Nvidia and id Software are bringing real-time ray tracing to Quake 2, officially. The release, known as Quake 2 RTX, will be available as a free download for Linux and Windows PC on June 6. Nvidia promises “top-to-bottom enhancements that improve virtually every aspect” of the 1997 first-person shooter.
“We’re massive fans of the original, and even-bigger fans of technology, so when presented with the opportunity to remaster a classic game with all that ray tracing can offer, we jumped at the chance,” Nvidia said on its website. “Quake II RTX demonstrates the possibilities of ray tracing, and offers a glimpse at the future of gaming, with realistic real-time lighting, shadows and effects.”
Those visual effects include, but are not limited to, the following enhancements, according to Nvidia:
Improved Global Illumination rendering, with three selectable quality presets, including two-bounce GI
Time of day options that radically change the appearance of some levels
New weapon models & textures
Real-time reflectivity of the player and weapon model on water and glass surfaces, and player model shadows, for owners of the complete game (the original Shareware release does not include player models)
All 3,000+ original game textures have been updated with a mix of Q2XP mod-pack textures and our own enhancements
Updated effects with new sprites and particle animations
Dynamic lighting for items such as blinking lights, signs, switches, elevators and moving objects
You can see Quake 2 RTX in action in the video above. The first three levels of the game will be released for free on June 6 for everyone. Those who already own a copy of Quake 2 can play the full campaign and multiplayer mode by downloading the remastered update. Nvidia recommends a GeForce RTX 2060 or higher in order to play Quake 2 RTX.