Atomic Heart was released earlier this week to mixed critical reception. And its PC port has some issues involving crashing and a lack of a FOV modifier. But what makes things even more strange is that Atomic Heart currently has no support for ray tracing. This wouldn’t abnormal if Nvidia hadn’t featured the game in its RTX marketing.
Earlier in January, Nvidia released a short video showing off Atomic Heart utilizing DLSS 3. And while the video doesn’t confirm the use of ray tracing, it is tagged with Nvidia’s ‘RTX On’ branding. Atomic Heart does have an option for DLSS 3, but as spotted by Rock Paper Shotgun, ray tracing is non-existent. And Mundfish hasn’t commented on why this may be the case. But there are a couple of possible reasons that may explain the absence of ray tracing.
Ray tracing is nowhere to be seen in Atomic Heart
Atomic Heart is a game that has its share of problems. It’s an ambitious title in more ways than one, but it’s mired by the PC port’s strange issues. It runs surprisingly well for the most part, but infrequent crashing and the lack of certain graphical options are puzzling. But it’s this uncertainty regarding certain features that might explain the lack of ray tracing.
It’s likely that ray tracing simply didn’t perform very well on certain PCs. And it could be that Mundfish is working on optimizing ray tracing for a future update. But since the developer has been quiet about it so far, it’s hard to say what’s in the cards at the moment. There’s a chance that ray tracing may never come to Atomic Heart. But that’s not necessarily the end of the world. On high-end PCs, Atomic Heart can look quite good. So even if the game never receives ray tracing, it’s not entirely a bad thing.
Ray tracing is an intensive graphical feature and it’s one that doesn’t need to be included in every high-profile release. This is especially true if there are concerns over if the game can perform to a good enough standard with it turned on. If Atomic Heart does get ray tracing down the line, then we can see how the game handles it. But until then, the game’s robots will look a little less shiny.