Crysis, our beloved Crysis, is one of the most historically demanding games. Even nowadays it can be a difficult swallow for the current hardware if we decorate the experience with some visual mod. This has not removed the desire to Pascal Gilcher, to modder, to … open new visual horizons in the game. To be more exact, to introduce raytracing in the game through its Pascals ReShade filter. Their results may not be as impressive as those of Minecraft with raytracing, but they are still amazing.
The mod works by applying road-marking techniques to generate global lighting and, according to Gilcher, it is compatible with any game that accepts global lighting. However, Crytek is a great starting point that, as you have seen here, you have wanted to test the people of DigitalFoundry. The truth is that it is unclear how these levels of magic are achieved. The “reshades” generally apply post-processing filters to improve the appearance of a game: SMAA to avoid sawtooth, SSAO to improve shadows, depth of field effects, etc.
These changes are directly added to the DirectX or OpenGL libraries to provide access to color and depth data, but the tracing usually needs considerably more. After all, these techniques need access to the geometry of the scene to calculate the intersections of triangles and rays so that shadows, reflections, global lighting, etc. can be determined Indeed, Gilcher’s method is not purely tracing, and that is why it focuses on global illumination. It lacks access to engine geometry and other data to carry it out.
On the other hand, this fact allows your mod to have utility outside of dedicated hardware such as the Nvidia Turing family with its RT cores. Regardless of how this technique has been carried out, the result is an 11-year-old Crysis that looks better than ever.