Go back to Castle Wolfestein again, this time with Path Tracing

Return to Castle Wolfenstein It wasn’t just a sequel to the classic Id Software game, but one that many of us gave hours of our lives to in the early 2000s. Well, you might want to dust off this classic first-person shooter. person, since a version of it has appeared fully rendered by path tracing. Which gives it a totally renewed visual aspect compared to more than two decades ago, which is when the game was launched.

Implementing ray tracing and other derived techniques to generate 3D graphics in real time has become a constant in old PC games. If a few years ago we were surprised with the RTX version of Quake 2, now it’s the turn of another Id Software classic. Neither more nor less than the sequel to the classic Wolfestein 3D that was released in 2001 using the Quake 3 engine. So we are dealing with a visually more complex game and, therefore, that requires more power to reproduce the fully generated graphics. through a Path Tracing algorithm instead of the traditional 3D pipeline.

Path Tracing in Return to Castle Wolfenstein

Today there are two ways to implement the so-called Ray Tracing in games. The first one is to use a contemporary game and apply Ray Tracing as a post-processing technique to apply indirect lighting to the scene. That is, the one that is generated when a light source falls on an object. The second method is more complex, as it consists of rendering the entire game graphics using this 3D rendering algorithm.

We have to start from the basis that what is important in video games is fluidity and, therefore, ray tracing, despite providing greater visual quality, was not the chosen algorithm. The fact that graphics cards are more optimized for rasterization means that any game rendered by Path Tracing or another derivative of RT is a challenge when it comes to running it at acceptable frame rates. Well, Dihara Wijetunga, a veteran AMD engineer, has decided to give Return to Castle Wolfestein the same treatment that Quake 2 received a few years ago.

The project is not finished at the moment, but you can already see the improvements in terms of visual quality in said version of the game. At the moment it is not finalized and we do not know how it will work on our graphics cards. Although like Quake 2 RTX do not expect to be able to move it with a graphics card without intersection units. So, from the outset, completely rule out being able to play this game with a graphics card that is not an NVIDIA RTX or an AMD RX 6000 or later.

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