Category Archives: RTX Ray Tracing

‘Black Myth: Wukong’ Stuns with Incredible First Footage of Unreal Engine 5 Game With NVIDIA DLSS

Last year, Game Science unveiled Black Myth: Wukong, an Unreal Engine 4-powered, ARPG based around the well-known Monkey King mythology, and the 16th Century Journey To The West novel. Featuring excellent visuals and exciting action, the debut trailer and gameplay video racked up tens of millions of views.

Now, Game Science has announced that they’re taking visual fidelity one step further by upgrading to Unreal Engine 5, and adding NVIDIA DLSS for enhanced performance and image quality.

In the new 12-minute trailer, debuted below, you’ll get the first ever look at an Unreal Engine 5 game enhanced with NVIDIA DLSS. As you watch, you’ll travel through the world of Black Myth: Wukong, getting a taste of the action-RPG’s gameplay, story, beautiful visuals, and cutscenes. Experience the combat against bosses, be dazzled by visual effects, and discover the intriguing characters of Journey To The West.

Black Myth: Wukong is one of our most anticipated games, and our game developer support organization is working diligently with Game Science throughout its development to ensure GeForce RTX users receive the definitive experience. For more on Black Myth: Wukong and the many other games enhanced with GeForce RTX technologies, stay tuned to GeForce.com.

LEGO® Builder’s Journey Review – PC

I love LEGO.  I grew up with the plastic bricks, I own every single LEGO game, and I’ve seen every episode of LEGO Masters, so I was pretty excited when I heard about LEGO Builder’s Journey.  Created by Light Brick Studio, this new puzzle game sounded like a great idea; solving puzzles using LEGO pieces.  After all, every other LEGO game I had played up to this point was asking me to smash and destroy environments to collect bricks.

One of the big draws for me was the support for ray-tracing that brings these bricks to life unlike any other game before it.  You feel like you could literally touch and manipulate these elements with your fingers.  Shiny water pieces reflect other parts of the level, and real-time light comes into play for light and dark scenes and even one LEGO that acts as a moveable spotlight.  The game still looks fantastic if you don’t own one of the new ray-tracing video cards but activating RTX features in the graphic options adds a noticeable level of improvement turning a game into reality.

Unfortunately, while LEGO Builder’s Journey is a visual masterpiece there were several obstacles that detracted from my childlike wonder almost immediately; first being the controls and interface.  The entire game can be played with a mouse and the first few scenes teach you everything you need to know on how to play.  Click a piece to pick-up then future clicks rotate that pieces 90 degrees and clicking and holding will snap the piece in place or drop it if you aren’t positioned over a valid connection.   My big issue is being able to line-up the pieces properly.  The 3D perspective combined with any lack of visual cues had me frequently connecting to wrong studs or even worse, dropping the brick entirely forcing me to scramble to click on it again before it tumbled off the bottom of the screen and wait for it to reappear.  This could all be solved with something as simple as a ghost outline showing where the brick would be attached.

LEGO Builder’s Journey has very limited camera controls so even changing perspective couldn’t help me.  You can drag your mouse to pan around the screen but only about 120 degrees.  You can’t fully rotate the puzzle and there are no zoom controls to allow you a better view of the situation or just appreciate the graphics closer up.  To make matters even worse if you do adjust the viewing angle the game will automatically reset the view back to default after a few seconds.

If you are able to overcome these visual caveats then you might find some enjoyment with LEGO Builder’s Journey.  Personally, I found the entire game rather boring with puzzles that were overly simplistic or not even puzzles.  The game provides you with the pieces needed to build whatever object or bridge you need to get from A to B and advance to the next puzzle scene.  It was really weird to see these loving crafted scenes swept away after only one or two clicks on some of the easier puzzles; the time of creation versus their appearance onscreen vastly different.

There appears to be a story being told in LEGO Builder’s Journey, but I’m still a bit unclear on what it is.  Presented as a silent movie of sorts we have what I assume to be a father and son on a camping trip, and once they return home dad keeps getting called into work at the nearby LEGO factory, meanwhile the son builds a LEGO robot in the basement then gets stuck in the factory so dad has to rescue him but then the son and his robot have to rescue dad…it’s all very confusing and quite unnecessary to the enjoyment of the game, which is all about solving a few dozen puzzles.

