After testing the graphic options of Control managed through Ray Tracing , we can reach the conclusion that it is a much more valuable implementation of the Ray Tracing than those made in Battlefield V and in Metro Exodus . The collaboration between Remedy Entertainment and NVIDIA has allowed a much more extensive implementation of the Ray Tracing than in the past, which concerns graphic effects beyond reflections and global lighting as in the two games just mentioned.
Looking at the graphical settings menu in Control Ray Tracing you can see how reflections, reflections on transparent surfaces, diffuse indirect lighting, contact shadows and debris . The result is much more striking than the previous Ray Tracing implementations: not only does the latter considerably improve the graphics but it also makes it much more precise. Among other things, for example, note how the reflections reproduce the environment in a faithful manner in Ray Tracing with respect to the implementation without Ray Tracing, where everything loses consistency.
The main setting of Control is a government office full of reflective surfaces, transparent windows, long corridors with stairways and large rooms with workstations: ideal for applying Ray Tracing on that set of effects just listed. Realistic reflections on floors and relatives, in particular, increase the fidelity of the entire game scene: the most attentive observer will notice precise reflections with respect to the environment like never before in a video game. Unlike normal reflections in rasterization, these are based on the real geometric composition of the environments and on their dynamic lighting
The effect of diffuse indirect lighting is also very interesting because, as in the case of reflections, this is generated starting from the dynamic light sources reflected by the nearby surfaces , taking into account the colors of these light sources. Even the smallest geometric details in a scene influence indirect lighting, making the screen more faithful
This type of indirect lighting implementation takes the place of the screen space ambient occlusion technique, used until now to manage this type of lighting effects determined by the objects that are close to the surface. The indirect lighting in Ray Tracing is able to accurately capture the transmission of color even from the smallest surfaces present in the game world.
Control also uses Ray Tracing to handle the contact shadows between two adjacent polygons. The engine combines pre-existing shadow maps with dynamic effects, using the latter in the most sensitive and delicate rendering areas of the screen. For the following comparison we have from time to time deselected one of the effects managed in Ray Tracing to give an idea of what is lost in terms of image quality in its absence.
No Ray Tracing
No reflections transparent surfaces
No indirect diffusion
No shadows of contact
The following comparative, on the other hand, focuses on reflections on transparent surfaces , a graphic element that is very difficult to render with traditional rasterization techniques based on the cube map prebeaked. Thanks to Ray Tracing, not only can you see complete reflexes but above all they remain consistent at all angles with respect to the observation point. Furthermore, the Ray Tracing allows you to capture dynamic geometry elements within these reflections, such as moving enemies entering the screen area reflected on the transparent surface. Everything is very evident also in video.
Control uses the proprietary graphic engine Northlight Engine , already seen in Quantum Break , the previous game of Remedy . Enthusiasts remember this Finnish software house also for one of the first implementations of Havok Engine, in Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne , even earlier than the historical one of Half-Life 2 . With the first really appreciable implementation of Ray Tracing, Remedy is confirmed as one of the most technically skilled software houses
Therefore, Ray Tracing significantly improves Control's graphics, but how much does it affect performance? As is known, net of the fact that it is not the complete version of the Ray Tracing, which responds to the name of Path Tracing, is a technique of rendering in some ways futuristic, but not always feasible due to the huge computing resources it requires. As can be seen in the following comparison, the Ray Tracing with all the graphic options described here in Control goes to deteriorate the performance of a 40% about. The test was performed on a PC with AMD Ryzen 1700 X, 16 GB of RAM and GeForce RTX 2080.
Set in a unique and ever-changing world that contrasts the reality that is most familiar to absurd and inexplicable events, Control is a third-person action adventure that perfectly combines gunplay , trademark of Remedy, with the use of supernatural abilities .
A secret government agency in New York has been invaded by an otherworldly threat. The players will take on the role of Jesse Faden , the new Director of Federal Bureau of Control . It will be her task not easy to restore order and regain control.
Control will go on sale tomorrow. We talked about it here.