November 4, 2019 | 13:40
For a brief time, there was hope that the PC release of Red Dead Redemption 2 would have ray tracing; that hope has now been vanquished.
The rumour was sparked when Nvidia posted some screenshots of Red Dead Redemption 2 in 4K on the PC - screenshots with a GeForce RTX logo in the corner. Understandably, given that RTX graphics cards support ray tracing thanks to their onboard RT Cores, there was hope and speculation that Red Dead Redemption 2 might be added to the small list of titles that support the technology.
We now know, however, that that's not happening. While Rockstar Games' massively popular western shows off some rather impressive lighting effects in the screenshots we've seen so far, Nvidia has confirmed in a tweet that the RTX logo was just there to highlight its RTX 20-series graphics cards and wasn't insight into the technology that Red Dead Redemption 2 utilises.
Admittedly, it was fairly unlikely given no mention had been made of ray tracing before and the "correct" label is RTX On rather than a typical RTX logo. Still, it was good to dream, wasn't it?
Ray tracing - in case you haven't read all about it last month - is a lifelike way of rendering light and shadows in a game. It simulates and tracks every ray of light produced by lighting to more accurately simulate how it would look in real life. The rendering horsepower required is quite vast and there's a trade-off when it comes to frame rates, but it can make quite a visual difference when gaming.
Fortunately, as it stands, Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC looks pretty impressive anyhow. Compared to its console counterpart, it offers better draw distances, more realistic textures, and better shadows and lighting (albeit unaided by ray tracing).
There's also the not-so-small matter of mod support too, which is sure to whip up some fantastically unique experiences, much like mods for Grand Theft Auto V did before it.
For now, if you're extra keen for a game with ray tracing, your best options lie with Battlefield V, Control, Quake II, Metro Exodus, or Call of Duty Modern Warfare.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is out on PC on November 5th. Yes, tomorrow!
January 24 2020 | 12:00