Cyberpunk 2077 new Ray Tracing: Overdrive mode somehow manages to make literal trash look good

Cyberpunk 2077 PS5 Xbox Series X
(Image credit: CDPR)

Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red has unveiled a first look at the game's upcoming ray tracing update which will make the streets of Night City look even shinier. 

News of a "full ray tracing" update for Cyberpunk 2077 was revealed last month alongside Nvidia during the Game Developer's Conference (GDC). Now, a couple of weeks later, Nvidia has released a preview of the Overdrive Mode so that fans can see just how much the game's graphics will improve once path tracing is added to Cyberpunk 2077 on April 11, 2023. 

You don't need to be tech savvy to see just how much of a difference this new technology makes to CD Projekt Red's futuristic world - even the bags of trash look better than they did before! As the video below reveals, the footage demonstrates path tracing (also known as 'full ray tracing') which is "an advanced, GPU-intensive form of ray tracing that accurately simulates light throughout the entire scene." 

According to the video, previous efforts at this technique "separately addressed ray-traced shadows, reflections, and global illumination for a small number of light sources." Full ray tracing, on the other hand, models all properties of light from an unlimited number of emissive sources, "delivering physically correct shadows, reflections, and global illumination on all objects," so that's how everything looks so good.

Unfortunately, for the average player, it'll be tough to recreate these exact visuals as the setup used requires 4K resolution, a GeForce RTX 4090, Intel i9 12900K, 32GB RAM, and the graphics settings: Overdrive, Preset, Reflex & DLSS 3 to be switched on. Meaning you're going to need a pretty powerful PC to keep up with what Nvidia and CD Projekt Red are dishing out. 

It seems fans are happy enough just living vicariously through the Nvidia video though, as several have sung their praises for the new technology on the likes of Reddit and Twitter, with some people calling it "a generational leap in graphics" and describing Cyberpunk 2077's new look as even more "photorealistic" than it was previously. 

Fancy jumping into Night City with the Overdrive update? Take a look at our Cyberpunk 2077 tips before you get started. 

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.