Have you ever heard of the term ‘ESRGAN’? Neither did I. ESRGAN stands for “Enhanced Super Resolution Generative Adverserial Networks” and it translates to an up-scaling method that takes a low-resolution image and adds realistic details to it. It is an AI controlled technique that can significantly improve image quality, while retaining the aesthetics of the original textures.
The technique is a godsend for old videogames that really could use a bump in quality, especially now the average screen resolution is so much higher. Modders have been using it for a while now to update old game textures. While modders have always been able to replace textures in videogames in, replacing textures with ones made from scratch often destroys the overall artistic style. Fans of the Max Payne franchise have been asking for years for Rockstar to release a HD remake or Remaster of the first entry in the series. Admittedly, the game has been ported to modern phones and tablets (with a slight bump in image quality). However, a full remaster is still a no-show to this day. ESRGAN offers a solid solution to tackle both issues.
A modder by the name of ‘Gaiver74’ has took upon him the task of enhancing 95% of all the textures in Max Payne using ESRGAN. The new textures are 8 times the quality of the original and judging by the comparison screenshots that has a huge impact. However, Gaiver74 did not stop there, he also improved decals, blood and parts of the UI.
The game might still be a challenge to get running on newer hardware and wide-screen displays at at least it will look super crisp! Interested? Click here to download the HD texture pack.