Cyberpunk 2077 2018 vs 2020 Graphics Comparison
Cyberpunk 2077 is the year’s most awaited game release, and has been met with not one, but two delays already. Originally expected to ship in April of this year, it has since been postponed to September, and now to November 19th on account of extra optimization and bug quashing from developer CD Projekt Red. However, the recent gameplay videos released for the game by the developer showcase the amount of work that has gone into the engine since 2018, when we were first treated to a gameplay video.
Let’s face it, it sucks when we see a newly announced game at E3, only to find numerous graphical downgrades when the game actually hits our systems. Ubisoft are notorious for it, especially with that iconic Rainbow Six: Siege trailer from E3 2014 or the infamous Watch Dogs demo from 2012. Thanks to Youtube user Cycu1 though, we now have a pretty damn good graphics comparison video for Cyberpunk 2077 that compares the 2018 gameplay demo from more recent b-roll footage in 2020.
Graphical downgrades are unfortunately normal as developers usually have many more resources at their disposal at the start, only to begin ditching graphical features down the line as they need to make room for other features on a disc storage space, or even in order to properly optimize the performance. Luckily, CD Projekt Red doesn’t seem to have downgraded much here, most of the visuals I would even say have actually been improved since then. So take a look at the graphics comparison video below for Cyberpunk 2077.
In it, you can see extreme improvements to overall level and character detail (some of this can certainly be attributed to a lower-quality 2018 video compression). However, the video also showcases some lighting differences (I guess it’s subjective whether this has worked out for better or worse, but the new videos supposedly make use of ray tracing). Another point that I’d like to call your attention to is that there seem to be some environment differences between the two versions – it seems that some environments were simplified compared to their 2018 version, such as the “Going Pro” mission – the chair and panels were removed from the environment and replaced by what looks like a garage door. Whether this was done as a way to improve performance is on CD Projekt Red’s purview.
Not only do we see improvements in ambience, lighting and the overall setting but the textures themselves seem to fit better in the whole cyberpunk era. It almost seems as if CD Projekt Red tried to future proof the game while in production. The studio did confirm that it’ll be making a complete remaster for next-gen consoles but as of now, this looks impressive.
As you can see as well, there really isn’t that much that has been downgraded here. Sure, sometimes the atmosphere itself has been downgraded, but most of the time textures have been sharpened and increased in quality, and models have been improved etc.
Here’s the original E3 2018 trailer and teaser trailer for those of you who want to take a trip down memory lane:
Cyberpunk 2077 will launch on November 19, 2020 for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, with the Google Stadia version set to launch the same year.