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In brief: Despite being the best-selling game of all time with over 200 million units shifted, titles with poor graphics have long been described as "looking like Minecraft." These days, the addition of mods and ray tracing support have rendered that statement slightly inaccurate; it might still be blocky, but it can be damn pretty.
As reported by Kotaku, YouTube channel hodilton posted a video showing off what Minecraft (download the latest version here) looks like after being upgraded through the magic of mods. The ones used in this case are Realistic Textures, Continuum 2.1 (for lighting and shaders), Terra (which builds more realistic worlds), and Physics Mod.
The game is visually very different: the lava now looks like lava rather than huge orange and brown pixels. Same with the brickwork, ground, and other surfaces. Foliage sways in the wind, but the most impressive additions are the lighting and water effects. But does it lose some of the charm of the base version? That's up to the player to decide.
You'll need more than the usual potato-style PC if you want to run Minecraft with 4K textures and all the other bells and whistles. hodilton is sporting a monstrous i9-10850K @ 5.1ghz, an Nvidia RTX 3090 and 32GB RAM, and even that doesn't manage to stay at 30 fps. Could this start a new meme? Although asking "But can it play modded Minecraft in 4K?" is less catchy than "But can it play Crysis?"
hodilton said he wanted to post a video with 8K textures but his 32GB of RAM wasn't enough.
In addition to mods, those with a GeForce RTX 20 series and higher can add ray tracing effects and DLSS to Minecraft. Download it here.