Resident Evil 2 Remake Showcase Includes Advanced Ray Tracing Features

Alessio Palumbo
Massihancer Resident Evil 2 remake

[UPDATE] Massihancer has asked us to change his quote to better reflect the technique he used in the Resident Evil 2 remake mod.

[ORIGINAL STORY] CAPCOM recently released a ray tracing update for the next-generation console and PC version of the Resident Evil 2 remake, as many of you already know. However, the ray tracing features were slightly underwhelming as noted by Digital Foundry in their analysis.

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In general, the new RT reflections look subtle but stable, though the selective application of RT reflections is disappointing - for example, some mirrors don't offer proper reflections. However, from what I've played, Resident Evil 3 Remake seems to improve the distribution of RT reflections compared to its predecessor.

Ray traced global illumination is also in effect, though the results are generally on the subtle side. Some of the smaller inaccuracies present in the original release are fixed, while some extra bounce lighting is visible in some scenes. This is definitely an additive technique rather than a replacement for the existing baked GI, but the results are reasonable considering the limitations. The RT GI also seems to disable the ambient occlusion, with somewhat mixed results. All told, both RT features fail to provide a transformative improvement to the Remakes' visuals, but they do manage to address their most obvious visual flaws while touching up some discontinuities in ambient lighting.

Luckily, graphics modder Giulio Guglielmi (also known as Massihancer, who previously enhanced games like Star Wars Battlefront, God of War, Batman: Arkham Knight, and DOOM Eternal) has now demonstrated his latest work implementing something that resembles NVIDIA's DDGI (Dynamic Diffuse Global Illumination) in the Resident Evil 2 remake. Here's what he told us via email:

I made a an amatorial test trying to get a get a result that is close to DDGI, but that it's not proper DDGI since DDGI needs to get direct access to the game engine. I shared it because I liked the results that for me are really impressive for a post processing effect.

As you can see below, it does seem to substantially improve the visuals in the Resident Evil 2 remake, although Leon's hair does flicker quite a bit now. Unfortunately, though, this is just a technical showcase currently unavailable to the public.

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