Portal RTX launched a few days ago (along with the improved GeForce Game Ready software) as the first example of a classic PC game remastered with the RTX Remix tool.
Over three years ago, we first learned that NVIDIA’s Lightspeed Studios team was recruiting for a remastering program in the wake of Quake II RTX. Fast forward to now, and Lightspeed Studios put in quite an impressive showing with Portal RTX, which is arguably one of the most advanced games currently available from a technological standpoint.
Classic Valve looks great with full path tracing, every ray of light simulated according to realistic characteristics. According to Lightspeed Studios, there is up to four times more light bounce in Portal RTX than in Quake II RTX, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are also completely new algorithms that we discussed earlier when they were first revealed as research papers, such as ReSTIR (Reservoir Spatial Temporal Importance Resampling) and Direct Lighting, which greatly boost the number of lights that can be added to a game scene.
Other than just Portal RTX, most modders were understandably excited at the possibility of getting an RTX Remix. Its potential to re-master classic PC games is amazing, after all, and some enterprising users on the Beyond3D forum were so excited that they dropped Portal RTX into other titles, and it worked (mostly) in Half-Life 2 and SWAT 4.
To be more specific, they drop the .trex, d3d9.dll, dxvk_d3d9.dll, and NvRemixBridge32.dll files into the EXE folder of these games. Both of the aforementioned games immediately look much better thanks to the Portal RTX’s ported tracing, although there are clearly bugs and things that don’t work right away because it’s not an officially released tool.
Half life 2
Interestingly, NVIDIA imagined fans trying it. In the screenshots of SWAT 4, you can read the disclaimer at the bottom left where NVIDIA notes that this version will cause compatibility issues when used with games other than Portal RTX.
Here’s a SWAT 4 video captured by EiermannTelevision, if you’d rather see some footage.
As mentioned in the title, there is also an additional example of RTX Remix’s capabilities: Max Payne. 3D artist/animator Alex Coulter prover The Remedy title works and gets a huge improvement in lighting even with all the limitations currently imposed by being forced on Portal RTX.
We contacted Coulter, who kindly provided additional screenshots and some answers. Many users have wondered how he got Max Payne into the business, and the answer is that he used the d3d8to9 aggregator from Crosire. Coulter also confirmed that there is currently no access to one of the key aspects of RTX Remix: the AI Texture Super Resolution tool. As such, the textures are still the original, which somewhat reduces the impact of the update. In addition, the RTX menu is currently a bit buggy, and only a few of the listed parameters are available for tweaking.
Even with all these limitations, just a glimpse of RTX Remix is more than enough to make modders and gamers alike salivate at the remastering possibilities. You can sign up for the RTX Remix beta on NVIDIA’s website now, but we’ll let you know once the full tool becomes publicly available.