Wolfenstein: Youngblood RTX Preview

February 3, 2020 at 7:56pm
By Jason Stettner

Once again I’m diving into a RTX enabled title, with Wolfenstein: Youngblood that was recently updated. This of course brings in ray tracing, and NVIDIA DLSS to help lessen the demand of this powerful integration.

I was first able to check this out while at CES 2020, and now I was sent over a PC code to give this update a whirl. So I checked out a couple options here to really get the just of what this provides. For context, I was using a RTX 2080Ti with an i9 9900k. The first part of my test was with DLSS on with an aim for Quality. There are other options such as DLSS with Performance or Balanced.

I figured I was fine on performance considering my setup, and aimed to get the best possible visual quality as I enjoy high resolutions. I didn’t have to sacrifice here as I was getting a rock solid 60fps at native 4k with the quality setting with everything at the game’s Uber or maxed out as far as I was allowed for all settings.
Wolfenstein: Youngblood rtx ray tracing
Seriously, I think it hit 59fps for like a second one time, but it nailed that line. I did however notice when using the old Wolfenstein 3D arcade machine, that I was getting 50fps as an average so that’s interesting. I assume it has something to do with the emulation there with the game running as well in the background, so a neat thing to notice. I then tried running the same settings with DLSS off getting usually around 50fps with many dips into the 30fps range at lowest.

When it came to running the Wolfenstein 3D I was getting 20fps in that regard. It seems that there’s about at least a 10fps drop from running that arcade machine, fascinating. I didn’t test without ray tracing off for this game testing, as this is more focused on the comparison of what DLSS can do. I imagine others have gone into the performance of the game when it did release, though if this is desired I can definitely keep it in mind for more technical analysis in the future.
Wolfenstein: Youngblood ray tracing
So, what exactly is DLSS doing. It’s a sort of an AI that’s helping run this technology, to make sure the performance hits aren’t insane as you’ve just read. Honestly, the visual difference really isn’t noticeable. While at CES I was able to see a number of direct comparisons and talk to the team behind the tech, it really does look about the same if not better in some minor areas. This really does seem to be the way forward in regards to getting the RTX updates we want on games while not getting our FPS massacred. Ok, so what are we getting in general with this update to the game? It includes ray tracing, and that does shine beautifully.

You get weapon effects reflecting, and dynamic real-time reflections being reflected on enemies or moving game elements. There are tons of settings in the menu to choose from and also the game has great quick benchmarking options. If you need to dive deeper into performance, there are like five choices for seeing how your rig is handling the game. I’m impressed by those aspects as they go beyond expectations. So in general, realistic reflections, shadows and lighting are here. It makes the game look even better and more realistic. My experience with the title prior was on Xbox One X, and it does look good there yet you just can’t ignore these boosts. Some highlights I noticed with this were largely with the shine and reflections.

Moving through a kitchen you could see every object against it, and the subtle movement of characters. The mirrors while grimy had a nice sense of motion, and even standing on a countertop that shined I could see the toes of my character. This sort of thing is nuts, not to mention the way shadows cast on the streets you run through or even the smallest of nooks or crannies in the world. It’s just quite gorgeous, and other grand showcase for what this tech can do for games. It’s really quite impressive, and it’s amazing how something such as lighting can affect a game world. I liked what I saw, and this game was fun to revisit.

It’s a smaller spin-off for the series but quite fun and I do like the twins as they’re just wacky fun to see interact. I can’t wait to see what other Bethesda titles do with this technology going forward, it’s a good tease of what’s to come with it. I could dive into the game more, but this really was oriented on the DLSS inclusion with ray tracing. You can find my review of the title on the site, the Metro Exodus RTX update below or more thoughts on the franchise in the Wolfenstein hub. I’m always open to thoughts on these tech based articles and areas of interest for enthusiasts of pushing a rig to the fullest which I love doing.

Read our Metro Exodus RTX Preview
View our Wolfenstein Hub

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner