On March 22, the ray tracing mode for Cyberpunk 2077, called Overdrive, will finally be demonstrated at the developer trade show GDC in San Francisco. The mode is supposed to replace the previous RT maximum mode Psycho and reach “the next level” of visual realism thanks to RTX Path Tracing.
A physics-accurate simulation of light in a dynamic scene
Previously, RT Reflections, Diffuse Lighting with Raytracing, RT Global Illumination, and RT Shadows were supported. With RT: Overdrive, RTX Pathtracing is additionally brought into play. A pathtracing renderer allows for a completely dynamic and fully physics-based simulation of light in a likewise dynamic scene.
Complete light calculation
In contrast to most previous games with hybrid ray tracing, where mostly only single effects like reflections or single shadows are rendered via ray tracing, the complete light calculation is done with Pathtracing. The entire graphics are displayed in real time with the help of ray tracing.
CDPR and Nvidia rely on pathtracing. How exactly CD Projekt Red and Nvidia will implement this technology in the already demanding Cyberpunk 2077 remains to be seen.
Preparatory update, appeared in January
As an elementary preparation, an update was released at the end of January that brings DLSS3 into the game. The demands on the (RTX-40) graphics card should still be enormous. However, it is unclear whether pathtracing will also be offered for RTX-30 graphics cards.
RTX Pathtracing in overdrive mode
Described as RTX Pathtracing in Overdrive mode, “RTX Pathtracing aims to minimize the constraints imposed on content creators by delivering pixel-perfect soft shadows and indirect lighting effects in fully dynamic environments from all lights – be it an analytic local light, an emissive surface, a skylight, whatever.”
Cyberpunk 2077 will reach a new level of realism with Overdrive mode. The implementation of RTX Pathtracing allows for physically accurate light calculation in a dynamic scene, and will thus make the gaming experience even more realistic. A first step towards a new generation of games with even more realistic graphics.