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Atomic Heart, ray tracing poster child, won’t support ray tracing for PC on launch

Heavily promoted feature is coming post-release

Atomic Heart’s long development cycle has provided ample opportunities to show off the power of ray tracing. From an Nvidia tech demo back to in 2019 to an RTX-branded trailer released just last month, this souped-up lighting and reflection tech has been a key piston in propelling the Soviet sci-fi FPS’ hype train. Some slightly awkward news, then: the PC version won’t support ray tracing at launch.

I noticed the lack of ray tracing options in the review build we received last week, and got in touch with the game's press relations team to check if I was missing something, or if they were due to be added via update. The response confirmed that their absence was not an error, and that "the devs will be looking into implementing this post-launch." Well then!

This is quite the surprise. Game director Robert Bagratuni had previously told Wccftech that the console versions of Atomic Heart won’t get ray tracing support in time for the February 21st release date (y'know, tomorrow), but no delay for RT features on the PC has been announced. I guess it’s better than them being cancelled outright but still, how strange that a game with an Nvidia-approved ray tracing demo four years ago won’t have even a toned-down version of those features ready for when the world can actually play it.

To be sure, Atomic Heart has bigger problems than a lack of super shiny graphics options – it’s a profoundly uneven game, capable of miserable lows as often as it is of thrilling highs. More positively, it already looks great without ray tracing, and it does at least have fully functioning DLSS support, including for the new DLSS 3. So you’re not being left empty handed if you’ve splashed out on an RTX graphics card.

Even so, ray tracing is going to be a strange omission indeed when Atomic Heart goes on sale tomorrow. I’ve asked Mundfish if they have a separate date in mind for the ray tracing update, and have contacted Nvidia for a statement as well. Any new info comes in, I'll add it here.

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About the Author
James Archer avatar

James Archer

Hardware Editor

James had previously hung around beneath the RPS treehouse as a freelancer, before being told to drop the pine cones and climb up to become hardware editor. He has over a decade’s experience in testing/writing about tech and games, something you can probably tell from his hairline.

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