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Control and Metro:Exodus RTX : Does it make that much of a difference?

VFXVeteran

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This entire weekend, I spent combing through Control and Metro: Exodus with max settings looking for the holy grail of graphics tech and hence expecting a lot of "wow" comments due to the superior lighting, global illumination, area lights, and incredibly accurate AO. I came away empty handed.

Both of these games are fairly lackluster in their overall appearance compared to games like Detroit, Modern Warfare and RDR2. I went to search out why that is because using RTX should immediately make the game look superior to all others.

Here's what I came up with:

1) PBR is minuscule or non-existant. You simply can NOT trade excellent physically based materials for more accurate lighting. Both of these games came up really really short on the overall look of materials in the games. I have my specific reasons why this is but I won't go into them here.

2) Textures suffer in resolution due to limited bandwidth for sampling. Textures have to be at a minimum of 4k these days. Both of these games have much lower texture resolution especially for the terrain that I expected. The normal maps are even lower in texture resolution which blurs out the details significantly.

3) Art direction forces simple looking albedo maps (regular diffuse textures with hardly any multitexturing). Control has a LOT less detail than Metro, but Metro has a LOT less detail when you compare it to games like Modern Warfare.

Final thoughts, imo, it seems that RT is a little too early to be used in a manner that doesn't take away from where we've gotten with static light maps, SSR, and pre-baked GI. Using those crude methods have allowed games to use the bulk of their bandwidth in features that count like high res textures, physically-based materials and extremely high detailed environments. At this point, if I were working on a next-gen game, I would mainly focus on RT shadows and reflections with a possible RT ambient occlusion only. Putting the GI, and area lights in the scene pulls away too many resources from the main pipeline like PBR and high res textures. The hardware just isn't powerful enough to implement everything to it's highest degree.
 

Dev1lXYZ

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Ray tracing doesn’t really add enough to either of those two titles to impress anyone outside someone specifically looking for them. Control has some good reflections, but, the cost in performance isn’t worth it. The average joe wouldn’t be able to see the difference that RTX brings to either title. I have a 2070, and even I call it a gimmick to my friends.
 

GymWolf

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Maybe they add something but the resource cost is too high.

I tried control at 1440p30fps or 1080p60 fps with rtx on but in the end i switched for 4k60 frame without them.
Better iq and framerate are far more important than some nice reflection.

Maybe in 10 years when the gpu will be powerfull enough and the tecnology more refined.
 
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lukilladog

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Diminishing returns, I hope devs in consoles focus on faster techniques and use the power for detail and complexity... like nobody cares if two polygon intersections are lit accurately.
 
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Dr.D00p

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Metro Exodus doesn't really use the full spectrum of RTX effects, It's pretty much limited to correctly lighting interiors rather than high quality reflections.

..and Control just looks crap at anything less than 4K Max settings with no DLSS, but that makes it practically unplayable on todays GPU's.
 
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Zefah

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There are moments in Exodus in which the lighting with RTX on Ultra has really impressed me, but I'm also not convinced the same scenes couldn't have been done with a pre-baked solution.
 

proandrad

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People expected 4K to be mindblowing. They expected HDR to be mindblowing. They expect RTX to be mindblowing. I wish developers would focus some time on performance and not sales.
I fall into all 3 of those categories. But to be fair the peak brightness of my tv isn’t very high so hdr in games alway looks washed out. Haven’t experienced true HDR. I have a Sony x800d btw.
 

Siri

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With Control we’re getting a glimpse into the future. The ray traced reflections are incredible. At one point I looked at a poster that was hanging on the wall. The poster had glass over it and I could see the poster within the frame and the reflection of everything behind me on the glass. I’d never seen anything like that in a computer game.

No way is ray tracing just a gimmick. When the cards get more powerful we’ll be seeing ray tracing everywhere and it’s going to be incredible.
 

