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What would Cyberpunk 2077 look like if it had released in an alternate universe where CD Projekt RED had developed the game using the most advanced video game engine available?
Cyberpunk 2077 was developed in CDPR's proprietary RED Engine, the same engine the studio used to create The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It's certainly not to be sniffed at, as both Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3 are beautiful just as they are - but Unreal Engine 5 hits different.
The demo, which you can see below, is a really rather incredible display of just what Unreal Engine 5 can do, and shows off an all-too tantalizing tease of what a sequel to Cyberpunk 2077 could look like on new-gen consoles several years from now.
Perhaps what's most exciting about this demo is that's not completely rooted in wishful thinking. CDPR recently announced that its upcoming Witcher game will be developed in Unreal Engine 5, which certainly suggests to us that the inevitable follow-up to Cyberpunk 2077 will follow suit.
During a recent State of Unreal stream, CDPR's CTO Paweł Zawodny explained the thinking behind the change in engine for the new game. "It was the shift towards open world support that brought Unreal Engine 5 to our attention," he said.
"This opens a new chapter for us where we really want to see how our experience in building open-world games gets combined with all the engineering power of Epic," Zawodny continued. He added that CDPR and Epic will work together to "achieve something extraordinary in the end."
CDPR art director Jakub Knapik also commented on the fact that Unreal Engine 5 is already quite feature-rich, thanks to the contributions of other developers.
"The fact that Unreal is used by a lot of teams already in the world, a lot of perspectives are projected into the design of the tools and that helps the tool to be way more agile," he said.
The upcoming game's director, Jason Slama, also stressed the importance of having a reliable and stable engine - especially when building an open-world game.
"One of the things that is really important to keep in mind when talking about open-world games versus, let’s say, linear games is the possibilities of the things that can go wrong or the scenarios that you have to consider are exponentially higher than linear games," he explained.
"Players can go in whatever direction they want, they can handle content in any order that they want theoretically, and to really encapsulate that means that you need a really stable environment where you can be able to make changes with a high level of confidence that it’s not going to break in 1,600 other places down the line."
Featured Image Credit: ENFANT TERRIBLE via YouTube
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