Cyberpunk 2077: Ultimate Edition sees Ray Tracing: Overdrive exit preview with enhancements

Cyberpunk 2077: Ultimate Edition is out and in addition to letting you take a ride on the metro system it overhauls the RT Overdrive Mode and DLSS 3.5.

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Just when we thought CD Project Red was ready to close the book on Cyberpunk 2077, going out on a high note thanks to years of updates and fixes culminating in the release of the excellent Phantom Liberty expansion - comes Update 2.1, and another dose of RTX improvements.

Cyberpunk 2077: Ultimate Edition is out this week and it improves the path-traced lighting in the game.

Cyberpunk 2077: Ultimate Edition is out this week and it improves the path-traced lighting in the game.

Cyberpunk 2077: Ultimate Edition is out this week, and it packs in the base game and the Phantom Expansion. One of the coolest new features to arrive with Update 2.1 is that you can finally take a ride on the Night City metro system, including new, unique subway scenes and interactions. Players can now take the in-game radio system with them on the go, thanks to a new Ripperdoc implant.

Throw in new vehicles and revamped boss fights, and it's a meaty update. And for those playing the game on a high-end GeForce RTX 40 Series GPU, you'll be pleased to know that the game's Ray Tracing: Overdrive Mode has exited preview with the full release, improving visual fidelity and performance for its incredible full path tracing mode.

With Update 2.1 and the latest GeForce Game Ready driver from NVIDIA, some of the underlying technology that makes path tracing possible in a game as visually dynamic and impressive as Cyberpunk 2077 have been given "significant performance gains" - namely Shader Execution Reordering (SER) and Opacity Micromaps (OMM).

The Overdrive mode's global illumination has also changed to use the new Reservoir-based Spatiotemporal Importance Resampling Global Illumination (ReSTIR GI), available in the NVIDIA RTXDI SDK. According to NVIDIA, ReSTIR GI will make certain scenes brighter compared to the previous version, where some scenes were darker than intended due to the loss of lighting during the denoising phase.

There are also improvements made to character movement and animation on screen, like switching weapons that could cause the full ray tracing to update in areas where it shouldn't. "Disocclusion noise has been greatly reduced," and in combination with DLSS 3.5 Ray Reconstruction, ghosting has also been significantly reduced. This is an area that drew some criticism when the DLSS 3.5 launched alongside the Phantom Liberty expansion, so it's great to hear that it has been resolved in Update 2.1.

DLSS 3.5 and Ray Reconstruction have improved in other areas, too; skin rendering and the quality of eye reflections have been enhanced, so close-up shots of characters will look better than ever. With the improvements DLSS 3.5 brings to ray-traced reflection quality, Ray Reconstruction is now an option when activating Ray-Traced Reflections. Ray Reconstruction works on all GeForce RTX GPUs.

"These enhancements, additions, and improvements mean that CD PROJEKT RED will be removing the Technology Preview label from the Ray Tracing: Overdrive Mode, signifying that it has reached its potential and the promise of being the next revolution in real-time graphics rendering," NVIDIA says.

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Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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