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Call of Duty's first RTX trailer is so subtle it needs giant green boxes telling you where to look

Watch Dogs Legion and Bloodlines 2 are equally shoulder-shrugging

The new (and definitely not old) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare may be one of Nvidia's big-shot ray tracing games for 2019, but the first RTX trailer for Infinity Ward's upcoming shootybang is probably one of the least impressive things I've seen since Nvidia first announced their realistic reflection/shadow tech this time last year. Previously, most of Nvidia's RTX On / RTX Off trailers have shown a subtle, but discernible difference when they compare the base game to what it looks like with ray tracing switched on, but Modern Warfare's effort is so dang understated that Nvidia have had to draw great big green boxes round it to make sure you don't miss it.

Admittedly, Modern Warfare is only using ray tracing for its shadows, according to Nvidia (putting it in very much the same boat as Shadow of the Tomb Raider), so it was arguably never going to produce the same kind of 'Cor blimey, wow!' reaction as, say, Minecraft's new ray tracing announcement. It's also an incredibly dark scene Nvidia have chosen here, making it even more difficult to pick out what's actually changed in any given scene. However, to say it left me underwhelmed is probably a bit of an understatement.

In fairness, Shadow of the Tomb Raider's RTX On / Off trailer resorted to doing exactly the same thing when it was finally added to the game in March earlier this year, but at least there the copious flames and dense foliage helped make it a bit more obvious as to what was actually going on.

Admittedly, Nvidia's new ray tracing trailer for Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 shows another pretty subtle set of scenes, and left me equally nonplussed about the whole thing. Here, the game uses ray traced reflections (like Battlefield V), which is appropriate, really, given how vampires aren't supposed to have them. As you can see in the trailer below, neon signs are now accurately reflected in glass buildings, and the rainy streets of downtown Seattle look more realistic as well.

Again, though, it's all a bit, well, muted. I like an accurately reflected window as much as the next gal, but unless it's screaming in my face like Atomic Heart's RTX On / Off trailer, I'm not sure I'm actually going to notice it in the game itself.

Thankfully, Watch Dogs Legion's new ray tracing trailer was a bit shoutier. This is also only using Nvidia's ray tracing tech for its reflections, but just look at those lovely neon puddles and highly accurate pigeon reflections on our fair capital's rainswept streets. What a sight.

The only problem is they quickly go and, err, how do I put this, bollocks up their own ray tracing breakfast. See that cool lad around the 0.27 mark? He walks straight through that neon puddle without making a single splash in it with his glowing, low-cut running shoes. Now that is proper fackin moths, mate, and probably deserves a full bladdy jar of electric eels, the lot of 'em. Sort it out, guys, or I'll have to end up feeding yer to the Mitchells.

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About the Author
Katharine Castle avatar

Katharine Castle


Katharine is RPS' editor-in-chief, which means she's now to blame for all this. After joining the team in 2017, she spent four years in the RPS hardware mines. Now she leads the RPS editorial team and plays pretty much anything she can get her hands on. She's very partial to JRPGs and the fetching of quests, but also loves strategy and turn-based tactics games and will never say no to a good Metroidvania.

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