The basic premise of the game quickly became boring about ten levels in and only started to get interesting when the game introduced new concepts like playing in the dark having to position a LEGO spotlight in certain positions and angles to reveal the level.  Much later in the game there are some cool puzzles involving creating your own LEGO pieces using a machine to duplicate whatever piece you have on a scanner.  And my favorite puzzles were at the very end where your robot would only dispense single stud pieces and you had to place them on the level adjacently to create bigger and more useful pieces.

Despite the charming visuals, soothing music, and almost Zen-like approach to gameplay I was always taken out of any joyous moment with the controls and my inability to accurately place pieces.  There were a couple of puzzles that required very fast timing and precise LEGO placement to get your character across moving machine parts.  These would have been great if I hadn’t died so many times due to poor controls.  Even moving your character can become quite tedious since you have to move these orange stepping bricks one after the other to move him along.  On one level I manufactured a dozen of these bricks and had the entire path lain out but the character only moves after placing the piece, so I literally had to pick up and reattach each piece to move him forward.  There are a few levels where your character is wearing skates and you get to build a train track-like path from start to finish out of smooth tiles then watch him skate to the end.

LEGO Builder’s Journey is equal parts pain and pleasure.  I love seeing how realistic LEGO can look in a game and I hope to see this level of quality in future LEGO action games, but for me this was more of a proof of concept tech demo.  You can finish the game in 3-5 hours but there is no reason to ever revisit.  A sandbox mode would have been awesome; something to just let you build your own creations from infinite LEGO pieces, but considering the abysmal controls this feature would also be cruel in the game’s current state.

Thankfully, there is nothing wrong with this game that can’t be fixed in a future patch or update, but until then, $20 for a few hours of awkwardly snapping LEGO pieces into environments somebody else had all the fun making seems like a bad idea.  Even LEGO enthusiasts such as myself might want to wait for a sale because LEGO Builder’s Journey is a better RTX demo than an actual game.

You can check out the first hour of the game in our RTX video to see the graphics, hear the music, and watch me struggle with snapping pieces together.

First-Person Survival Platformer Escape From Naraka Releasing on Steam Today

Headup and Xelo Games are excited to announce that the first-person survival platformer, Escape from Naraka, will be available on Steam today for $ 14.99 / € 14,99 / £ 11.99 including a 10% release discount. Set in a nightmarish Balinese temple, Escape from Naraka will test your platforming and parkour skills through a wide range of challenges, obstacles, enemies, and trials scattered across a wide variety of stages.

To make navigating this hellscape more manageable, the protagonist has access to unique abilities, which curious players can also use to discover a plethora of secrets. While Escape from Naraka was inspired by games like SEUM: Speedrunners from Hell, Dark Deception, and DOOM, the team at Xelo Games decided to give it a special touch by using 3D scan technology to incorporate real life artifacts, various art from Balinese mythology as well as real temples, and also used traditional Balinese instruments for composing the soundtrack.

“We’re really happy that the game is out in the wild and can’t wait for players to jump into the full experience!”, said Irfan Sarwono, Game Director at Xelo Games. “The demo version already attracted a big number of highly skilled players, so it’s going to be really exciting to see how fast they’ll be able to run through the levels and find different routes that will help them achieve better times.”

Escape from Naraka has also launched with real-time ray tracing and NVIDIA DLSS. The game is a first-person platformer from Indonesia’s Xelo Games, a small indie developer, and published by Headup Games. Escape From Naraka  is loaded with ray tracing effects, including RTX Global Illumination (RTXGI), ray-traced shadows, and ray-traced reflections. To bump frame rates up the game also supports DLSS.

Escape from Naraka is a stunning example of what a small team of indie developers can achieve with the many gaming technologies NVIDIA makes freely available to game developers. It also demonstrates the ease that developers can add complex technologies to their games with the right tools and support.

RTX ON! Ray Tracing and DLSS Combine to Deliver the Definitive Escape from Naraka Experience

With DLSS enabled, GeForce RTX players can enjoy the game’s incredible art and graphics at the highest resolutions and detail levels.

Gamers playing on GeForce RTX GPUs can enable NVIDIA DLSS in the game to achieve up to a 2X performance boost at max settings at 4K while maintaining image quality that is very close to native resolution. At 4K without DLSS, no NVIDIA GPU delivers 60 FPS when ray tracing is on, settings are maxed at 4K. With DLSS, GeForce 3070 GPUs and above become 4K GPUs, delivering 60+ FPS with ray tracing on.

With both DLSS and ray tracing, GeForce RTX players are getting an Escape from Naraka experience that is second to none – with stunning ray-traced shadows, reflections, and RTX Global Illumination along with blazing fast frame rates without sacrificing image quality thanks to DLSS.

