Watch Dogs Legion Looks More Cinematic Than Ever in RT ‘Direct Illumination’ Showcase

Alessio Palumbo
Watch Dogs Legion

It'll soon be two years since Ubisoft released Watch Dogs Legion, the third chapter of the open world franchise designed as the publisher's answer to Grand Theft Auto.

The original game included ray traced reflections. However, graphics modder Giulio Guglielmi (aka MassiHancer, the man behind graphics showcases for Star Wars Battlefront, Batman Arkham Knight, God of War 3, Resident Evil 2 Remake, and Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered) has now released a Watch Dogs Legion showcase that demonstrates improved lighting thanks to a technique he called 'RT Direct Illumination'. Guglielmi told us via email:

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You can find better G.I. and Reflections and sharper textures, but there's something innovative that reminds me of a tech included in the future "Nvidia Remix" program to remaster old games.
There is a lighting mod I called RTDI: "RT Direct Illumination". As you can see in the video below, it enables you to add Realistic Dynamic Lights and Shadows rendered in real-time, getting information from every in-game light source.

I think it's a significant step forward for ray tracing effects using Post-processing injectors, also considering that they can work properly for DirectX 11, 12, and Vulkan. This is still a work in progress rendered in 8K @60fps thanks to an Nvidia RTX 3090 TI.

To be clear, this should not be confused with RTX Direct Illumination, NVIDIA's technique that is expected to debut in Cyberpunk 2077's upcoming Ray Tracing Overdrive Mode. Additionally, this is merely a technical showcase, as clarified by MassiHancer, and as such, it is not currently available to the public.

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