NVIDIA and 4A games offer glimpse of the future with Metro Exodus RTX demo

The RTX press demo shown at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany is now available to the public in high quality.

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Undoubtedly the biggest PC gaming hardware news of the year took place late last month when NVIDIA took the wraps off it’s newest generation of gaming GPUs. The GeForce RTX series will become the fastest graphics cards on the market when they release this week. In addition to impressive performance on current titles, NVIDIA has put an enormous amount of focus on the GPUs’ ability to accelerate ray-traced rendering modes via Microsoft’s new DirectX Ray-Tracing API (DXR). While NVIDIA had many new games to demo the possibilities of its RTX cards, the most impressive showing may have been from 4A Games’ upcoming Metro: Exodus.

Metro: Exodus is slated to arrive in early 2019 after it was delayed by publisher Deep SIlver. This extra development time is being put to good use as the team is implementing RTX features into the game, specifically ray-traced lighting. A new, high-quality trailer has been released by NVIDIA that goes into detail about how the new rendering mode works and what it can do to improve the realism and immersion in Metro: Exodus.

The six-minute demo offers a variety of scenes with the RTX lighting enabled and disabled for comparison. Unlike the traditional rasterization rendering method, the RTX mode allows the developers to illuminate a scene using a single light source (in many cases, the sun) instead of having to use tricks, such as pre-baked textures and invisible fake lights. Because the RTX mode calculates each individual ray of light as viewed from the camera, it is incredibly demanding on hardware.

At this time, Metro: Exodus will only be able to make use of the lighting enhancements, rather than the full array of RTX features. Similarly, DICE’s Battlefield 5 will only be using the reflections feature with its RTX mode. Fully ray-traced scenes in games are still a ways off, but will be arriving faster than you think due to this massive advancement in computing power.

The performance embargo on GeForce RTX GPUs is expected to be lifted sometime tomorrow.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

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