Cyberpunk 2077 RTX Path Tracing Showcase Coming to GDC 2023
Peter Donnell / 1 week ago
I think it’s fair to say that Cyberpunk 2077 has been more successful as a technical demo than it has been as a game. That’s not to say it’s a bad game, but honestly, it’s just not stuck with me in the way I had hoped it would. I played it at launch, for better or worse, and it was fun, but ended sooner than expected too. I got an RTX 4090 and couldn’t wait to play it again, but as pretty as it looked, it still feels pretty clunky to play to me, and the driving still sucks big time… but I digress.
What Cyberpunk 2077 does show us is the future of gaming technologies and it does that really freaking well. When it comes to ray tracing, it does it right, and while some may still squeak that it’s pointless, it’s not like you’re being forced to use it. However, what is a fact is that it is here to stay and will become more common and eventually, likely in the not-too-distant future, it’ll be just one of those settings we obviously leave on, just like we have with other new rendering technologies over the decades.
Cyberpunk 2077 RTX Path Tracing
NVIDIA will showcase Cyberpunk 2077’s RT Overdrive Mode, which will now have the new RTX Path Tracing feature, at their upcoming GDC 2023 event. The upcoming ray tracing mode is interesting though, as even though ray tracing is about doing things the right and realistic way, it’s still got limitations, and path tracing really takes the level of calculation happening to the next level, delivering pixel-perfect soft shadows and indirect light in fully dynamic environments. Given how many light sources are present in Night City, that should look pretty sweet.
While CD Projekt RED has not shared a release date for the new RT Overdrive Mode, I suspect that it won’t be long now. We may get it dropped during GDC 2023, which would be great, but I suspect it’ll be out a short time after that really, as it would be good for them to release it with their upcoming DLC, Liberty City.
Overdrive Mode Features
- NVIDIA RTX Direct Illumination (RTXDI) gives each neon sign, street lamp, car headlight, LED billboard and TV accurate ray-traced lighting and shadows, bathing objects, walls, passing cars and pedestrians in accurate coloured lighting
- Ray-traced indirect lighting and reflections now bounce multiple times, compared to the previous solution’s single bounce. The result is even more accurate, realistic and immersive global illumination, reflections, and self-reflections
- Ray-traced reflections are now rendered at full resolution, further improving their quality
- Improved, more physically-based lighting removes the need for any other occlusion techniques