Set to, once again, prove that it remains as one of the best game developers in the market, CD Projekt Red has taken Cyberpunk 2077’s presentation to a new height by incorporating a seamlessly feature that’s often overlooked but remains significant in gaming immersion—lip-syncing, but across multiple languages.
Of all the many aspects of games, the ability to portray speech that is convincingly real to the spoken language is often taken lightly. Often, just patterning facial movements according to a specific language which will eventually be the archetype for the rest of the other speeches.
Accentuating a spoken language
Although the idea of an “out-of-sync” lip movement is not nearly as big of an issue as a faulty gameplay design or a bad narrative, it still has an impact on gameplay immersion. The issue is not even too far off in comparison, as even recent games are still guilty of the same issue. Just take Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima as an example.
Despite all the praises that Ghost of Tsushima harbors, even in the native country of the Samurais, Japan, the game has a glaring flaw when it comes to speaking animations. The fault is most obvious when switching to the Japanese language, which intuitively would be the basis for the facial animations. It turns out, it was not. To the complete opposite, it was a derivative from the English dubbing. This is unsurprising, considering the game is technically a non-Japanese game.
The intricate process of lip-syncing
If this tired and old practice is saying something about the matter, it’s clear that there’s a lot of work involved in the lip-syncing process. So much so that game companies, even of today, are not spending too much time perfecting the art in every supported language.
But CDPR is different. In its attempt to bring the next ground-breaking title in the market, it seeks to perfect what others are clearly struggling with. That is, to employ a lip-sync that looks realistic, according to the accentuation of mouth movements relative to the spoken words.
To do so, however, CDPR required the expertise of Jali Research Inc., which possesses the technology and means for the feat. Essentially a complementary process, Jali Research Inc. did not just take all the heavy lifting. The expert artists at CDPR play a crucial role in retouching the final output. Consequently, this collaborative effort results in believable conversing characters that are substantially a stray from the sloppy display seen in others.
Image used courtesy of Jali Research Inc./YouTube Screenshot