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Quake II Gets A Demo Re-Release For Modern Graphics Hardware

Quake II is a dark, flat game, and not the most obvious choice for a company wanting to showcase new graphics tech. But then, maybe that’s the whole point behind Quake II RTX, an updated demo version that’s got a lot of ray-tracing.


It’s out on June 6, covers the first three levels of the original, and exists mostly as a marketing tool for Nvidia to sell graphics cards with RTX tech. Here’s a trailer:

Those are some big changes, but they’re not all down to RTX; indeed a lot of the heavy visual lifting is being done by new textures and effects, all of which have been completely redone, and which aren’t getting mentioned in the trailer.


And while the new lighting effects are impressive—Quake II’s spartan environments and clean lines really help show that off—I don’t think I like them more than the originals, which were moodier and more in keeping with the design and tone of the game.

But whatever! This is a glorified tech demo, not a heartfelt remaster, and the fact it’s free should make it at least worth checking out. It’ll be available here.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs

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I always feel like I’m missing out on something when things like these come around. Whether it was 4k, HDR, or this, I just think, “oh neat, it looks nicer than it did before.” I don’t really recall seeing anything that blew my mind since we went from ps1 to 2 or ps2 to 3. Am I just jaded, or have we hit the point of diminishing returns?