Spider-Man: Miles Morales: PS5 version with excellent ray tracing

Next Thursday, Sony will be the one developed by Insomniac Games Spider-Man: Miles Morales in Europe on Playstation 4. Punctually a week later, the game will also appear on the Playstation 5, where it will, among other things, use the new console’s ray tracing capabilities. Digital Foundry has already looked at the implementation and summarized it in a video.

Mirror surfaces at every corner

Spider-Man: Miles Morales offers a performance and a quality mode on the Playstation 5, only the latter using ray tracing. This makes it easy to compare the difference in function, and according to the Digital Foundry this is impressive. Since the game is set in a modern city, there are shiny surfaces everywhere that are spruced up by ray tracing.

A big visual difference can be seen on the window facades of high-rise buildings compared to the alternatively used cube maps. The dynamic reflections make the city appear much more realistic, but they also have their limits. The video from Digital Foundry shows some of the tricks the developers use to keep performance hunger under control.

For example, the normal in-game graphics are not used for the ray tracing reflections in Spider-Man: Miles Morales, but a somewhat reduced version. Presumably the mirrored objects are simply rendered in a lower LOD level. In return, all dynamic objects are actually mirrored, which keeps the graphics consistent.

For perfect realism, all surfaces would have to be calculated with ray tracing, but of course that is not the case with current games. In Spider-Man: Miles Morales, however, many materials are calculated like this: Even diffusely reflective objects often rely on ray tracing. On the other hand, normal rasterization is used on matt surfaces, and some reflections, such as those on the water, still rely on screen space reflections.

Just as exciting: Watch Dogs Legion shows ray tracing graphics on RDNA 2 / Xbox Series X

Another optimization point that significantly saves performance, but unfortunately also affects the appearance, is the number of additional light reflections: light rays in the game reflect only once, which means that reflections cannot be reflected again. The mirrored object then appears matt, which is currently not possible any other way: Constantly mirroring back and forth would cost significantly more performance.

Despite these limitations, the ray tracing in Spider-Man: Miles Morales looks great, according to Digital Foundry, and the performance seems to be right too. In quality mode, the game runs in a native UHD resolution and at 30 FPS, so you don’t have to accept excessive performance losses.

Source: Eurogamer

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