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Iconic 90s FPS gets unreal ray tracing mod thanks to Nvidia RTX Remix

Classic first person shooter Unreal Tournament now has a path tracing mod, but the project is still very much resembles a work in progress.

A character from Unreal Tournament stands against a blurred background from Unreal

With Epic Games seemingly disinterested in reviving the series, intrepid modders have taken it upon themselves to put together an Unreal RTX Remix mod to give the FPS game a modern makeover. It is still early days for the project, but while there are plenty of apparent issues, video capture of the mod in action does show promise nonetheless.

Mods such as this one, which take ray tracing to the next level through path tracing, naturally require one of the best graphics cards around. We don’t expect this mod to be an easy ride for your GPU, but if you want to see Unreal in action, Nvidia evangelist Jacob Freeman has kindly provided footage using a powerful pixel pusher.

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Running the mod on an RTX 4080 Super, Freeman presents Unreal in an entirely new light (literally). Unlike other examples of RTX Remix we have seen deployed in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Need for Speed: Underground 2, the original, glorious low-poly assets have been left intact but now benefit from path traced lighting.

The effect that path tracing has on Unreal, though, is mixed. The technology appears to benefit dark areas the most, enhancing the shadows present in the original game rather than replacing them, but well-lit areas appear decidedly flat. This should be fixable with further updates as changes are made to better reflect the game’s original artistic vision.

A scene in Unreal with RTX effects enabled (right) and disabled (left)

This flatness becomes more obvious when you look at the game in side-by-side screenshots, both of Unreal and Unreal Tournament, again shared by Freeman. Again, this is still a work in progress, and I have every faith that the development team will fulfill the potential that’s clearly ripe for tapping with this mod. You can check it out for yourself here.

For a more refined RTX reboot, check out Portal with RTX on Steam. If you’re more at home with a crowbar than portals, you’ll be pleased to hear that Half-Life 2 RTX is also shaping up nicely.