Zefah

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People expected 4K to be mindblowing. They expected HDR to be mindblowing. They expect RTX to be mindblowing. I wish developers would focus some time on performance and not sales.
To me, HDR did make a huge difference. I've only experienced it with PS4 games on my LG B6 TV (55" OLED), but stuff like the Uncharted 4 games, God of War, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Ratchet & Clank, Gran Turismo Sport, FFXV, etc. all looked absolutely incredible. With that said, I will still choose performance over it, which is why I continue to buy 3rd party games on PC. I look forward to the day that I can get a high refresh rate HDR monitor for a reasonable price.
 
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GHG

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Metro Exodus yes because it completely changes the atmosphere of the game for the better in most cases.

Control, no because its simply not worth the performance hit in a game that doesn't even perform that well without it on.
 
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Bryank75

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This entire weekend, I spent combing through Control and Metro: Exodus with max settings looking for the holy grail of graphics tech and hence expecting a lot of "wow" comments due to the superior lighting, global illumination, area lights, and incredibly accurate AO. I came away empty handed.

Both of these games are fairly lackluster in their overall appearance compared to games like Detroit, Modern Warfare and RDR2. I went to search out why that is because using RTX should immediately make the game look superior to all others.

Here's what I came up with:

1) PBR is minuscule or non-existant. You simply can NOT trade excellent physically based materials for more accurate lighting. Both of these games came up really really short on the overall look of materials in the games. I have my specific reasons why this is but I won't go into them here.

2) Textures suffer in resolution due to limited bandwidth for sampling. Textures have to be at a minimum of 4k these days. Both of these games have much lower texture resolution especially for the terrain that I expected. The normal maps are even lower in texture resolution which blurs out the details significantly.

3) Art direction forces simple looking albedo maps (regular diffuse textures with hardly any multitexturing). Control has a LOT less detail than Metro, but Metro has a LOT less detail when you compare it to games like Modern Warfare.

Final thoughts, imo, it seems that RT is a little too early to be used in a manner that doesn't take away from where we've gotten with static light maps, SSR, and pre-baked GI. Using those crude methods have allowed games to use the bulk of their bandwidth in features that count like high res textures, physically-based materials and extremely high detailed environments. At this point, if I were working on a next-gen game, I would mainly focus on RT shadows and reflections with a possible RT ambient occlusion only. Putting the GI, and area lights in the scene pulls away too many resources from the main pipeline like PBR and high res textures. The hardware just isn't powerful enough to implement everything to it's highest degree.
That's why I say that consoles will live on for a very long time... Iterations of raytracing and audio tech, more gpu and cpu horse power to enable the development of new techniques etc.

We will no doubt get a mid gen upgrade with better raytracing. But probably the successive gens will be big steps forward and more efficient.
 

VFXVeteran

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That's why I say that consoles will live on for a very long time... Iterations of raytracing and audio tech, more gpu and cpu horse power to enable the development of new techniques etc.

We will no doubt get a mid gen upgrade with better raytracing. But probably the successive gens will be big steps forward and more efficient.
No need for a mid-gen upgrade when those consoles won't be strong enough for even rivaling the 2080Ti.

It's not that the RT isn't obvious. It is. It's just that you can't sacrifice the main look of the game by removing the PBR and texture resolution to get there. Make no mistake, the lighting in RT is definitely needed because I'm tired of looking at blown out ambient light probes all over the place when the material is supposed to be in shadow (i.e. Witcher 3 indoor lighting is horrible). But taking away PBR as a substitute isn't an even tradeoff.

We probably have 2 more Nvidia generations before we start to see something where no feature is sacrificed. Who knows how long it will take consoles to get there.
 
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No need for a mid-gen upgrade when those consoles won't be strong enough for even rivaling the 2080Ti.

It's not that the RT isn't obvious. It is. It's just that you can't sacrifice the main look of the game by removing the PBR and texture resolution to get there. Make no mistake, the lighting in RT is definitely needed because I'm tired of looking at blown out ambient light probes all over the place when the material is supposed to be in shadow (i.e. Witcher 3 indoor lighting is horrible). But taking away PBR as a substitute isn't an even tradeoff.

