Deus Ex, the iconic PC game, just got an impressive RTX Remix ray-tracing mod

Deus Ex is considered one of the best PC games of all time, and it looks incredible with path-tracing thanks to NVIDIA's RTX Remix.

2 minutes & 37 seconds read time

Deus Ex is a series of first-person games. The iconic and groundbreaking original, released by Ion Storm in 2000, mixes shooting, stealth, adventure, and role-playing elements. With its moody futuristic setting and story, it's widely considered one of the greatest PC games of all time, which makes it a perfect candidate for an RTX Remix makeover.

Deus Ex (2000) with path tracing via RTX Remix, image credit: @GeForce_JacobF/X.

Deus Ex (2000) with path tracing via RTX Remix, image credit: @GeForce_JacobF/X.

NVIDIA's impressive modding and remastering tool allows budding developers and modders to take just about any classic games, add full ray-tracing (path tracing), remaster textures, replace models with new updated versions, and generally remaster titles with a robust set of tools add access to tech like DLSS, Frame Generation, and Reflex.

Deus Ex Echelon Renderer, from modder onnoj, is "a fixed-function rendering pipeline intended for use with NVIDIA's RTX Remix." It's not technically a mod, but it allows RTX Remix users to play through Deus Ex with full path-traced lighting. The results are awesome.

Deus Ex (2000) with path tracing via RTX Remix, image credit: @GeForce_JacobF/X.

Deus Ex (2000) with path tracing via RTX Remix, image credit: @GeForce_JacobF/X.

The creator provides a list of steps to get it running on the GitHub page for the release. These steps involve grabbing the latest version of RTX Remix, placing it into Deus Ex's 'System' folder, and making a few tweaks. What makes this release special is that Deus Ex ran on the original Unreal Engine, which apparently doesn't play nice with RTX Remix. Enter modern open-source renderers.

"Deus Ex (and other Unreal Engine games) work poorly with Remix. From Remix's perspective, it just sees a giant vertex soup being pushed to the GPU. That vertex soup is already pre-transformed in view space, so while some basic raytracing can happen, the results look awful, and things like lighting can never look correct.

Thankfully, the Unreal Engine shipped with a plugin system for its renderers, and Ion-storm were kind enough to release an SDK for Deus Ex which included the headers needed to write new renderers. Thanks to Marijn Kentie and others, there are various modern open-source renderers available for Deus Ex."

Deus Ex (2000) with path tracing via RTX Remix, image credit: @GeForce_JacobF/X.

Deus Ex (2000) with path tracing via RTX Remix, image credit: @GeForce_JacobF/X.

Apparently, the game's handling of animation is another hurdle for a proper remaster. With RTX Remix still in Beta, NVIDIA will undoubtedly examine projects like this to make improvements.

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Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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