Nvidia wants everyone to know that real-time ray tracing isn't just for people with the most expensive graphics cards or developers with the backing of big-budget publishers. The company today revealed updated PC requirements for Control, the upcoming action-adventure title developed by Remedy Entertainment coming out August 27.
Control will debut on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Remedy said on its website that the game "will challenge you to master a combination of supernatural abilities, modifiable loadouts and reactive environments" after a secret government agency in New York is invaded by "an otherworldly threat." We wouldn't be surprised if that meant the game relied on a lot of atmospheric horror--which is where ray-tracing can shine.p
A quick refresher: ray tracing is a rendering technique capable of generating increasingly photorealistic graphics with better lighting and shadows than other rendering techniques. It requires a lot of performance, though, and most ray tracing was pre-rendered using powerful systems. Nvidia introduced real-time ray tracing with its RTX graphics cards to make it more accessible to game developers and ideally enable better in-game graphics from there.
Nvidia is currently bundling Control and Wolfenstein: Youngblood with qualifying RTX graphics cards via the Super Fast Supernatural Bundle; details about the promotion can be found on Nvidia's website (opens in new tab).
Control Recommended Specs
Note that Remedy doesn't expect people to buy the most expensive RTX graphics cards to enjoy Control--an RTX 2060 will be enough to enable ray tracing. More details about the title's required and recommended specs are below.
Photo Credits: Nvidia
Graphically, I don't think I'd mind playing it without RTX.
The third screenshot doesn't even make sense: why can't you have the shadows off the grills on the pipe? If the level is static (won't move or change) then this could be done way back in quake 2. The real use for ray-tracing is to have dynamic moving shadows, like the imps in Doom 3.
It's sad, really, because PhysX on hardware could enable so many cool gameplay opportunities, if games could depend on it. Also, more GPUs could be sold, second cards for physics effects could become normal, etc. But limiting it to CPU simulation with Radeon cards mean devs can't make a game around it, limiting the appeal to... papers on the ground.
Nvidia can have all the top tech they want, going the proprietary route means not just us consumers, but they lose too.
You can't see how much clearer her reflection is in the second image or how you can see a reflection of the ceiling in the 3rd image?
Granted being able to see the reflection of the ceiling in a puddle probably wouldn't help you telekinetically rend a foe in twain ... unless the enemy is hiding on the ceiling spiderman style, in which case we torch the room because spiders hate fire.
Playing without RTX is perfectly fine as long as you accept that puddles will always be a shade of gray.
Edit: Or a blurry bitmap of what the developer thinks you should see
It would be poor game design for extra graphical options to make a difference in playability, especially when most people can't use them.