DLSS boosts frame rates and generates beautiful, sharp images for your games. It provides the performance headroom to maximize quality settings and increase output resolution. Only DLSS offers big performance gains while keeping image quality comparable to native across all resolutions, even at 1080p.   

For more details, check out the official Steam page and you can find more info about the game and its developers on their Twitter page, and feel free to discuss the game with them on Discord.

First-Person Survival Platformer Escape From Naraka Available July 29 With NVIDIA DLSS and Ray-Tracin

Escape from Naraka is a unique first-person action-platformer with exotic Balinese themes, inspired by local mythologies and legends. Published via Headup, the small Indonesia-based development team, Xelo Games, will launch their game next Thursday, on July 29th.

Powered by Unreal Engine 4, players will encounter a beautifully created first-person action-platformer set in a gigantic Balinese temple including real statues, and inspired by real mythology, and creatures straight from legend.

If you’re going to play Escape from Naraka on a Nvidia GeForce RTX PC, you can enhance your experience with ray-traced reflections, ray-traced shadows, RTX Global Illumination and performance-accelerating NVIDIA DLSS! Check out these effects in action in this new RTX video:

“It’s a great honor to work with Nvidia. Like a dream coming true!”, adds Irfan Sarwono, Game Director of Xelo Games. “Since it’s a mix of runner and platformer including Steam Leaderboards, and it is up to the player to achieve the best possible time, the extra FPS won’t hurt. DLSS? Check! Ray-Tracing? Check!”

About Escape from Naraka

Escape from Naraka is a first-person survival platformer with rich Balinese world-building. Taking huge inspiration from Balinese legends and local mythology, the game tasks you with platforming your way through a nightmarish temple. Every level will challenge you in a new and exciting way, with several themed stages, each with their own trials to complete. You will have to master the arts of dodging and timing to survive!

FEATURES INCLUDE:

  • Exotic Balinese themed levels full of platforming challenges, traps, and dangerous encounters
  • Your path to freedom will be blocked by terrifying enemies that stand your way
  • Unique abilities which are essential for your successful escape
  • Lots of secrets to uncover for eagle-eyed explorers
  • Leaderboards for each level and one for the complete run so you can see how you fare against others
  • Unique cultural world-building using real Balinese artifacts and 3D scan technology
  • RTX support: Ray-traced shadows and reflections, NVIDIA DLSS, RTX Global Illumination
  • Razer Chroma support

Wishlist now if you are a fan of games like SEUM: Speedrunners from HellDark Deception, or DOOM! For more information, check out the official Twitter page and feel free to discuss the game with the developers on Discord.

‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ and ‘Red Dead Online’ Get DLSS Performance Upgrades on July 13th

Rockstar Games took to the Rockstar newswire to announce that as part of the July 13th update, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online on PC will offer NVIDIA DLSS support to all Windows users with eligible NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics cards. 

Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the highest-rated games of all time, with over 275 perfect scores and over 175 Game of the Year Awards. Its PC release is also one of the platform’s best-looking titles, with an amazingly rendered and realistic open world that tests the mettle of any GPU when effects and rendering resolutions are ramped up.

Red Dead Online: Blood Money and NVIDIA DLSS will be available on July 13th. 

DLSS boosts frame rates and generates beautiful, sharp images for your games. It gives gamers the performance headroom to maximize quality settings and increase output resolution. Only DLSS offers big performance gains while keeping image quality comparable to native across all resolutions, even at 1080p.   

The Persistence Enhanced out now for PC, PlayStation 5, XBOX Series X|S Coming Soon

The Enhanced edition of Firesprite’s critically acclaimed rogue-lite survival horror title, The Persistence is available now for PlayStation®5 and PC Platforms, with the XBOX Series X|S platform version delayed but coming soon.

The Persistence Enhanced dials up the atmosphere and tension further with improved lighting and particle effects and the addition of a Raytracing ‘Quality’ mode for XBOX Series X and PlayStation®5, which also includes immersive haptic feedback via DualSense™. These enhancements extend to PC also alongside Raytracing via DXR and NVIDIA® DLSS specifically implemented for supported RTX cards.

The Persistence has been on quite the journey, from PSVR back in 2018 to PS4, Xbox One, and Steam little over a year ago, finally coming to the latest console platforms and DXR hardware.” said Graeme Ankers, MD of Firesprite. “At each stage we’ve wanted to make sure we’ve stayed true to the original vision we had for the game, and we believe we’ve achieved that with the Enhanced Edition and the exciting new technologies on offer!”

