Gamers Can Preview a New Visual Upgrade for Cyberpunk 2077 Soon

Some players of CD Projekt Red’s action RPG Cyberpunk 2077 will soon have a chance to push their PC hardware to its limits when a new update for the game releases later this month bringing path tracing to the neon-soaked streets of Night City. An evolution of technology used to add ray tracing to Elden Ring and other titles in recent years, the update developed in partnership with Nvidia promises to drastically improve the in-game graphics for players with PCs powerful enough to run it.


Released in 2020 amid a flurry of complaints about technical issues with the console and PC versions of the long-awaited title, Cyberpunk 2077 got off to a fairly rough start. In the years since its launch, developer CD Projekt Red has released numerous patches which have addressed many of the game’s most egregious bugs, and the hype is already growing about the upcoming Phantom Liberty DLC for the title. One aspect of the title that has received near-unanimous praise since launch is Cyberpunk 2077’s graphics. CD Projekt Red’s excellent use of lighting and reflections to bring Night City to life has been held up by many alongside Remedy’s supernatural shooter Control as one of the best examples of ray tracing in gaming.

While PC players with sufficiently powerful hardware already have the option to crank up the fidelity of Cyberpunk 2077’s graphics substantially when compared to their console counterparts, a new update for the game developed in partnership with video card maker Nvidia promises to take the visuals to a whole different level. First revealed at GDC 2023, the new Ray Tracing: Overdrive Mode for Cyberpunk 2077 will bring path tracing to the game when it releases on April 11. Unlike traditional ray tracing which tracks shadows, reflections, and illumination for only a limited number of light sources, path tracing “accurately simulates light throughout an entire scene” according to Nvidia’s announcement.

The announcement of the update was accompanied by a short trailer showing the new Ray Tracing: Overdrive Mode in action. While reflections and shadows in Cyberpunk 2077 were already gorgeous, the video shows how the new update makes a drastic improvement to the overall lighting quality in the game. Locations like the apartment block from the game’s prologue mission look more lifelike than ever thanks to the use of Nvidia’s RTX Direct Illumination lighting to accurately model sunlight streaming through the shutters, while full-resolution reflections on puddles and windows give the back alleys of Night City an even more damp and dingy feel than usual.

PC players hoping to take advantage of the new update on PC may want to start saving up for an upgrade, though, as the trailer used a system running a GeForce RTX 4090 to capture the footage at 4K. But for those with a powerful enough PC to run it, journeying back to Night City with path tracing enabled seems like the perfect way to kill time until Cyberpunk 2077’s Phantom Liberty DLC is released.

Source: Nvidia

Source: Gamerant

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