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Stray Ray Tracing Can Be Enabled Through DX12, But It’s Hugely Taxing

Since its highly successful release, we’ve been covering Stray, the cat adventure game by BlueTwelve Studio. Following the glowing critic and user reviews, a thriving modding scene appeared, including a first-person mod for enhanced immersion, a Spyro the Dragon mod, and even customized mods where you could potentially swap in your personal cat as the playable character.

Intriguingly, PC users can also enable ray tracing simply by adding -dx12 as a launch parameter on Steam. As you can see in the comparison shots below, this adds ray traced reflections, shadows, and ambient occlusion to Stray.

Stray seems a great fit for ray tracing, given that it is set in a cyberpunk-like city populated only by robots and machines. Unfortunately, the game does not support any image reconstruction techniques like NVIDIA’s Deep Learning Super Sampling or AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution. As such, it is not really playable with ray tracing enabled, even with a high-end graphics card, unless you’re willing to drop the rendering resolution to 1440p or below.

That said, some games have received NVIDIA DLSS and/or AMD FSR well after their original launches. Should BlueTwelve Studio add some performance-enhancing technique that makes ray tracing truly viable, we’ll definitely let you know.

Meanwhile, here’s the summary of our Stray review.

It’s been some time since I’ve played a game that so vividly brought its world to life. At times Stray even puts the likes of Naughty Dog and other AAA giants to shame. It’s too bad I couldn’t stay in this darkly-beautiful world just a little longer, as Stray can be finished in around 6 hours (add another couple if you want to clean up all the collectibles). I’ll admit, I was left wanting more, but in this case, I think that’s a compliment. I suspect I’ll be visiting Stray’s dystopian alleys and rooftops again.

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