The Persistence Enhanced will be available as a standalone paid digital download and also as a free upgrade for existing owners of The Persistence on PlayStation®4, Xbox and Steam platforms. Publishing partner, Perpetual Games will also release a PlayStation®5 boxed edition at retail stores in Europe only.

METRO EXODUS Enhanced Edition Out Now for PC

Deep Silver and 4A Games are pleased to announce the launch of the Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition – a radical update that harnesses the power of Ray Tracing-capable GPUs to deliver an incredible visual upgrade. The PC Enhanced Edition is available for FREE to all owners of the original release on Steam, the Epic Games Store, Good Old Games and the Microsoft Store.

Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition offers additional Ray Tracing features including Advanced Ray Traced Reflections and support for the much-requested DLSS 2.0 on NVIDIA hardware, which offers sharper image details and increased framerates and display resolutions. Further collaborating with NVIDIA, this update improves our existing Ray Traced Global Illumination tech innovated with the original release of Metro Exodus to make every light source fully Ray Traced and implements our RT Emissive tech from The Two Colonels throughout the game.

This upgrade is so extensive it will require a Ray Tracing capable GPU as the minimum spec and will be delivered as a separate product – it is not a simple ‘patch’ to the base game – instead it will be offered as an extra entitlement to all existing Metro Exodus PC players.

Deep Silver and 4A Games have also confirmed June 18th as the release date for the massive, FREE next-gen Metro Exodus upgrade for Xbox Series X|S and the PlayStation® 5, titled Metro Exodus Complete Edition.

Metro Exodus Complete Edition will run at 4K / 60FPS with full Ray Traced lighting throughout on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. The base game and DLC expansions will feature both our ground-breaking Ray Traced Global Illumination (RTGI) and the Ray Traced Emissive Lighting techniques pioneered in the original release of Metro Exodus and The Two Colonels expansion across all content.

The next gen consoles will benefit from dramatically reduced loading times thanks to the use of their SSD storage optimizations, 4K texture packs, and a range of platform specific features including spatial audio and controller latency improvements on Xbox, and support for the haptic features of the PlayStation 5 DualSense controller.

These enhancements will be made available as a free upgrade to all PS4 and Xbox One and One X Metro Exodus owners, or available to new players with the Metro Exodus Complete Edition – a newly announced high value physical edition for franchise newcomers. This Complete Edition includes the base game and both DLC expansions: The Two Colonels and Sam’s Story.

For an even more detailed breakdown of the new tech and features present in the Enhanced version of the game, please visit newly updated 4A games blog on the website: https://www.metrothegame.com/en-us

For more information on Metro follow us on Twitter and Instagram @MetroVideoGame and on Facebook at Facebook.com/MetroVideoGame.

The Fabled Woods Review – PC

I’m a sucker for next-gen graphics.  I spent nearly two months trying to procure an RTX3080 card, and now that I have one I pretty much jump on any game that supports it including The Fabled Woods, a new walking-adventure that turns out to be more of a tech demo than an actual game.  Making the most of  NVIDIA’s latest tech, The Fabled Woods supports ray-traced foliage, shadows and reflections, as well as RTX Global Illumination with full DLSS enabling smooth 60fps 4K gameplay.  I can confirm all this to be true, as I had the game cranked to highest settings and it was smooth as butter and one of the most surreal and gorgeous games I’ve played this year.

It’s really hard to explain this game without spoilers, but I’ll do my best.  You start the game at the beginning of a trail leading into an almost fairytale-like woods, alive with color and textures, gorgeous lighting, god rays streaming through the trees, rivers and lakes reflecting like mirrors, and this unique fog filter that keeps everything just slightly out of focus; like somebody breathed on the camera lens.  It gives the game a dreamlike quality that turns out to be fairly significant.

There is not a lot of actual gameplay in The Fabled Woods.  You walk around a lot and click on anything with a glowing outline.  90% of what you click on is superficial, despite being able to rotate and examine a wide assortment of objects, but then you will eventually come to an object that sparks some dialogue and advances the story.  Exploration periodically ends at a blocked path forcing you to use your “memory vision” to hunt for clues.  This usually transports you to a dreamlike world where you must navigate a narrow path over a bottomless void while listening to a lot of exposition.  Once you reach the end of that path you are back in the real world and whatever blockage is gone.

