Metro Exodus teaser showcases Nvidia's new real-time ray tracing technology

Epic Games isn't the only studio doing impressive things with Nvidia's latest and greatest technology. 4A Games, creator of the wonderfully horrific Metro games, released a video of its own showcasing its efforts to bring real-time ray traced illumination to Metro Exodus using Nvidia's RTX technology. 

Ray tracing is a method of rendering images that produces very realistic results, but that requires serious computational power to do so—more than you're going to find in our average desktop PC. Because of that, current approaches to global illumination in games "have had to compromise in some critical area," 4A CTO Oleksandr Shyshkovtsov explained in a blog post

"Offline pre-rendered GI offers a great visual target, but sacrifices flexibility in production, in-game dynamics, and uses a lot of memory. Prior realtime solutions were always limited by distance of light propagation, lack of data behind objects or screen edges and produced visual issues like leaks or unnatural lighting," he said.

"But this is the point where hardware steps in bringing truly scale-independent ambient occlusion by allowing brute force tracing of multiple rays from each pixel several hundreds of meters each frame." 

As we noted in our look at RTX and Nvidia's Volta GPUs earlier this week, there's a long way to go before all of this becomes mainstream. Nvidia didn't specify what hardware was used to render this trailer but the Star Wars video shown during Epic's "State of Unreal" presentation used Nvidia's DGX Station, which boasts four Tesla V100 GPUs and is currently on sale for $50,000.   

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.