Playing Control with NVIDIA RTX Enabled
Both NVIDIA and Remedy prove that ray tracing is the future of gaming. Going from a GTX 980 to a RTX 2080 Super is an insane leap in power that opens up all kinds of new gaming doorways, including a completely new visual experience unlike any I've seen before.
I have to admit I was skeptical of ray tracing before. I've always been of the camp who prefers performance over visuals. But playing Control with RTX on has made me a believer and I see the true potential of this new tech.
I've always liked cinematic experiences, and Control is definitely one of the more visually striking games I've played in the last few years. It's kind of like playing a TV show, one that combines Lynch's otherworldly weirdness with Serling's opportune and exotic tales and Spotnitz' government paranoia together. Ray tracing adds tremendous new depth to this cinematic scope and feeling by significantly amplifying Remedy's powerful non-verbal storytelling.
The visuals are so absorbing and rich they pull you right in and become part of the core game. The immersion takes over and you're actually having an experience rather than playing a game. It's actual game-changer that breathes new life into interactive experiences that fuels your imagination--as things become more realistic, the game hits home even harder and pulls you in.
I thought Remedy were wizards before, but now I think they're archmasters who bend reality to create some of the most spell-binding illusions PC gaming has to offer today. Playing with ray tracing is like playing the same game but only from the future: everything is pristine, illuminated, and positively glowing. Ray tracing offers an entirely different world of interactivity that's more of a feast for the eyes and consequently the mind; the weird architecture of Control completely pops out and becomes even more artistic, even more defined, and even more thought-provoking.
Playing with RTX on vs RTX off is like looking at a blurry Polaroid versus an insane 4K photograph. The tech is nothing short of magic.
The Federal Bureau of Control's marble floors reflect everything. The windows are so clear they capture and reflect everything like a stainless mirror. The weird metal structures gleam and catch every bit of light, even the weird sinister corruption of the Hiss.
Nearly everything in Control was designed to use ray tracing, every surface seems slicked and waxed and it positively radiates with this eerie kind of power. The game's architecture itself is already a beautiful work of art, but with ray tracing there's a
Everything looks so polished with hyperealism that I genuinely have to stop and simply look around to revel in the visuals.
Perhaps the most surprising bit was how perfect the reflections were on a normal TV set. In Control there's lots of analog tech around, complete with old-school VHS tapes and computer terminals right out of the 1980s. You'll find the TVs around with the incredibly weird Threshold Kids puppet show playing on the screens. I was caught off guard from how perfectly the room was captured on the small condensed screen.
The entire room was clearly seen in the convex bubble of the screen--not the half-baked reflections you see in most games where the room doesn't even look like the one you're standing in, but a 1:1 reflection of the actual area. The same reflection quality was seen in a simple framed painting hanging on a wall.
Another small moment with huge impact that blew me away was projector reflections.
Control has various projectors set up that will play cryptic videos that slightly explain the supernatural plotline. These projectors are old-school reel-fed affairs that beam light onto a pull-down screen. Not only do the light rays look immaculate, but a nearby window showed a perfect reflection of the projected image in real-time, and even captured my character's movements, shadows, and interactions like a mirror.
With ray tracing, everything in the game is outlined in such clear stark detail that the gameplay takes on a new depth. In games it's often the small things that matter. The little decorations seen throughout an office or a specific room, memorable buildings and areas, etc. Control taps these things in a big way by making nearly every single area into a tantalizing work of art.
There's a new world of light dynamics that's fascinating and appealing. The way light passes through slits or grates in the ceiling, the way it gleams off of metal and bounces around. And it's even more interesting because you're moving in a three-dimensional space instead of just looking at a picture; you're actually interacting with the light, changing it and affecting it.
Through ray tracing, Remedy has added another layer to its wonderfully weird vision. Everything is a marvelous glimpse into the future of game, and Control harnesses the power of ray tracing to create the best-looking RTX optimized game to date. Every single area in the game is enhanced with ray tracing, making each individual pocket of this experience a masterpiece that glows and bedazzles with a myriad of lighting and reflection effects.
The Bottom Line
Control is the best Remedy game yet. It's like The X-Files, Twin Peaks and Twilight Zone mixed with a creative Metroidvania, all with explosive Max Payne gunplay and otherworldly powers.