A reader gives his view on the recently released Cyberpunk gameplay video and considers what it means for next gen console graphics.
Regarding Cyberpunk 2077s graphics, I thought the footage looked lovely – a clear jump on whats possible on the current gen consoles. But it was exactly in line with my expectations of the next gen and I also think that next jump will not be as impressive as previous jumps. Its commonly expressed that diminishing returns for graphics means the next gen might be the least impressive leap and Id go along with that until proved otherwise.
I also disagree that the footage looks like movie level graphics or photorealistic. It looks like a game and wouldnt be mistaken for real life. Its also short of movie level graphics. I think its possibly even short on whats possible for real-time graphics now given the September release of Nvidias movie-employing ray tracing tech-equipped new GPUs. I know AMD have their own ray-tracing tech and as the next gen consoles will most likely have AMD GPUs itd be nice to see some of that technique used in the next gen as the results do look lovely.
If the next gen looks like the Cyberpunk footage then Ill be more than happy but I find its for other reasons than a welcome, but not mind-blowing, jump in graphics I want the next gen. Its the size and scope of Cyberpunks game world that really impressed.
When the footage moved outside I was struck by the amount of characters on screen and generally the amount of detail. It coincided with the voiceover guy saying they are looking to make Cyberpunk a fully explorable world with no loading screens and all of sudden possibilities start racing through your mind. The actual technical level of the graphics may not be a huge jump but the ability to employ that extra detail over a much larger area does look to be a more impressive jump. Bolt onto that improved artificial intelligence and highly destructible scenery, etc. and its heady stuff.
I loved God Of War but after Zelda: Breath Of The Wild I found the lack of interaction with the environment a little restrictive. Its a bit of an unfair comment on God Of War as it was looking to provide a story-driven action game with an open-ish world, which it did brilliantly. But I make the comment to highlight that Breath Of The Wild really exposed to me the lack of interaction in a lot of current gen game worlds. I hoped Breath Of The Wild would leave a legacy for highly interactive open world environments. Cyberpunk 2077 from the footage looks like it will provide just that.
So basically, Im hoping the next gen will have much larger, more seamless and interactive environments than whats possible on the current gen. Theres other improvements I really hope the next gen will bring too, chiefly 60 fps and much improved VR.
But when it comes to the graphics Im expecting to be impressed but not have my jaw dropped over what the current gen offers. And thats how I felt about the Cyberpunk 2077 footage. A beautiful, clearly next gen game but nothing game-changing, especially graphically. The game-changing stuff seemed to lie in the size and scope of the game.
The main reason for writing this feature was a letter from the Inbox associating people with a more muted response to Cyberpunks 2077 graphics with the more unsavoury, over-critical corners of the gaming community.
If the Cyberpunk 2077 footage represents the next gen I feel its a clear and very worthwhile leap. I salivated over the footage and just admired the hard work and talent on display in it. I do find though when comparing it to whats possible today theres an argument to say its not a colossal leap in graphics.
A small disclaimer too. Ive been enjoying graphics at ultra levels on a decent gaming PC the last year which probably lessen the reveals impact. Clearly going from a base current gen console to the Cyberpunk 2077 footage is a bigger leap.
By reader Simundo Jones
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