Tuesday, May 11, 2021
HomeGamingInside Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition: the first triple-A ray tracing game

Inside Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition: the first triple-A ray tracing game

This is it: the first triple-A game release that will only work on ray tracing capable graphics hardware. Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition takes the real-time RT global illumination of the initial PC release, improves it to an almost generational degree and hands in a game that actually runs faster than its predecessor. We’re looking at the PC version today but you can see the groundwork laid here for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series renditions to follow later this year. Put simply, Metro Exodus was my number one title for ‘best graphics 2019’ and this enhanced edition takes an excellent game to the next level – and in fact, some might say it’s our first look at the multi-platform game engines of tomorrow built from the ground-up with RT features in mind.

At the basic level, the enhanced edition takes the original 2019 version of Metro Exodus and revamps the engine to support ray traced global illumination along with a host of additional RT-based features. Further enhancements come from the additional of VRS – variable rate shading – along with Nvidia DLSS 2.1 AI upscaling, along with a temporal upscaling option best suited for AMD GPUs. The smart money suggests that this is the kind of scaling technology which we’re likely to see deployed on the console versions (where both PS5 and Series X target 60fps output).

So, how has RT been improved? Put simply, the original Metro Exodus shipped with single bounce global illumination from the sun combined with ray traced ambient occlusion for all indoor areas. It looked great in comparison to the default real-time GI system that was already in place for the rasterised version of the game. However, the new RT system was added midway through development, so 4A Games had to essentially develop the game with two lighting schemes in mind. For the new Metro, the standard rasterised versions of each map – including all individually, artist-placed lights – are gone. The tricks, fake light sources and other legacy elements are replaced with a proper, real-time RT solution that ‘just works’.

Read more

This is it: the first triple-A game release that will only work on ray tracing capable graphics hardware. Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition takes the real-time RT global illumination of the initial PC release, improves it to an almost generational degree and hands in a game that actually runs faster than its predecessor. We’re looking at the PC version today but you can see the groundwork laid here for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series renditions to follow later this year. Put simply, Metro Exodus was my number one title for ‘best graphics 2019’ and this enhanced edition takes an excellent game to the next level – and in fact, some might say it’s our first look at the multi-platform game engines of tomorrow built from the ground-up with RT features in mind.

At the basic level, the enhanced edition takes the original 2019 version of Metro Exodus and revamps the engine to support ray traced global illumination along with a host of additional RT-based features. Further enhancements come from the additional of VRS – variable rate shading – along with Nvidia DLSS 2.1 AI upscaling, along with a temporal upscaling option best suited for AMD GPUs. The smart money suggests that this is the kind of scaling technology which we’re likely to see deployed on the console versions (where both PS5 and Series X target 60fps output).

So, how has RT been improved? Put simply, the original Metro Exodus shipped with single bounce global illumination from the sun combined with ray traced ambient occlusion for all indoor areas. It looked great in comparison to the default real-time GI system that was already in place for the rasterised version of the game. However, the new RT system was added midway through development, so 4A Games had to essentially develop the game with two lighting schemes in mind. For the new Metro, the standard rasterised versions of each map – including all individually, artist-placed lights – are gone. The tricks, fake light sources and other legacy elements are replaced with a proper, real-time RT solution that ‘just works’.

Read more

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