, this decompression is handled by the CPU, but at a certain point, there is an advantage to letting the GPU handle this, as this allows more bandwidth to stream assets from storage to the graphics card. We use this to quickly load high-quality textures and environments with a high level of detail.”
Lead Programmer Alex Bartholomeus: “For Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart on PC, we added adaptive streaming based on live measurement of available hardware bandwidth. This allows us to tailor the texture streaming strategy to get the best possible texture streaming in any setting. With DirectStorage, using fast GPU decompression and NVMe SSDs, this results in very responsive texture streaming even at the highest settings.”
DirectStorage was developed to take full advantage of the speed of fast PCIe NVMe SSDs, but the technology is also compatible with SATA SSDs and even traditional hard drives. This means that Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart for PC can use the same technology to load data, regardless of the storage device on your system.
Ambient occlusion with ray tracing and XeGTAO
In our initial announcement, we shared that Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart for PC will feature newly added ray-traced reflections and ray-traced shadows for outdoor natural light. Today we can reveal the addition of another option that will further enhance the realism of light in the game: Ray Traced Ambient Occlusion, with several quality levels to choose from.
Graphics programmer Menno Bil explains: “Ambient occlusion is a technique used in games to simulate how ambient lighting affects a scene. Ambient lighting is a form of indirect lighting: light reflected from other surfaces. This effect appears mainly in creases, crevices, and corners where the surfaces are close to each other. Commonly used AO techniques are SSAO (Screen Space Ambient Occlusion) and HBAO+ (Horizon Based Ambient Occlusion). These are not very demanding on the hardware, but they do not provide physically accurate results. RTAO further uses ray tracing to improve the realism of ambient occlusion in the game. We have implemented RTAO as an addition for those with high-end systems with ray tracing-capable hardware and processing power to spare.”
Menno and the team also implemented XeGTAO, Intel’s implementation of Ground-Truth Ambient Occlusion. Like SSAO and HBAO+, this solution is based on screen real estate. Therefore, this technique does not allow for the level of realism that RTAO has, but the cost of performance is much lower and comparable to the HBAO+ implementation. XeGTAO can be selected as an in-game option and works with graphics cards from all vendors.
“XeGTAO generates a very high-resolution ambient occlusion that shows even the smallest details of the geometry,” says Bil. “In general, the output quality of XeGTAO is very high and results in a nice appearance.”
Now that we have detailed all the features of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart for PC, it is time to tell you more about the system requirements. When making a PC version of a game, we do a lot of work on scalability. Additions like ray-traced shadows, ray-traced ambient occlusion, and triple display support are aimed at those with the latest and greatest hardware so they can boost their systems. With highly customizable graphics and features, we make the game adaptable to less powerful systems to make it accessible to as many players as possible. Below is an overview of the recommended specs for a variety of graphics presets.
While Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart can be enjoyed using an HDD and the minimum system requirements, we recommend players use an SSD in combination with the recommended system requirements or higher, to experience the dimension hopping gameplay characteristic of the game. game as originally intended.
Details on ray tracing support for AMD GPUs will be released soon