Originally Posted by geoxile
...When Metro Redux showcased RTX GI everyone said it didn't look good even though it's objectively correct...
There's a big difference between "More Complex Simulation" and "Objectively Correct".
RTX GI in Metro Exodus is often still less realistic than barebones flat lighting because we're still dealing with an artist's interpretation of how lighting is supposed to behave.
Go take any instance of in-game ambient occlusion, RTX or not, and recreate that scenario in real life. You'll find that videogames have insanely overstated the effect. It seems like SSAO is usually overstated by about a hundred orders of magnitude by covering everything in black outlines, so Ray Trace GI is an improvement, but I still haven't seen any implementation that actually looks "realistic".
Really any time SSAO has been added to games over the last 12 years the only purpose it serves is to stroke the ego of some art director who thinks his "vision" is more important than the rest of the game (given that this effect is one of the most frame hogging things in any game engine).
Everyone is so busy flaunting what they can do that no one ever stops to think if the effect is something they should do at all in the first place.
In real life "Ambient Occlusion" is EXTREMELY subtle, to the point that in most scenarios it is practically non-existent and turning SSAO off gives an outright more realistic image.
Some of the ray traced Global Illumination solutions look a lot better, but people are still using it the way you'd see a toddler drawing a landscape using only the brightest crayons in the box.
From what I've seen no game studio has ever done a serious study of what correct Ambient Occlusion looks like.