We probably have 2 more Nvidia generations before we start to see something where no feature is sacrificed. Who knows how long it will take consoles to get there.
What we'll see first are hybrid approaches, half lightmaps or light-probes and then in some cases RTX-features put into. Fact is that with specs increasing and especially disc-space and read-times, we can basically add way way more lightprobe density to get a better more controlled look. Ie you won't have just a few lightprobes sitting in spaces but a way higher density allowing for a much better representation of the lighting. The main issue has almost always been memory and the amount of stuff that needs to be put into the VRAM & Disc-space.

So next generation will probably be something like high-density light-probes + RTX AO/Reflections. Maybe some simpler representation of GI but with a higher irradiance probe density it could potentially replace the RTX GI for now.

Next Console Generation will probably not go full-on RTX and PC will definitely get there before Consoles but since games are made for consoles mainly, the rasterisation support has to be the backbone of the rendering anyways.
 

Screamer-RSA

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NVidia's marketing sure did a number on a whole lot of people. So much in fact that even consoles have to have it now otherwise the perception will be that they are outdated.

There is nothing wrong with the technology but atm it nothing more than a nice to have/gimmic. The 20 series cards aren't even that good at it and the performance cost does not make it worth it. Even nVidia had to be really deceptive in their "It Just Works" presentation to wow the audience otherwise people would have gone, "oh, thats not much of a difference."

 
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VFXVeteran

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Next Console Generation will probably not go full-on RTX and PC will definitely get there before Consoles but since games are made for consoles mainly, the rasterisation support has to be the backbone of the rendering anyways.
They aren't made for consoles mainly.
 

VFXVeteran

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NVidia's marketing sure did a number on a whole lot of people. So much in fact that even consoles have to have it now otherwise the perception will be that they are outdated.

There is nothing wrong with the technology but atm it nothing more than a nice to have/gimmic. The 20 series cards aren't even that good at it and the performance cost does not make it worth it. Even nVidia had to be really deceptive in their "It Just Works" presentation to wow the audience otherwise people would have gone, "oh, thats not much of a difference."

1st iterations are always iffy. Yes, the boards are struggling with it at 4k. And the approximations are crude for now. But we at least got here. I just don't want to see things like PBR taken out of the pipeline simply because the RT + PBR = no-no.
 

rofif

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In control only reflections were worth it imo. Im metro... Global illumination outside was great with rtx. Inside no difference.
Also - exodus is waaay better looking game than control imo. Just stunning and atmospheric
 
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VFXVeteran

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In control only reflections were worth it imo. Im metro... Global illumination outside was great with rtx. Inside no difference.
Also - exodus is waaay better looking game than control imo. Just stunning and atmospheric
Agree Exodus is way better looking than Control. But there are other games that are way better looking than both. I find that disheartening. Textures and material detail will always contribute more to overall presentation.
 

V4skunk

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Ray tracing is not a gimmick.
It is the holy grail of realistic lighting...
Quake2 looks good with it.
 
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TheCockatrice

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NVidia's marketing sure did a number on a whole lot of people. So much in fact that even consoles have to have it now otherwise the perception will be that they are outdated.

There is nothing wrong with the technology but atm it nothing more than a nice to have/gimmic. The 20 series cards aren't even that good at it and the performance cost does not make it worth it. Even nVidia had to be really deceptive in their "It Just Works" presentation to wow the audience otherwise people would have gone, "oh, thats not much of a difference."

Old video and as for your statement that it's a gimmick and everyone else who says that, I call bullshit on actually playing with raytracing.

I have yet to play Control but I have played Metro Exodus with rtx and it's fucking amazing.

 
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Krappadizzle

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Agree Exodus is way better looking than Control. But there are other games that are way better looking than both. I find that disheartening. Textures and material detail will always contribute more to overall presentation.
What do you think is better looking than Metro? I played most of the heavy hitters last year on PC and I thought Metro was easily the best looking game released.
 

