Quake II has received an RTX makeover, now available to download

Julio Franco

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Nvidia and Bethesda unveiled the development of Quake II RTX at Computex 2019. The free download is now available on Steam and as a standalone download (Windows, Linux) from TechSpot's downloads section. It includes the first three single-player levels of the PC gaming classic. Owners of the original can patch their copy and enjoy the entire game, including multiplayer modes fully path traced. Considering Quake II is just $5 on Steam, the barrier of entry is not that high if you can't find your old CD-ROM and want to check out the game after all these years.

Quake II RTX includes real-time range time of day lighting, sun light and indirect illumination. Water and glass will refract light, surfaces will deliver more accurate reflections and light sources illuminate surrounding objects. These effects Nvidia says will require the RT cores found on RTX series GPUs, thus the minimum specification for running the game will be a GeForce RTX 2060 GPU.

"It’s rare that a PC game has the impact and longevity of Quake II, and seeing it reimagined with ray tracing 20 years later is something special for me," said Tim Willits, studio director of id Software and one of the creators of the original Quake franchise.

Quake II RTX uses Nvidia's VKRay, an extension that allows developers using the Vulkan API to add ray-traced effects to their games. "Building on Q2VKPT, a version of the game created by Christoph Schied using the open-sourced Quake II game engine, Quake II RTX is a pure ray-traced game that runs on a Vulkan renderer with support for Linux."

Wolfenstein: Youngblood, the next installment in the historied franchise will also include support for real-time ray-tracing effects and Nvidia's adaptive shading. The game is scheduled for release on July 26 and will become part of a limited time "Born to Hunt" bundle that includes the game with the purchase of an eligible GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, 2080, 2070 or 2060 GPU graphics card, desktop PC or laptop.

It'll be interesting to see how Quake II performs leveraging the RT cores as we've seen different mod implementations in relatively old or simple titles such as Crysis and Minecraft that really add to the experience though they come at a hefty cost in performance.

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GamerNerves

TS Rookie
Wow! This is something that really adds value to RTX-series. It is very hard to say if I'll get Navi or wait for 7 nm Turing. RTX 2060 level of performance would suffice, but I want at least 8 Gb of memory and I don't recommend people to get anything less if they buy a new GPU today.
 
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VitalyT

Russ-Puss
Where are the high-res textures? I don't get it! Not only so many old games now receiving AI-based textures upgrade for higher-res, but quake 2 had it all done for it years ago...

Here's from 2016:

Where are those things in this new update? I don't see any :(

RTX on top of the old low-res textures? Thanks for nothing, nVidia!
 
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G0DofPaiN

TS Addict
Where are the high-res textures? I don't get it! Not only so many old games now receiving AI-based textures upgrade for higher-res, but quake 2 had it all done for it years ago...

Here's from 2016:

Where are those things in this new update? I don't see any :(

RTX on top of the old low-res textures? Thanks for nothing, nVidia!
Don't you see?You can play quake 2 with RTX ON at 60fps+ with every RTX card, they have a reason now to release the RTX 2030 and 2020 Ti.
 

bluetooth fairy

TS Booster
Feels like a different game, because it looks much lighter.

I'd love to see some classic stealth games being properly ray-traced, e.g. Thief series. But I'm not sure about paying $350-500 for new hardware, not now at least.
 
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hahahanoobs

TS Evangelist
RTX enabled?! Free?! Genius!
If RTX has little performance impact on the 2060, this could be what nvidia would need to help get ray tracing to be something people want. And if more titles are coming for free or cheap, devs will jump at the chance to implement it in their games in the future.

This is exciting.
 

Nero7

TS Evangelist
Couldn't they have gone with Quake 3? Quake 2 is... ugh... I don't like it much.

Also I'd imagine pretty much every Xbox360 era game would look amazing with raytracing and 4K and maybe some nicer textures.

Gotta say I hate raytracing and how it occupies all the GPU ressources. Was hoping they'd focus more on gameworks and physx. Those are actual improvements, real water and fire and deformation. Levolution people!!!
 
The cutscenes still look like **** and the ambient lighting is too bright.

Quake 2 had a survival horror feel to it with darker bakgrounds. This is way too bright.

I also think QUAKE 4 would have made more sense to remake - or they should have given us the sequel to Quake 4 where we continue our battle on Stroggos.

Quake 2 was a great game, but its time has come and past.
 
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Nobina

TS Evangelist
I appreciate the effort but I feel like better textures would help this game more than adding a bunch of lights on pixelated walls. You can then fake ray tracing for a fraction of the fps cost.
 
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treetops

TS Evangelist
Lmfao at that comparison where the room gets all dark... how were we ever able to see in games before ray tracing?
You can see plenty of RT videos on youtube... But unless someone told you where to look, I bet you wouldn't know the difference. Or even if they did.
 

scavengerspc

TS Booster
Lmfao at that comparison where the room gets all dark... how were we ever able to see in games before ray tracing?
You can see plenty of RT videos on youtube... But unless someone told you where to look, I bet you wouldn't know the difference. Or even if they did.
I must admit I have not seen that video before. Thanks for putting it up.
And truth is the biggest difference I see is a big hit on the frame rate.
 
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loki1944

TS Maniac
Wow! This is something that really adds value to RTX-series. It is very hard to say if I'll get Navi or wait for 7 nm Turing. RTX 2060 level of performance would suffice, but I want at least 8 Gb of memory and I don't recommend people to get anything less if they buy a new GPU today.
8GB VRAM is complete overkill for 99% of anything thru 1440p, even 3440x1440p 4GB does fine most of the time, 2160p the same for 6GB.
 

loki1944

TS Maniac
Honestly this is not impressive; it looks more like Overwatch or Bioshock Infinite than Quake II. Quake II is grim, gritty, and dark, not some kaleidoscope of cartoony bright colors. Quake II: Disney Edition; does Mickey Mouse make an appearance?
 

loki1944

TS Maniac
The cutscenes still look like **** and the ambient lighting is too bright.

Quake 2 had a survival horror feel to it with darker bakgrounds. This is way too bright.

I also think QUAKE 4 would have made more sense to remake - or they should have given us the sequel to Quake 4 where we continue our battle on Stroggos.

Quake 2 was a great game, but its time has come and past.
The cutscenes still look like **** and the ambient lighting is too bright.

Quake 2 had a survival horror feel to it with darker bakgrounds. This is way too bright.

I also think QUAKE 4 would have made more sense to remake - or they should have given us the sequel to Quake 4 where we continue our battle on Stroggos.

Quake 2 was a great game, but its time has come and past.
The cutscenes still look like **** and the ambient lighting is too bright.

Quake 2 had a survival horror feel to it with darker bakgrounds. This is way too bright.

I also think QUAKE 4 would have made more sense to remake - or they should have given us the sequel to Quake 4 where we continue our battle on Stroggos.

Quake 2 was a great game, but its time has come and past.
I still play ETQW with my buddies.
 

loki1944

TS Maniac
Feels like a different game, because it looks much lighter.

I'd love to see some classic stealth games being properly ray-traced, e.g. Thief series. But I'm not sure about paying $350-500 for new hardware, not now at least.
Based on this, the colors for Thief would come straight from the Candyland board game.
 
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Raytrace3D

TS Addict
I would love to see 'Unreal' re-done with this.
The original Uneal was just that, unreal at the time. I remember the first time I played it and getting chills creeping around the crashed prison ship and seeing the Skaarj for the first time. The atmosphere of the game was amazing. Adding ray traced lighting would only add to this atmosphere. I'm in!
 
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