Over three years ago, we first learned that NVIDIA's Lightspeed Studios team was recruiting for a remastering program on the heels of Quake II RTX. Fast forward to now, and Lightspeed Studios delivered an absolutely impressive showcase with Portal RTX, arguably one of the most advanced games currently available from a technological standpoint.
The Valve classic looks fantastic with full path tracing, where each ray of light is simulated according to realistic properties. According to Lightspeed Studios, there are up to four times more light bounces in Portal RTX than in Quake II RTX, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. There are also brand-new algorithms we've previously discussed when they were first unveiled as research papers, like ReSTIR (Reservoir Spatio Temporal Importance Resampling) and Direct Illumination, which greatly enhance the number of lights that can be added to a game scene.
Beyond just Portal RTX, though, most modders were understandably excited about the prospect of getting their hands on RTX Remix. Its potential in remastering classic PC games is astounding, after all, and some enterprising users on the Beyond3D forum were so eager that they just dropped Portal RTX into other titles, and it worked (mostly) in Half-Life 2 and SWAT 4.
To be more specific, they dropped the .trex folder and the d3d9.dll, dxvk_d3d9.dll, and NvRemixBridge32.dll files in the EXE folder of these games. Both aforementioned games immediately look much better thanks to the path tracing ported from Portal RTX, even though there are obviously bugs and things that don't work right out of the box since it is not an officially released tool.
Interestingly, NVIDIA envisioned fans trying this out. In the SWAT 4 screenshots, you can read a disclaimer in the bottom left where NVIDIA notes that this version would result in compatibility issues when used with games other than Portal RTX.
Here's a SWAT 4 video grabbed by EiermannTelevision, if you'd rather see some footage.
As mentioned in the headline, there's also a bonus example of RTX Remix's potential: Max Payne. 3D artist/animator @acoulte93 demonstrated that Remedy's title works and gets a massive lighting improvement even with all the limitations currently imposed by forcing it into Portal RTX.
We've contacted @acoulte93, who kindly provided additional screenshots and some answers. Many users wondered how he even got Max Payne to work, and the answer is that he used Crosire's d3d8to9 wrapper tool. He 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 ones, somewhat lessening the modernized effect. Additionally, 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, this mere glimpse into RTX Remix is more than enough to make modders and gamers alike salivate at the remastering possibilities. You can register for the RTX Remix beta on NVIDIA's website right now, but we'll let you know as soon as the complete tool becomes publicly available.