JohnnyFootball

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It looks fine and Metro Exodus was the best example, but I am willing to bet most people couldn't tell a difference, especially on cards below the 2080, where you have to turn the RTX settings down so low that it's hard to tell.

I have a 2080 Ti and in most instances I just shut it off and enjoy the extra performance.
 

Dev1lXYZ

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It looks fine and Metro Exodus was the best example, but I am willing to bet most people couldn't tell a difference, especially on cards below the 2080, where you have to turn the RTX settings down so low that it's hard to tell.

I have a 2080 Ti and in most instances I just shut it off and enjoy the extra performance.

I have an RTX 2070. Raytracing is ok, I guess. I can run it cranked up. I agree with you- average joe gamer wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between having it on or off. It’s a gimmick to sell silicon. Those that disagree with us aren’t really playing with these cards and are probably watching DF videos on YT that hype it up.
 
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People expected 4K to be mindblowing. They expected HDR to be mindblowing. They expect RTX to be mindblowing. I wish developers would focus some time on performance and not sales.
Performance is pretty great on a lot of games... I mean what more do you want when a modern mid-range CPU can run pretty much any game above 100fps (more like 120) assuming you pair it with a decent GPU (not even top of the line).
 

VFXVeteran

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I have an RTX 2070. Raytracing is ok, I guess. I can run it cranked up. I agree with you- average joe gamer wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between having it on or off. It’s a gimmick to sell silicon. Those that disagree with us aren’t really playing with these cards and are probably watching DF videos on YT that hype it up.
RT is not a gimmick.
 

VFXVeteran

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What do you think is better looking than Metro? I played most of the heavy hitters last year on PC and I thought Metro was easily the best looking game released.
Quite a few. But that would go into the realm of subjectivity. Detroit for PC is an example of an incredibly well made game graphically. It's pretty much top tier although many many things were pre-baked and most of it was done in cinematics. That's a good target for next-gen games @ 4k. And before you say it, Detroit on PC is significantly better looking than it's PS4 variant. Mostly due to the higher resolution textures and overall render targets of 4k as opposed to lower render buffers. Shaders are more detailed as well (but that's due to the render buffers being higher too).
 

Siri

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Quite a few. But that would go into the realm of subjectivity. Detroit for PC is an example of an incredibly well made game graphically. It's pretty much top tier although many many things were pre-baked and most of it was done in cinematics. That's a good target for next-gen games @ 4k. And before you say it, Detroit on PC is significantly better looking than it's PS4 variant. Mostly due to the higher resolution textures and overall render targets of 4k as opposed to lower render buffers. Shaders are more detailed as well (but that's due to the render buffers being higher too).
You keep talking about Detroit Become Human on the PC - and, IMO, you’re just taken by the art direction. The ray tracing in Control tops anything in Detroit. Detroit doesn’t even have HDR.

Detroit on the PC could’ve been so much more - it’s baffling that I can’t even maintain 60 FPS at 4K on an RTX2080ti/9900k.

Frame-rates, btw, have nothing to do with how a game looks. Frame-rates are about how a game plays. I’m seeing Red Herrings in this discussion, people attempting to side-track what the discussion is actually about by saying that ray tracing is a gpu hog. We know that.
 
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Dev1lXYZ

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RT is not a gimmick.
Ray tracing doesn’t add much to the already pre baked in lighting of Metro Exodus. While it’s great to show off in videos and to show what lies ahead in a few generations, it’s mostly a forgettable ‘feature’ to me. It makes the dark areas darker, which is okay.

In Control, it basically adds a lot of reflective surfaces to places that are unrealistic. Those shiny metal surfaces were neat to look at once and then I started thinking about how that one janitor polished the every safe room and rest room and tile floor to a sheen. It’s annoying as hell to me to see my reflection in everything in the environment. I started shooting out the windows because the reflections got on my nerves. Shit even reflects off your clothing too. It’s just too much and took me out of the whole experience. Just because one can do something doesn’t mean that they should. The prebaked lighted areas look better as the game was designed around prebaked lighted areas. Maybe once RT matures to where games are designed around it from the beginning, it will feel more natural. For now.....it’s a gimmick to push silicon sales. DF makes those videos to sell you video cards. They get money to do that.
 
