Cyberpunk 2077 is a stunning looking game already, and it’s not even out. But does that mean AI can’t make it look even better? Of course not.
Having already remastered the original reveal and done a bang-up job on CD Projekt Red’s best intro cinematic to date – that’s The Witcher 2, in case you’re wondering – the Upscale channel on YouTube has given the E3 trailer from a couple of years ago the full AI treatment.
You wouldn’t ordinarily think that there’s much work to be done with such a recent game, but you’d be surprised. The amount of extra detail that can be pulled out of Night City is remarkable, especially when you start looking at textures more closely. Look at the eyes below in the first picture, or even just the sharpness and detail on the Quadra V-Tech in the fourth shot (as well as the city in the background).
The full video in motion is below. It’s still a great watch, 8K or otherwise, but it’s definitely nicer if your PC or phone can handle it.
A longer deep-dive of gameplay from E3 last year has been upscaled to 8K as well, although because of the nature of live gameplay, I don’t think the neural network handles this quite as well. The work in progress font in particular looks really jarring throughout, and the extra softness you get on the UI text doesn’t look good when sharpened up.
Upscaling techniques like this tend to work really well on facial models, low-poly textures, fibrous of metal details. Think muscle veins, arteries, specks of paint on a piece of armour or that bit of cloth under a shirt. That said, we’re talking footage that is already fairly high quality here. Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t out, but just think of the effect of upscaling live gameplay from, say, the original Mass Effect. Or older games from the 2000-2005 era. There’s a lot of potential, basically.