NVIDIA Remakes ‘Quake II’ with Stunning Ray-Traced Graphics, Gifts to PC Gamers

NVIDIA today announced that Quake II RTX will be available on GeForce.com as a free download on June 6.

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NVIDIA today announced that Quake II RTX will be available on GeForce.com as a free download on June 6. Quake II RTX is the world's first game that is fully path-traced, a ray-tracing technique that unifies all lighting effects such as shadows, reflections, refractions and more into a single ray-tracing algorithm.

NVIDIA Remakes ‘Quake II’ with Stunning Ray-Traced Graphics

 

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.

"Quake II RTX is an expression of our love and passion for PC gaming," said Matt Wuebbling, head of GeForce marketing at NVIDIA. "By applying next-generation ray-traced graphics technologies and using the Vulkan API, we are able to share this PC classic with a new generation of gamers who can download and play it for free."

Same Great Game, Stunning New Look

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.

NVIDIA Remakes ‘Quake II’ with Stunning Ray-Traced Graphics

 

New levels of realism seen in Quake II RTX include real-time, high-dynamic range time of daylighting, with accurate sunlight 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.

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