Quake II RTX, Nvidia’s shiny new tech demo that brings path-tracing (basically ray tracing) to the classic FPS, is now available on Steam and nvidia.com as a free download.
Owners of 1997’s third best shooter (Goldeneye and Turok were also released in 1997) can play the entirety of the game with path-tracing enabled, while everyone else can still enjoy the first three levels.
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It’s remarkable how much of a step-up the game is graphically. It’s the same old Quake II, but with fancier shadows, reflections and refractions as part of the path tracing algorithm. The game looks far more modern, and it’s a startling example of exactly of what ray tracing and algorithms like it can do for a game.
Also, as the multiplayer and cooperative modes of the game can also be played with the path tracing, it might provide a little boost to those wanting some retro shooter multiplayer, too.
Related: What is ray tracing?
“We are giving Quake II back to gamers with a bold new look, as Quake II RTX,” said Matt Wuebbling, head of GeForce marketing at the graphics giant in a blog post. “Ray tracing is the technology that is defining the next generation of PC games, and it’s fitting that Quake II is a part of that.”
Good news, after a cursory lunch-time play, is that it’s still a cracking time charging through claustrophobic spaces unleashing firepower to beat back the villainous Strogg. It’s a strong marketing move from Nvidia, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be taking advantage of this to have a blast through a pretty version of one of the most memorable shooters from the pre-millenium era.
What else are you going to use that shiny new RTX card for, anyway?