Cyberpunk 2077 to get path-traced Overdrive Mode next month
An upcoming tech preview for CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 will show us the power of street tracking. Move over ray tracing, there’s a new kid on the Cyberpunk block.
Path tracing, also known as full ray tracing, has been used in computer-generated imagery for film and TV for some time now, with notable examples including some Pixar animations. It “accurately simulates light throughout the scene,” making things even more realistic.
Now, this technology is coming to Cyberpunk 2077 on April 11, in the game’s Ray-tracing: Overdrive mode.
How Cyberpunk 2077 achieved photorealistic graphics with NVIDIA tools.
Nvidia has described it as a “sneak peek into the future of full ray tracing”, made possible thanks to CDPR’s use of Nvidia’s DLSS upscaling technology which “allows games to render an eighth of the pixels, more then it uses AI and GeForce RTX Tensor Cores to rebuild the rest, dramatically multiplying frame rates, delivering crisp, high-quality images that rival native resolution.”
An Nvidia blog post on this preview of Cyberpunk 2077 says: “With full ray tracing, almost all light sources now cast soft, physically accurate shadows. Natural color lighting also jumps many times in the world of Cyberpunk 2077, creating more realistic indirect lighting and occlusion.”
As Nvidia’s Pawel Kozlowski explains: “This not only gives players better visuals, but also promises to revolutionize the entire line of game creation.”
The post continues: “Since the 1970s, video games have relied on randomization techniques. More recently, in 2018, Nvidia introduced RTX GPUs to support ray tracing. Path tracing is the final frontier for more physically accurate lighting and shadows. ”
You can see a comparison between these three techniques in the image below:
Tracked path, ray tracing and rasterization. Nvidia image.
Full specs for Cyberpunk 2077’s upcoming Overdrive mode are not mentioned in the blog post.
However, considering the post mentions that it was only when “GeForce RTX 40 Series and DLSS 3 became available that it was possible to bring real-time graphics path tracking”, it seems that your kit will need to be at the highest level up. of the degree to which this technological preview will be realized.