The update weighs in at just 261.9MB and adds a brand new graphics mode to the game called “Performance RT”. By selecting this mode, you can enjoy the game at 60fps with ray-tracing on, however, scene resolution, reflection quality and pedestrian density is dropped.
It’s a great middle ground between the fidelity and performance modes, and one that fans have been asking for since the game’s release. Fidelity contains all the graphical bells and whistles you could ask for such as ray tracing, but locks the game to a sluggish 30fps. Performance mode, meanwhile, scrapped ray tracing altogether for a silky-smooth 60fps target.
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We’ve tested the new update ourselves and can confirm that ray tracing is in full effect using the performance RT graphics mode. However, the resolution takes a noticeable hit compared to the other two modes. While we can’t be sure, it appears to be running at 1080p instead of targeting a 4K output. Nevertheless, it’s a great compromise if you want 60fps and ray tracing on, though we’d personally stick to performance mode.
Why bother with ray tracing?
Though not essential by any means, ray tracing is a new graphical technique that can create realistic reflections, lighting and shadows. Video games have previously relied on screen space reflections (SSR) which are hand-baked into a game, and can't react dynamically to a light source or object.
Ray tracing requires a fair chunk of computational power, though, hence why frame rate targets and resolution are often lowered to achieve the desired results.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time Insomniac Games Spider-Man sequel, noting in our Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales review that it’s yet “another excellent PlayStation exclusive that will have fans of other consoles eyeing Sony’s system with envy.”