Unreal Tournament and the original Unreal receive RTX path tracing mods

Daniel Sims

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Forward-looking: Several classic PC games have received path tracing refreshes through RTX Remix and other mods, allowing fans to revisit them with a new feel and enhanced with more realistic lighting. Early Unreal Engine titles have remained largely untouched until now, but renderer modifications might offer a preview of what's to come.

Unreal and Unreal Tournament are the latest classic games to become playable with advanced path-traced lighting through RTX Remix. Although the mod that enables the effect remains a work in progress, screenshots and videos from an early version show the two titles with dramatically altered aesthetics.

Applying RTX Remix to Unreal and Unreal Tournament required additional workarounds compared to some other games. Nvidia started the RTX Remix open beta in January, allowing modders to add path tracing to DirectX 8 and DirectX 9 titles that utilize fixed-function pipelines. The technology has been transformative for classics like Tomb Raider, Max Payne, and Portal.

Modder "mmdanggg2" achieved a similar effect in the Unreal games by modifying an earlier DirectX 9 renderer designed to facilitate playing Unreal Engine 1 titles like Unreal Tournament and the original Deus Ex on modern PCs.

Installing the mod requires OldUnreal Unreal Tournament version 469d and RTX Remix Runtime version 0.4 or later. First, extract the files from mmdanggg2's GitHub page into the game directory, then open the config file "UnrealTournament.ini" and add the lines "GameRenderDevice=D3D9DrvRTX.D3D9RenderDevice" and "Render=D3D9DrvRTX.D3D9Render" underneath "[Engine.Engine]."

Loading maps into the UT engine allows users to play the original Unreal with the RTX Remix-enhanced DirectX 9 renderer. Further texture work is required to take full advantage of the new lighting effects, but a video clip shows how dramatically the mod alters Unreal's famously atmospheric intro level.

Despite Unreal's role in introducing the now-dominant Unreal Engine, it has never received an official re-release or remaster. Furthermore, the series isn't currently available on any digital storefronts.

The CEO of Nightdive Studios, which specializes in classic FPS remasters like the recently re-released Star Wars: Dark Forces, expressed interest in porting Unreal, but Epic Games doesn't seem eager about the idea thus far.

The original Deus Ex is another fan-favorite Unreal Engine 1 title that some RTX Remix users have started tinkering with. RTX Remix mods are also in development for Unreal Tournament 2004, Need for Speed: Underground, and other games. Nvidia is promoting a collaborative effort between modders to rebuild Half-Life 2 using the company's modding tools, too.

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Raytracing is cool and everything, but its been around for 5 years now and we are yet to be able to actually use it practically. And good for the people who spent $2000 on a 4090, raytracing is pretty much useless. Pretty much everyone I talk to use it for a couple of hours and then turn it off in favor of higher frame rates.
 
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Raytracing is cool and everything, but its been around for 5 years now and we are yet to be able to actually use it practically. And good for the people who spent $2000 on a 4090, raytracing is pretty much useless. Pretty much everyone I talk to use it for a couple of hours and then turn it off in favor of higher frame rates.

If you're talking about the Nvidia RTX path tracing marketing that's being used as nothing more than a lump of meat to hype up expensive GPUs, I agree.

There are a number of titles even on console that apply it subtly well to specific effects, and it works without destroying performance. Doom Eternal and Spiderman 1/2 to name a few..
 
If you're talking about the Nvidia RTX path tracing marketing that's being used as nothing more than a lump of meat to hype up expensive GPUs, I agree.

There are a number of titles even on console that apply it subtly well to specific effects, and it works without destroying performance. Doom Eternal and Spiderman 1/2 to name a few..
Its been my experience that few games go full RT with most of the RT just being shadows. The only 2 games that I know of, I'm sure there are more, that have 100% raytracing features are Cyberpunk and Alan wake 2. Aside from that, most games I know of that have ray tracing are still 80% raster and 20% raytracing.

But the majority of graphics cards sold are in the $300-400 range so until we get 60 fps in 100% raytraced games it is a gimmick. Even for the people I know with 7900XTXs or 4080s they jump between raster and RT. For basically, do I want 50-60fps RT or do I want 120fps in raster? The answer isn't black and white. Many people don't pick just one, they frequently switch between the 2. A couple hours of RT then they play using raster for a couple hours, then switch back to RT and then switch back to raster. et cetera
 
Its been my experience that few games go full RT with most of the RT just being shadows. The only 2 games that I know of, I'm sure there are more, that have 100% raytracing features are Cyberpunk and Alan wake 2. Aside from that, most games I know of that have ray tracing are still 80% raster and 20% raytracing.

But the majority of graphics cards sold are in the $300-400 range so until we get 60 fps in 100% raytraced games it is a gimmick. Even for the people I know with 7900XTXs or 4080s they jump between raster and RT. For basically, do I want 50-60fps RT or do I want 120fps in raster? The answer isn't black and white. Many people don't pick just one, they frequently switch between the 2. A couple hours of RT then they play using raster for a couple hours, then switch back to RT and then switch back to raster. et cetera

And yet it works well on consoles titles, because it's usage is conservative and properly targeted with the power/performance envelope. As is should be.
On PC it's very much flogged as a marketing gimmick, and the engineering approach is as ham-fisted as it gets, aka path tracing.
 
