Quake II RTX is coming to Windows and Linux -- and you can have it for free

Quake II RTX

The Quake franchise is a gaming behemoth, and fans of the first-person shooter will soon be able to enjoy the re-released and revamped Quake II RTX. The RTX is a reference to ray tracing, and the game takes advantage of NVIDIA RTX graphics cards to power massively enhanced visuals.

Next Thursday, June 6, NVIDIA is releasing the remastered version of the game on both Windows and Linux -- and you can play it for free.


Once the game is launched, anyone with a GeForce RTX graphics card -- or other hardware up to the task -- will be able to play the first three levels of the game for free. There's even better news for anyone who already has a copy of Quake II. NVIDIA explains that "if you own a copy of Quake II, you can play the campaign in its entirety, and play against others in online multiplayer".

Quake II RTX is a joint project between NVIDIA and Bethesda, and the graphics card company says:

We're massive fans of the original, and even-bigger fans of technology, so when presented with the opportunity to remaster a classic game with all that ray tracing can offer, we jumped at the chance. Quake II RTX demonstrates the possibilities of ray tracing, and offers a glimpse at the future of gaming, with realistic real-time lighting, shadows and effects.

The trailer for the game gives you an idea of what you can expect:

You'll need a pretty decent system to enjoy Quake II RTX, with NVIDIA recommending the following minimum specs:

  • OS: Windows 7 64-bit or Ubuntu 16.04 LTS 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-3220, or AMD equivalent
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, or higher
  • Storage: 2GB available space

If your computer is up to the job, you will be able to enjoy:

  • Improved Global Illumination rendering, with three selectable quality presets, including two-bounce GI
  • Multiplayer support
  • Time of day options that radically change the appearance of some levels
  • New weapon models & textures
  • New dynamic environments (Stroggos surface, and space)
  • Better physically based atmospheric scattering, including settings for Stroggos sky
  • Real-time reflectivity of the player and weapon model on water and glass surfaces, and player model shadows, for owners of the complete game (the original Shareware release does not include player models)
  • Improved ray tracing denoising technology
  • All 3,000+ original game textures have been updated with a mix of Q2XP mod-pack textures and our own enhancements
  • Updated effects with new sprites and particle animations
  • Dynamic lighting for items such as blinking lights, signs, switches, elevators and moving objects
  • Caustics approximation to improve water lighting effects
  • High-quality screenshot mode that makes your screenshots look even better
  • Support for the old OpenGL renderer, enabling you to switch between RTX ON and RTX OFF
  • Cylindrical projection mode for wide-angle field of view on widescreen displays

On June 6, you will be able to download Quake II RTX here.

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