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Ivory Blood

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Mirrors and glass in Control are really noticeable for me with RTX enabled, can't go back to RTX off now. Other than that - no, I wasn't "big wowed" by raytracing, but maybe Cyberpunk will do something with it - what with all the neon and reflective surfaces.
 
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Sygma

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Considering Exodus is by far and large the most impressive looking game on a pure technical level with RTX on, yeah it absolutely does make a HUGE difference

Ray tracing doesn’t add much to the already pre baked in lighting of Metro Exodus.
You're absolutely out of your mind, it changes the whole lighting

 
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UnNamed

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Rasterization techniques have a high level of plausibility nowaday. Watching Control or Metro, what your brain percieve is real, a plausible image. RTX in this case only add accuracy.
Also, this games use a partial RTX technique, only shadows or GI or reflection, since materials are not defined in the process of creation.
See Quake 2 with latest patch, it's incredible, way better what we have seen so far.
 

llien

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They expected HDR to be mindblowing.
I find HDR mind blowing (Horizon, GoW 4, so, basically on 7870).
People should not mistake screens labeled with "HDR" because they support HDR input, with screens that area actually capable of producing HDR output.
 

VFXVeteran

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You keep talking about Detroit Become Human on the PC - and, IMO, you’re just taken by the art direction. The ray tracing in Control tops anything in Detroit. Detroit doesn’t even have HDR.
Art direction governed the shaders in this game. The shaders trump lighting with RT. They are some of the best shaders I've seen in a videogame. And the lighting is pre-baked so of course it's not at the level of Control or Metro:Exodus.

My point was they used an advanced form of lighting and took away the art direction or shader complexity making the game "look" mediocre.
 

VFXVeteran

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Considering Exodus is by far and large the most impressive looking game on a pure technical level with RTX on, yeah it absolutely does make a HUGE difference
Yes it does. But only when comparing it to the same game with it off. Comparing it to other games that have better art direction makes Control look worse. But you are right, it absolutely makes a difference and is certainly going to be the standard tech moving forward.
 
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Sygma

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Yes it does. But only when comparing it to the same game with it off. Comparing it to other games that have better art direction makes Control look worse. But you are right, it absolutely makes a difference and is certainly going to be the standard tech moving forward.
I certainly hope so yeah, got no doubts Naughty Dog, Santa Monica, Sucker Punch and Insomniac are going to bring the magic
 

Siri

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Art direction governed the shaders in this game. The shaders trump lighting with RT. They are some of the best shaders I've seen in a videogame. And the lighting is pre-baked so of course it's not at the level of Control or Metro:Exodus.

My point was they used an advanced form of lighting and took away the art direction or shader complexity making the game "look" mediocre.
I guess I don’t understand what you’re trying to say here?

Two of the most graphically impressive games in my library are Control and Exodus - ray tracing and HDR (in Exodus) are what put these games over the top. You asked in your thread title if RTX made any difference. For me it made all the difference, specifically in these two titles.

If someone said to me, show me what your 2080ti is capable of, I’d show them Exodus and Control at max settings.

(BTW, at first, I thought Detroit was stunning. But I’ve cooled on it a lot now that I’ve advanced some. Funnily enough, I’d actually argue that what’s holding Detroit back for me is the lack of HDR and some kind of RTX implementation.)
 

laser_printer

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People expected 4K to be mindblowing. They expected HDR to be mindblowing. They expect RTX to be mindblowing. I wish developers would focus some time on performance and not sales.
I personally found HDR to be "mind blowing" especially compared to how bland many tvs with 8bit panels. The PC world has had 10bit monitors for years in the form of IPS so finally getting that level of color depth on movies/games on television is WAY overdue.

I guess I don’t understand what you’re trying to say here?

