There’s no denying that PC is the only way to play Cyberpunk 2077. I mean, you COULD play it on an old PS4 if you want something to look like a bad Switch port, but you want it to look like it does in the trailers, and the only way to get that is to play it on PC with one of Nvidia’s new RTX video cards. If you can find one, of course.
If you can, and you’ve got a good enough computer to handle it, then you can experience Cyberpunk 2077 the way it was meant to be played: with ray tracing turned on to imitate real-life lighting conditions. And Digital Foundry’s latest video showcases just how huge a difference ray tracing makes.
Much of the 20-minute video is showcasing the difference between ray-traced lighting and not. Normal rasterized light (ie. non-ray traced) looks bizarre, nonsensical, and shallow. It doesn’t cast the right shadows, offer the right reflections, and sometimes turns glowing neon lights into single points of pink and blue.
But with ray tracing on, Night City comes alive with dynamic shadows, soft lights, and reflective metal surfaces that offer up a unique glow for whatever is shining down upon it.
The biggest difference came while underneath or inside an object in bright lighting conditions, like inside a car. Without ray tracing, Dex looks like he’s being lit up by some unseen spotlight, but with ray tracing on the scene looks real, with the side facing the window receiving more light and thus offering more detail.
Sadly, ray tracing on next-gen consoles will have to wait for the next-gen version of the game, which isn’t due out until sometime in 2021. But even if ray tracing comes to Xbox Series X and the PS5, there are some big questions about whether these next-gen consoles can handle it.
Even with an RTX 3090, Digital Foundry struggled to get Cyberpunk 2077 above 30 fps at 4K without Nvidia’s resolution-spoofing DLSS enabled. Since both next-gen consoles are powered by AMD, they’ll AMD to create something similar to get the same performance boost.
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