4A games confidently embrace the evolution of light and shadow rendering, ray tracing. The developer of the Metro the series released the third installment of their series, Metro Exodus, in early 2019, for many critical praise. The title was praised for its next generation graphics and immersive movement systems that put you in the shoes of a soldier who defied the harsh apocalypse.
The Metro the series was initially written as a novel by Dmitry Glukhovsky, who published it Metro 2033 in 2005. The world is Glukhovsky’s version of post-apocalyptic science fiction, which takes place in Moscow before expanding into much of the world in later novels. We follow Artyom as one of the people who live underground in the Russian metropolitan system. The games take much of this story and adapt it in a first person shooter with horror elements. The first title was released in 2010, while the second, Metro: Last Light, was released only three years later in 2013.
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Eurogamer reports that Shishkovstov, 4A Games Chief Technical Officer, is looking forward to seeing a future with ray tracing. “We are fully in ray tracing“, says Shishkovstov,”Completely eliminate the path / techniques of the old school code … Internally we have experienced a lot and with spectacular results so far. You will have to wait to see what we implement in our future projects“The reality is that ray tracing is too difficult for any current generation console to render, which is why every title released with it has an incredibly detailed port on the PC.
With ray tracing considered as a possible future for next generation consoles, it could become a much more common option for developers. The change provided is immediately noticeable, as precooked lighting and lack of real-time reflections are replaced with completely realistic renderings of light and shadow. In essence, ray tracing is the system that is still used today in films to integrate computer effects with real-life actors and realistic scenarios. This complex composition is simplified with these advanced systems.
The Metro franchising is perfect for such an implementation, as it has always been at the forefront of graphic skills. Similar to the likes of crisis developed by Crytek, the 4A studies have created an internal motor, 4A, to bring the game to life. This engine has been admired as an impressive feat for a small studio that doesn’t work on a triple A budget. It has only received improvements in the following titles, such as Metro: Last Light added complex, wide open spaces that the player can explore. Complex tessellation has been added to objects and creatures and realistic physics to smaller objects.
Metro Exodus improved only on these already impressive systems in 2019. This was one of the first games to do it successfully, with many citing the impressive technical result as a reference moment for graphic evolution. Unfortunately, many of these advances cannot be carried over to the current generation of consoles. Expect to see ray tracing as a recognized community within the next decade as soon as consoles can keep up.
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