There are three short sections that make up the game, named after their narrators, Larry, Sara, and Todd.  Learning about these characters and how their stories all interconnect is the primary objective.  Aside from examining dozens if not hundreds of objects you will occasion need to use items; mostly keys in doors.  That is the extent of anything resembling puzzle-solving.  It’s very much like Gone Home, only not as long and sadly lacking a strong narrative, at least until the big reveal near the final chapter where everything starts to fall into place.  The game is fairly linear with no exploration off the main trail and blocked advancement until key story elements are revealed.

The Fabled Woods suffers from several issues, all of which seem to be getting address almost in real-time by the developer who has a strong and positive presence in the Steam forums.  These issues range from technical glitches to some poor game design decisions, including no onboarding sequence to let you know what you are supposed to do beyond simple button prompts.  Once you understand how the game works it gets easier in later sections, but it was a rough start for me and many other gamers who struggled to get past the first campsite.  I did have one game-breaking issue about 60 seconds from the end of the game where some sort of force field was preventing me from entering a door.  With no other way to continue I simply walked into the void in hopes the game would reset me.  No such luck.  I had to manually restart from checkpoint in the menu and play over 10-12 minutes of the game, listening to all the same narration required to trigger the sequence of doors to end the game.  If you want the achievement for both endings (yes, there are two) you will also need to replay from that same checkpoint.

Despite these issues I did enjoy my trip through The Fabled Woods.  There is a pretty awesome story of forgiveness and redemption being told to you with excellent voice acting from all the narrators.  Sara did seem to freak out a bit too much about her messy office, but it was all good.  The music and sound effects are awesome and really helped set the mood, especially in the dream world.  The outdoor graphics are breathtaking and nearly photorealistic in some situations while the interior locations are simply okay.  There is heavy recycling of textures – every campfire has the same pack of smokes and two lighters lying in the ashes, all of the computer screens have the Windows BSOD, and every desk in Sara’s office has the same set of four clickable file folders, one of them with MY name on it.  Kudos to the fantastic RTX implementation that makes this indie adventure look like a major studio release.

You can finish The Fabled Woods in about 90 minutes and spend another 10-15 picking up that alternate ending achievement.  Sadly, there just isn’t much of a game here beyond simply walking around and clicking discovery items.  Despite the engaging narrative, adventure gamers are likely to get bored with the lack of activity or frustrated by the awkward opening.  For non-RTX owners, this is a tough recommendation at $17, but worth checking out if it ever drops below $10.  For those with high-end video cards, definitely toss CyberPunch Studios some cash so they can keep polishing this gem and hopefully work on something more substantial and equally as beautiful down the road.

The Fabled Woods Out Now on Steam with DLSS and New Ray Tracing Features

Publisher Headup and developer CyberPunch Studios are thrilled to announce the PC release of The Fabled Woods, a dark and mysterious narrative short story played in the first person perspective.

The game is available now on Steam and on the Epic Games Store at a price of $14.44, €14.44 and £11.89, and includes the game’s art book (called “the Notebook”) as well as its atmospheric soundtrack.

In close cooperation with NVIDIA for support in technical regards, and by the help of Pumpkin Jack’s developer Nicolas Meyssonnier in terms of effects and lighting, The Fabled Woods features striking visuals and an intriguing story with many twists and turns. The use of DLSS provides for a significant performance boost enabled by NVIDIA’s recently-released Unreal Engine 4 DLSS plugin. In addition, the game features RTX Global Illumination as well as ray-traced foliage, shadows and reflections.

“Our goal was to launch the first game that can handle ray-tracing foliage with over 1 million instances and good performance.” explains the developer Joe Bauer. “All the trees cast ray-traced shadows and there are ray-traced reflections in all the water you can find in the woods.”

About The Fabled Woods

The Fabled Woods is a narrative adventure that puts the player at the center of nested mysteries within an expanse of beautiful woodland. Starting at a forsaken campsite, the player progresses through the story by exploring the forest and discovering clues, guided by unknown voices.

Despite the picturesque beauty, ugly and terrible secrets lurk among the shifting boughs, a darkness that no amount of dappled sunlight can erase. Get ready to take the first step, and experience an unforgettable journey!

Features include:

  • Three intertwining narratives to be uncovered, piece by piece, as you hunt for clues as to what happened
  • Explore at your own pace in an experience built from the ground up for fans of the puzzle free, death free storytelling in games such as Gone Home and Firewatch
  • Fully voiced, hear the characters as they impart their tales of strange going ons and mystery to you, the player, all set in a living world built in Unreal Engine technology

For even more info about the game, please check the game’s Community Hub on Steam, watch the new release trailer or follow The Fabled Woods on Twitter and Discord.