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Doom Eternal is finally getting its ray tracing update

Doom Eternal is finally getting its long-awaited ray tracing and DLSS update, Nvidia announced today, and they even released some lovely new ray traced footage of the game running in 4K. The shiny, realistic lighting tech has been teased and hinted at for absolutely ages, but in the run-up to the game’s launch last March, it quickly became apparent that its ray tracing support would arrive much later than planned. Happily, the new footage looks lovely, what with all those plasma beam reflections bouncing off the glass walls and polished metal floors, but honestly, when you’re ripping and tearing at such high speeds, is anyone going to have the time to stop and smell the ray traced space roses?

You can see Doom Eternal’s ray tracing in action in the trailer below, which was captured using Nvidia’s newly-announed RTX 3080 Ti graphics card. The video shows off multiple RTX On / RTX Off comparisons as well as some nice, chunky, uninterrupted gameplay sections, and it all looks very shiny. Some things, such as the big, hot, glowing red energy beam reflections on space station walls and the added ambient lighting from the game’s many green and yellow beacons, all work to give the game an added sense of realism – or at least as much as you can in a game about big hell demons giving Earth an apocalyptic wedgie and ripping it a new one.

But there are plenty of other things, such as Cacodemon reflections on the glass windows of shattered Earth skyscrapers and the floors mirroring those pesky plasma shields, that I’m just not sure I’d actually be able to appreciate when the game’s in motion. Indeed, I had to watch that extended gameplay shootout multiple times to keep track of everything going on in that scene, and yes, watching your Ballista missles career through the air and the shiny floor beneath is cool and all, but I’m not sure it really enhances my overall experience of firing said Ballista missle.

In a game like Doom Eternal, my eyes are constantly roving for my next meat-hook target, not taking in the flaming scenery, or watching the red glow of deadly energy lasers bouncing realistically off the curved barrels of my Super Shotgun. There’s simply no time or headspace to appreciate all those extra little graphical effects, although I’ll reserve full judgment until I can try it out for myself when the update arrives later this month.

More intriguingly, Nvidia also announced DLSS support for Red Dead Redemption 2 today, giving Rockstar’s epic western a much needed performance boost. There’s no footage or any details on exactly when it’s arriving, sadly, but anything to make this notoriously demanding game run better is very welcome indeed – especially if it makes it better to play in ultrawide, too.

RDR2 isn’t the only game getting DLSS support, either. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is also joining the DLSS games fold, although again, there’s currently no details on when it will be added to the game just yet. Dean ‘DayZ’ Hall’s upcoming co-op survival game Icarus is also getting ray tracing and DLSS treatment when its first episode launches later this year, as is Lego Builder’s Journey, newly announced first-person puzzle game Dying: 1983, first-person horror shooter The Persistence, and Neon Giant and Curve Digital’s upcoming cyberpunk action shooter RPG, The Ascent (which we thought looked very fine indeed when we played a preview build the other week).

Whether these games will also end up supporting AMD’s rival DLSS tech, FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR, for short) is currently anyone’s guess. AMD only showed off looter slasher Godfall with FSR during their Computex keynote earlier today, and haven’t yet published a full list of games that will be supported when FSR arrives on June 22nd. AMD said FSR currently has the support of over ten game studios and engines at time of writing, with more to come in 2022, but it’s not yet known whether any of the studios making the DLSS games mentioned above are also developing FSR modes for them as well. We can only live in hope, and I’ll keep you updated as soon as I know more.

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