The classic first-person shooter Quake II is getting re-released with some awesome graphical updates. Better yet, it’ll be completely free for you to download starting on June 6—though you’re going to need a solid Nvidia GPU in your PC or laptop in order to play it.
The new version of the game, dubbed Quake II RTX, was co-developed between Nvidia and Bethesda (who owns the original Quake II development studio, id Software) to show off the powerful capabilities of Nvidia’s RTX series of graphics cards.
Quake II RTX features new textures, models, and animations; support for high-resolution displays; and ray tracing—something only possible on the highest-end GPUs currently available. Ray tracing is essentially mathematically-accurate, real-time spatial lighting. As a result, Quake II RTX players will be able to modify in-game settings, such as the time of day and environmental lighting, to affect lighting changes in real-time—while they’re running around trying to rail gun each other, of course.
You’ll need a powerful PC in order to experience the benefits of ray tracing in any game, and Quake II RTX requires at least an Nvidia RTX 2060 in order to run. You can grab an RTX 2060 for about $599, though the most powerful of the RTX line, the RTX 2080 Ti, will cost you $1899.
Other minimum system requirements include:
64-bit Windows 7 or 64-bit Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Intel Core i3-3220 processor or AMD equivalent
2GB available hard drive space
Despite the steep GPU requirements, Quake II RTX will be free to download and play. The free version includes the first three levels of the original 1997 Quake II, though those who own Quake II on Steam (currently available for $7.45) can play the entire single-player campaign and all multiplayer modes with the enhanced ray tracing.
You’ll find Quake II RTX on Nvidia’s website and Valve’s Steam service starting June 6.