RTX: 10 upcoming or popular games that will support real-time ray tracing

Nvidia released an exciting video detailing their plans for real-time ray tracing, or RTX, in a robust selection of upcoming (and very ambitious) games. The term "ray tracing" has been thrown around a lot recently, and it may not be a surprise to you that these games support it. But what we found really interesting about Nvidia's video is the fact that it breaks down that not all games use the same RTX tech.

By the way, we know RTX is used in front of GPUs, too (RTX 2060, 2070, and so on), so we don't blame you if you're a bit confused. RTX used on its own is Nvidia's official monicer for real-time ray tracing, but when used in front of a 2080, for example, it's just a graphics card. Don't think about it too hard.

But I digress. Not all of these upcoming games use the complete ray tracing package. Some only use it on shadows, some in reflections, and some were built with the whole kit and caboodle. While it is exciting that Nvidia confirmed these games will use RTX, it's also very interesting that we now know how specifically RTX will be utilized in each. Let's dive in.

Minecraft

There has been a very reliable third-party method for setting up real-time ray tracing in Minecraft for a while, but now there's an official RTX update coming for the title. If you're impatient, you can always set it up yourself using that method. You just aren't forced to at this point. And it is beautiful. That's a weird thing to say when talking about a game like Minecraft, but the shading and clearly reflective water are nothing short of impressive. It feels like a new game. While the video didn't explicitly say one way or another, it sounds like Minecraft will utilize the full RTX suite.

Metro Exodus: The Two Colonels

Metro Exodus launched in Feb. 2019, and it's been a gorgeous game since day one. Its upcoming expansion, however, The Two Colonels, will feature RTX technology. Point lighting, volumetric lighting, and emmisive lighting are the three RTX features utilized in this DLC, with emissive lighting being the most unique. This tech is used from objects that emit their own light, and RTX will enable the lighting in the room or area around them to accurately shift as the object emiting light moves. You can see this most plainly when a zombie is lit on fire. Terrifying, but you have to admire the developer gymnastics required to make it look so good.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

The upcoming Call of Duty title uses the least hardware-intensive RTX feature of them all with ray traced shadows. As it so happens, this is the perfect feature for Modern Warfare to utilize. When compared to previous Call of Duty titles, this one will be slower and will be filled with more dramatic levels. Some of those levels will take place at night or in the dark, amping up the drama factor. Seeing the shadows bounce around operatives as they move at night and cross in front of dim or directional lighting adds a level of incomparable realism with shadows.

Control


Control is another title that fully utilizes the complete RTX suite. With the entire environment surrounding the player being destructible, there's no shortage of awesome lighting scenarios that you can stumble across at any given moment in the game. A rock passing by can intercept and change a shadow while simultaneously causing a ripple in a sun ray pointing down at you, and there are plenty of flashy animations and lights coming from your own fingertips that can get a lot out of emmersive lighting RTX, too. This game is going to attempt to push the RTX envelope as far as it can.

Watch Dogs Legion


Watch Dogs takes great advantage of new ray tracing reflection technology. Walking down the streets of a sci-fi dystopian London means one thing—tons and tons of neon. Don't ask how those two things correlate, it's not important. But since there's so much neon in the rainy city of London, that means there are plenty of opportunities to see beautiful and bright reflections in various puddles and windows throughout the streets.

Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2

Bloodlines 2 is in almost the exact same boat. It also takes control of new RTX reflection tech, and it's in the rainy city of Seattle, WA rather than a rainy London. Again, there are plenty of puddles and simple damp spots that can be lit up in the ever-present night by street lights, but instead of an endless sea of neon, this Seattle setting feels more noire than dystopian. 

Dying Light 2

Nvidia was rather vague with its showcase of Dying Light 2, not specifically saying what developers Techland Publishing would be utilizing with RTX technology. It's possible that it's the whole suite, but we were able to pinpoint at least RTX emissive lighting from the short gameplay clip shone in Nvidia's video, so you can look forward to that at the very least.

Synced - Off-Planet


Synced: Off-Planet is a rapid speed zombie horde game, made by a relatively small development team but backed by the massive Tencent, who backs or owns many, many other popular games on the market. Synced doesn't utilize the entire RTX suite, but it does utilize both ray-traced shadows and ray-traced reflections, making some of the more crowded encounters with zombies seem unnervingly realistic. But then they die and explode into purple bloody messed, reminding you that it is, in fact, not real.

Cyberpunk 2077


Nvidia calls Cyberpunk the "be-all and end-all" of real-time ray tracing for good reason. The game looks damn gorgeous, and it utilizes the full RTX technology suite. It's touted as a revolutionary and genre-defining title, and thanks to RTX, its lighting technology will hold up to that impossibly high standard, at the very least.