Three years later, it's hard to deny that Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most technically advanced and visually impressive PC games currently available. The upcoming release of the highly anticipated Update 2.0 and Phantom Liberty expansion on PC with full path-traced lighting, Frame Generation, and DLSS 3.5's Ray Reconstruction make it look like something from the future.
DLSS 3.5's Ray Reconstruction replaces traditional hand-tuned denoisers (a technique used to clean up an image and fill in missing details) with an AI denoiser trained on 6 times the data used to create Frame Generation.
The result is improved ray-traced reflection detail, lighting, ambient occlusion, and more - Bryan Catanzaro, Vice President of Applied Deep Learning Research at NVIDIA, believes it makes the game look better than what's possible with native rendering.
Based on the new 4K Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty 'DLSS 3.5 & Full Ray Tracing Technology Overview' trailer you can watch above, we're inclined to agree because the DLSS Off images look noticeably inferior. Reflections aren't as sharp, and some of the lighting isn't as prominent - a clear example of AI-based rendering and technology delivering exceptional results.
"I think DLSS 3.5 makes Cyberpunk look more beautiful than native rendering," Bryan Catanzaro said during a roundtable discussion with Digital Foundry and CD Projekt RED. "The reason for that is that AI is able to make smarter decisions about how to render a scene than what we knew how to do without AI. And that's going to continue to develop."
This includes Frame Generation, which some call "fake frames" - a requirement to play the game in 4K with full path tracing using the game's RT Overdrive mode. CD Projekt RED's Jakub Knapik, VP of Art and Global Art Director, agrees, noting that it's strange that Cybeprunk 2077 with DLSS 3.5 and Frame Generation (which uses AI to generate entire frames) is noticeably better looking than running the game natively.
Below is the full discussion on DLSS 3.5, AI Visuals, and Cyberpunk 2077.