When Nvidia first announced their RTX Super cards, they also unveiled a brand new game bundle to go with them. Whereas regular RTX cards only came with a free copy of Wolfenstein: Youngblood, anyone who decided to plump for one of their new Super GPUs, such as the RTX 2060 Super or RTX 2070 Super, would also get a free copy of Control on top. A bum deal for regular RTX buyers, perhaps, depending on how much you’re looking forward to Control, but a handy way of making their RTX Super cards look like better value for money than their similarly-priced, non-Super siblings. Now, however, Nvidia’s decided to bundle both games with all RTX cards, as well as selected RTX laptops and gaming desktops. Now that’s what I call taking control.
The promotion runs from now (July 11th) until August 18th 2019, so you don’t have long to take advantage of it – at least not compared to AMD’s current graphics card bundle, which gets you a free three month subscription to Xbox Game Pass on PC from now until March 10th 2020.
Still, as you may recall, both Control and Wolfenstein: Youngblood are two of Nvidia’s confirmed ray tracing games, making them ideal candidates for showing off all the fancy Nvidia RTX features that are supported by their RTX 20-series of graphics cards.
Control looks to be by far the meatier ray tracing game of the two, as it’s not only set to get nice-looking ray traced reflections like Battlefield V and contact shadows like Shadow of the Tomb Raider, but it’s also going to have ray traced diffuse global illumination like Metro Exodus, so you’ll probably need a fairly beefy RTX card to run it at a decent frame rate.
Wolfenstein’s ray tracing support, on the other hand, is a bit more ambiguous – so far all Nvidia have said on the matter is that it will have ‘ray traced effects’ – but given how well its predecessors have run in the past, I’d be surprised if it was as taxing as Control (although I will of course be doing some thorough RTX ray tracing testing on the game once it comes out on July 26th).
Even if Wolfenstein’s ray tracing does end up being quite demanding, though, Nvidia have also confirmed it will be getting adaptive shading support, too, which will hopefully help boost performance depending on the complexity of the scene (and is a feature that’s also supported by Nvidia’s GTX 16-series of graphics cards as well). Instead of shading the entire scene, for example, the AI gubbins inside Nvidia’s Turing cards effectively ‘borrow’ some of the shading resources from other objects in view to help colour in less detailed areas of a scene to help take some of the load off the GPU. I saw it in action on Youngblood’s predecessor, A New Colossus, and it not only boosted the frame rate by around 15-20fps during my demo, but the difference between having it on and off was also practically imperceptible, so I’m hopeful that Youngblood will receive a similar sort of boost to help combat the toll of its ray tracing.
Either way, it’s a win-win situation for anyone excited about Control – particularly if you’ve been eyeing up one of Nvidia’s normal RTX 2060 cards as opposed to its more expensive RTX 2060 Super counterpart – which, for me at least, is still one of the best graphics cards for 1440p gaming you can buy right now outside of AMD’s Radeon RX 5700.