Two of the most graphically impressive games in my library are Control and Exodus - ray tracing and HDR (in Exodus) are what put these games over the top. You asked in your thread title if RTX made any difference. For me it made all the difference, specifically in these two titles.

If someone said to me, show me what your 2080ti is capable of, I’d show them Exodus and Control at max settings.

(BTW, at first, I thought Detroit was stunning. But I’ve cooled on it a lot now that I’ve advanced some. Funnily enough, I’d actually argue that what’s holding Detroit back for me is the lack of HDR and some kind of RTX implementation.)
Detroit has HDR on consoles on the PS4 and looks stunning, is there no option on PC? That just seems weird.
 
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laser_printer

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Considering Exodus is by far and large the most impressive looking game on a pure technical level with RTX on, yeah it absolutely does make a HUGE difference



You're absolutely out of your mind, it changes the whole lighting

When you have to do all those extreme closeups to justify your 1,000 video card it's okay to admit you got conned on a meme of a feature.
 

Sygma

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When you have to do all those extreme closeups to justify your 1,000 video card it's okay to admit you got conned on a meme of a feature.
or you can also play on a 32 inch monitor and notice all of it in movement, but thats ok i won't hold it against you
 

Siri

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When you have to do all those extreme closeups to justify your 1,000 video card it's okay to admit you got conned on a meme of a feature.
The RTX 2080ti is only true 4K card at the moment - and even then it will struggle in more than a few games at max settings.

It’s also the only card that will truly power an LG C9 display.

PC gaming, at 4K, at max settings, on an oled display, is a magical experience. But yeah, if you feel the need to say we were all ‘conned’ then go ahead, I guess.
 

laser_printer

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The RTX 2080ti is only true 4K card at the moment - and even then it will struggle in more than a few games at max settings.

It’s also the only card that will truly power an LG C9 display.

PC gaming, at 4K, at max settings, on an oled display, is a magical experience. But yeah, if you feel the need to say we were all ‘conned’ then go ahead, I guess.
Craziest thing is that I'm talking to you both on a gaming PC, and I've been a 600 dollar video card guy and wouldn't even touch this current crop with a 10ft pole.

It'll even crazier when 250 cards are running RTX even better than this. I just feel like looking at all the current crops of games it looks nice and all but it's pretty much all games where no one would notice it enough to care as you're too busy playing. I'm sure you've probably had to, on many occassions, stop and slow down playing all these RTX games and wonder "Is it on here? I can't tell." And digital foundry's video even proves what I'm saying, all that zooming in just to see extra bright lights and reflections.
 

VFXVeteran

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I guess I don’t understand what you’re trying to say here?

Two of the most graphically impressive games in my library are Control and Exodus - ray tracing and HDR (in Exodus) are what put these games over the top. You asked in your thread title if RTX made any difference. For me it made all the difference, specifically in these two titles.

If someone said to me, show me what your 2080ti is capable of, I’d show them Exodus and Control at max settings.

(BTW, at first, I thought Detroit was stunning. But I’ve cooled on it a lot now that I’ve advanced some. Funnily enough, I’d actually argue that what’s holding Detroit back for me is the lack of HDR and some kind of RTX implementation.)
I guess you have a subjective opinion of those two games. I can't argue what you see as impressive. But I would ask you to look closer at the terrain in Metro Exodus or the characters and props in the game. Compare those things to Detroit (or even Modern Warfare). Control literally has very simple shaders which is understandable given they couldn't go crazy when they are using most of their GPU cycles on computing RT lighting. For example, the main character's face doesn't use anywhere near a good skin material as the other games I mentioned. Props like desk lights, carpet, chairs etc.. are all very simple in complexity compared to Detroit's PBR shaders. Try to find a velvet look in Control since most everything is in a building.
 
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Shmunter

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Haven’t seen firsthand, but on YouTube it comes across as the pinnacle of diminishing returns. With controller in hand, being able to play with the light sources it may take on a new light, no pun intended.