- Author: Daniel Downey
- Date: September 26, 2020
Tokyo Game Show 2020 wraps up this weekend, finishing their 4-day event that featured panels, eSports, trailers, and more. Here at NightCity though, we’re only interested in one thing: Cyberpunk 2077. Luckily, CD Projekt Red gave us another look at two previously revealed moments in CP2077. There are notable lighting changes, as well as alterations to many minor aesthetic details in the new footage when compared to what we saw in 2018. The Tokyo Game Show footage also shows us some new gameplay that precedes the already revealed Braindance scene we saw in Night City Wire Episode 1.
Shinier Cyberware at Maelstrom’s Hideout
First, the Tokyo Game Show footage shows us an updated version of some gameplay footage that we first saw way back in 2018. This footage involves V and Jackie meeting with the Maelstrom gang in order to acquire a valuable military robot for the fixer Dexter DeShawn. The deal doesn’t exactly go smooth at first, and chaos erupts when it turns out the cred-chip V was given by a corpo agent contains a virus that infects the Maelstrom gang’s computer systems.
Right away, we can see that the overall look of the game has undergone some serious changes. The lighting effects look much improved from what we saw in 2018; note how the metal on the side of the gang members head catches the light, and the complex pattern of highlights on the leather couch. The couch, as well as the metal table, reveal the addition of newer, higher quality textures in the environment.
When one of the Maelstrom gang members gets right up in V’s face, we get a great look at the lighting changes on a character’s face. The old clip has fairly basic lighting effects, with highlights, shadow, and some mid tones. The new lighting has much smoother gradients between light levels, and the gleaming metal effect now looks excellent. The pipe on the ceiling in the background is also noticeably more real looking in the new footage. V’s handgun also appears to have gotten a complete reskin since 2018, and there are now veins visible underneath V’s skin.
Another big difference is the addition of many animations to the video screens we see in the Maelstrom’s hideout. In the 2018 footage, the readouts were all static. In the new gameplay, however, we see a variety of animations on the video readouts in the background. It is heartening to see that CDPR is paying attention to all the little details that really make a setting feel real — it’s always immersion-breaking to walk through a room of computers and see the same fake, static JPEG plastered across every monitor.
New Context for V’s Braindance at Lizzie’s Bar
The new gameplay footage also included more context to the Braindance sequence we saw in Night City Wire Episode 1, which features two of the many possible choices for romance in Cyberpunk 2077. In it, Evelyn introduces us to Judy, who Evelyn describes as the best Braindance editor around. Judy explains to V how Braindance works, and after a brief conversation, V gets into the chair and Judy jacks him into the BD footage.
Again, small details abound, from the faint glow of the chair’s readout to the creak of its leather as V settles into it. This attention to detail is also evident once V gets plugged into the Braindance footage.
Our BD peddler has got himself a different tattoo since the last time we saw him, demonstrating that CDPR’s art team is willing to tweak all the game’s details until everything is just the way they want it. Even the spikes on the would-be-robber’s elbow pad got a hot pink upgrade.
Finally, it’s worth noting that all the new footage has a sort of soft, foggy filter quality to it. At first glance, this author assumed that this was simply due to the way the footage was captured at the game show, but it may also be the new RTX 30 series features in action. The new effects don’t look so bad in the NVIDIA trailer, so here’s hoping the fuzzy look of the Tokyo Game Show graphics isn’t representative of the finished product.
All in all, we saw nothing but improvements in the new footage, which is to be expected considering a couple years have past since we last saw these scenes. From the changes and additions we spotted, not to mention what we already knew about the lengths the level design team go to, it looks like CDPR aren’t skimping on anything when it comes to the characters or the environment of Night City. From guns to tattoos to the metal sheen on a cyberware-freak’s chrome faceplate, there should be plenty of new details for fans to find when Cyberpunk 2077 finally drops November 19th.