Home Gaming Get a closer look at what ray-tracing brings to Metro: Exodus

Get a closer look at what ray-tracing brings to Metro: Exodus

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What ray tracing brings to Metro Exodus

Last month when Nvidia announced their three new RTX 20-series graphics cards designed from the ground up to deliver real-time ray-tracing for the first time, one of the biggest games on hand for a demo of the tech was Metro: Exodus. The demo on stage highlighted how ambient occlusion and global illumination could be better handled using ray-tracing and not relying on lighting artists to pinpoint direct point lights in a scene to simulate the effect, which has admittedly become very close to the real deal over time. But with an even closer look at Metro: Exodus running with ray-tracing, it’s clear how much more accurate the technology makes every facet of lighting.

The new demo spans four minutes longer than the previous one, and features 4A employee Ben Archard explaining how every scene works and exactly what is being improved using ray-tracing operations. If you’re unfamiliar with ray-tracing, it’s essentially a method allowing games to send out thousands of invisible rays into a scene and return object data back to a source even if the objects themselves are off screen. Using per pixel rays allows lighting to be represented in a much more accurate manner, as mixing of light sources and reflections are calculated in the same manner as real life.

Previously game developers have had to depend on rasterization, which has been the standard for years now in the industry. It prevented games from obtaining information about objects not current;y within view of the camera, as their renderers would be disabled to save computational memory and processing. This meant lighting could never react to anything that wasn’t currently being shown on screen, which greatly limited reflections unless smart, cheating solutions were found to simulate them. Ray-tracing has required Nvidia to redesign their cards entirely, and it comes at a premium, but it’ll probably be the standard to hit going forward in the next few years.

Nvidia’s first RTX card drops tomorrow, with the RTX 2080 hitting shelves for consumers. The RTX 2080Ti has been delayed into next week, while the RTX 2070 is out sometime later this year.

Last Updated: September 19, 2018


  1. When this becomes a standard, I hope we get another F.E.A.R. game utilizing it to full creative potential.


    • Pariah

      September 19, 2018 at 10:56

      I would totally buy that. And adult diapers for when I play it.


  2. konfab

    September 19, 2018 at 10:54

    But can that card run a ray-traced version of Crysis?


    • Magoo

      September 19, 2018 at 11:21

      Yeah, at 60 seconds per frame.


  3. Pariah

    September 19, 2018 at 10:58

    I’m honestly still in awe of the fact that they have Raytracing in real-time, on a consumer level. Sure, high-end consumers only for now. But it’s still a technical marvel, and beautiful to behold.


  4. G8crasha

    September 19, 2018 at 11:16

    While I can marvel at the technology, even though I don’t fully understand the technicalities, what draws me to most games is the story and/or game mechanics. As a noob gamer, graphics meant everything to me. Now that I am a more mature gamer, and time is of the essence due to the trappings of Adult Life, I would rather sit and play an average looking game that has a great storyline and/or great game mechanics. I loved The Witcher 3, an even though graphically, it was up there with the best, the drawcard for me was the game world and story!


    • Magoo

      September 19, 2018 at 11:18

      But imagine Witcher with RTC.


    • geel slang

      September 19, 2018 at 12:02

      True, but Nvidia dont make games, they do hardware, and its their job to keep moving forward. What developers do with that tech is up to them.


  5. Yondaime

    September 19, 2018 at 11:41

    YAAAY, i’ll get to experience this in 2035 when the Graphics cards are normal price XD


  6. Viper_ZA

    September 19, 2018 at 12:00

    Very pretty but my 1080ti will have to do the job. Not paying R25k for a GPU.


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