More developers are taking advantage of ray tracing technology thanks to the upcoming next-gen consoles that will support it. Though it doesn’t always just have to make a game more realistic or ‘prettier’, in fact it can greatly enhance the game’s atmosphere and tone if implemented correctly, and it seems that Techland, creators of the hit Dying Light and upcoming Dying Light 2, feels the same way.
In a recent interview to the press, Tomasz Szałkowski stated that Dying Light 2 will make use of the ray tracing support in next-gen consoles and make the experience even scarier. DL2 is being developed with their in-house C-engine and will be Techland’s largest game so far using it.
"It is very important for us to achieve our ambitions in terms of graphics, which is why this will be the first Techland production to support ray tracing. We are implementing it in cooperation with Nvidia [on PC] and using the latest achievements in this domain."
He goes into more detail about how ray tracing improves graphical fidelity by simulating light more realistically, how even the shadows from clouds in sunny weather look more realistic because the technology actually takes into account the size of the sun. But more than that, it can make the game even more terrifying by enhancing immersion. Szałkowski went on to explain how Dark Zones are improved by ray tracing:
"Dark Zones are an important element of our game, which is why we are experimenting with secondary illumination (reflected off surfaces) from artificial light sources (such as the player's flashlight), which will make the experience of exploring these regions even more intense."
So it looks like Dying Light 2 will be supporting a very interesting use of ray tracing. Instead of the traditional ‘simulated light rays for more accurate lighting, shadows and reflections’, they’ll actually be using the technology as a game mechanic. Imagine shining a UV light on a reflective wall to daze the zombies before you even see them? Or even just being able to see around corners or under doors thanks to reflective surfaces.
What do you think? How will ray tracing impact the gameplay? What will this mean for those who can’t experience it due to hardware constraints? Let us know your thoughts!