Ever since the game was first announced at E3 2018, Techland has been refreshingly upfront about the fact that Dying Light 2 is being developed as a cross-gen release for both current platforms in addition to the upcoming consoles, PS5 and Xbox Series X.
As a result, the sequel will be able to make use of those system's next-gen specs, including ray-tracing, and - speaking in a new interview with Official PlayStation Magazine - Techland's rendering director Tomasz Szałkowski explains exactly how this avant-garde technology will elevate Dying Light 2 above its contemporaries.
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"Dying Light 2 is the largest game created using our in-house C-engine," says Szałkowski. "It is very important for us to achieve our ambitions in terms of graphics, which is why this will be the first Techland production to support ray tracing. We are implementing it in cooperation with Nvidia [on PC] and using the latest achievements in this domain."
Thanks to this technology, our shadows in sunny weather look like they really would (among other reasons, because they take into account the size of the sun in the sky). Ambient occlusion effects have gained spatial stability and no longer suffer from compromises tied to the specifics of effects affecting screen space (they operate only on what is visible on the screen, meaning the floor under a table doesn’t affect the displayed image when we look down at the table top)."
As an open world riddled with zombies, of course, Dying Light 2 hits hard on the horror front, and Szałkowski tells OPM that ray-tracing enables the game to be even scarier as a result: "Dark Zones are an important element of our game, which is why we are experimenting with secondary illumination (reflected off surfaces) from artificial light sources (such as the player's flashlight), which will make the experience of exploring these regions even more intense."
You can read the full interview with Szałkowski in the latest issue of Official PlayStation Magazine, which is out today in both digital and physical formats. Plus, you can take advantage of My Favourite Magazine's fantastic 5 issues for £5 offer, for both Print and Digital subscriptions.