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Quake 2 RTX demo from NVIDIA's GTC 2019 session is gorgeous

Quake 2 gets a fresh new coat of RTX paint in the demo NVIDIA showed off during the GDC 2019 session.


Some PC gamers hover on the bleeding edge of technology, pushing modern titles to their limits with the best performance via the newest hardware around. Occasionally, though, new technology can be used to breathe life into some industry classics. Such is the case in a demo shown by NVIDIA during GDC 2019, where the team demoed an updated version of Quake 2 powered by the company's RTX tech.

Quake 2 launched in 1997, serving as a sequel to one of the games that revolutionized the gaming industry with an engrossing first-person shooter experience. Naturally, much has changed since its debut and you can see what the series has evolved into using modern tech and ideas with Quake Champions, but seeing Quake 2 itself recreated with modern tech is a magical experience.

The NVIDIA RTX Quake 2 demo features a version of the game that includes real-time ray traced global illumination and reflections, dynamic direct and indirect lighting effects, mimicked physical material light reflection properties, and volumetric lighting effects. One major change that would seem insignificant to gamers raised with more modern gaming experiences is that these changes allow the realistic experience of glass in one of the Quake 2 maps. In the original game, glass looked like a transparent piece of plastic, but the new tech gives it its reflective properties and realistic appearance.

If you watch the full Quake 2 RTX demo form GDC 2019, you'll also get a pretty cool treat at the end. The team didn't just remake the map, they added in a few weapons and some new effects. The team shows off a rocket launcher and the legendary BFG before closing out the demo. Hopefully, someone takes this on as a project and remake Quake 2 top to bottom.

Quake 2 RTX demo NVIDIA screenshot GDC 2019

GDC 2019 is nearly over and there are tons of announcements that have already happened along with some still on the way. Stay tuned to Shacknews for additional gaming and tech updates.

Charles Singletary Jr keeps the updates flowing as the News Editor, breaking stories while investigating the biggest topics in gaming and technology. He's pretty active on Twitter, so feel free to reach out to him @The_CSJR. Got a hot tip? Email him at

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