And yet it works well on consoles titles, because it's usage is conservative and properly targeted with the power/performance envelope. As is should be.
On PC it's very much flogged as a marketing gimmick, and the engineering approach is as ham-fisted as it gets, aka path tracing.
It doesn't work on consoles because it isn't real ray tracing. It's raster+RT. In games that use real ray tracing even 4090s struggle. Ray tracing isn't a thing and it likely will be several years before it gets close to being a thing. Unless people want to pay $1000+ for next gen consoles, ray tracing won't be a thing for next gen consoles, either.

People need to shut up about ray tracing because it isn't a thing unless you can pay $2000 for a GPU.
 
It doesn't work on consoles because it isn't real ray tracing. It's raster+RT. In games that use real ray tracing even 4090s struggle.

Are games 100% realistic? No, the hardware and physics would make it impossible for today’s technology. So games get a “technology saving” version of it. The same to RT: to enjoy it you don’t need all of it at once, you can have 20% RT and the rest raster and have very realistic games that take it easy on the hardware. That is what’s going on on consoles.

Lots of people are fine with 60-100 fps (I’m fine with 45-100) with good graphics. I play no esports so my kind of games just need to look really good at >45 fps, that includes RT.
 
Are games 100% realistic? No, the hardware and physics would make it impossible for today’s technology. So games get a “technology saving” version of it. The same to RT: to enjoy it you don’t need all of it at once, you can have 20% RT and the rest raster and have very realistic games that take it easy on the hardware. That is what’s going on on consoles.

Lots of people are fine with 60-100 fps (I’m fine with 45-100) with good graphics. I play no esports so my kind of games just need to look really good at >45 fps, that includes RT.
Games don't need to be realistic, they need to be fun. From my perspective, the best game ever made a was Freespace 2 and that came out roughly 20 years before raytracing was a thing. Playing that on the 65" in 4k is an experience for sure.
 
It doesn't work on consoles because it isn't real ray tracing. It's raster+RT

You mean it isn't full ray tracing. You're spitting hairs there - if it's used it's used. Even if it's a very conservative implementation, RT is still a real part of the pipeline.
 
The original UT was a superb game but you'd think, after nearly 25 years of technology advances, a new version would look a little better than this. I appreciate this has RT but the graphics in the video don't look appreciably better than the original game. I appreciate you can now fire something into a dark space to light it up but you could always use the ripper to rebound off everything in listen to what gets hit or just chuck in a rocket.

Wouldn't it just be better to improve the character animation, use higher res graphics and just add more maps. I would happily pay for a decent up to date version of UT where I can waste endless hours slaughtering the AI and staring at the views.
 
In 2291, in an attempt to control violence among deep space miners the New Earth Government legalized no-holds-bared fighting.

Happy memories shock-whoring on Deck 16 or rocket spamming on Pressure. :)
 
What the hell is point of this? honestly? to flex? What a waste of energy. no one cares nor does it have any practical application whatsoever.
 
You mean it isn't full ray tracing. You're spitting hairs there - if it's used it's used. Even if it's a very conservative implementation, RT is still a real part of the pipeline.
I'm calling a spade a spade.
 
The original UT was a superb game but you'd think, after nearly 25 years of technology advances, a new version would look a little better than this. I appreciate this has RT but the graphics in the video don't look appreciably better than the original game. I appreciate you can now fire something into a dark space to light it up but you could always use the ripper to rebound off everything in listen to what gets hit or just chuck in a rocket.

Wouldn't it just be better to improve the character animation, use higher res graphics and just add more maps. I would happily pay for a decent up to date version of UT where I can waste endless hours slaughtering the AI and staring at the views.

There are newer versions of UT, not one from like yesterday but there is never versions with more eye candy.
However non that improved game play imho, for me the original UT99 is still the standard for fast paced FPS games that are "only" about fragging.

AGUT forever.
 
Raytracing is cool and everything, but its been around for 5 years now and we are yet to be able to actually use it practically. And good for the people who spent $2000 on a 4090, raytracing is pretty much useless. Pretty much everyone I talk to use it for a couple of hours and then turn it off in favor of higher frame rates.
Hence, it proves that RT is really mostly for marketing and product differentiation. Don't get me wrong, RT games can look really good, but a game where the artist put in a lot of effort and attention to detail may get quite close to the same image quality without sacrificing that much performance. And let's take this article for example, Unreal Tournament, is a fast pace game. Switch on path/ ray tracing and FPS plunges. So it is good to see, but impractical to use. There are a lot of people defending Nvidia and RT, but the truth is, you buy a mid range RTX card for example hoping to use it for gaming at 1440p resolution. Instead, you are playing "1440p" resolution, upscaled from 720p, just so that you can get playable/ smooth frame rates. And while we think that GPUs are getting closer to the target of providing smooth frame rates with RT on, the target is a mirage because you can tell, new titles still suffers severe performance penalty.
 
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