Cyberpunk 2077 was one of the most hotly anticipated games of the last few years. It was supposed to launch in 2019, but repeated delays pushed it back to late 2020, and even then the game was in a sorry state at launch. Developer CD Projeckt Red (CDPR) promised to work diligently to address player concerns, and the small patches that followed smoothed a few rough edges. Now, the promised v1.5 patch has arrived with significant changes to performance and lesser improvements to gameplay. If you’ve been waiting to enjoy Cyberpunk on your next-gen console, now is the time.
Many had pointed to the incredible work CDPR did on The Witcher games as evidence Cyberpunk would be a success, and they certainly had time. The game had been in some stage of development for eight years when it finally came out, but leaks from inside the company painted a picture of dysfunction and lost productivity. Entire swaths of the game were reworked late in the process, and the results were disappointing. At launch, Cyberpunk was barely playable on last-gen consoles, and you needed high-end components to play on PC.
The new v1.5 patch includes a ton of fixes for bugs and shortcomings, as well as new performance modes for next-gen consoles. The game will include a “performance mode” for Xbox One X and PlayStation 5 that runs at 4k and 60 fps. Alternatively, you can enable ray tracing mode for more realistic lighting, but this mode only runs at 1440p and 30 fps. Even at the lower frame rate, ray tracing mode does look fantastic. That’s one of Cyberpunk 2077’s strengths — the game world looks vibrant and alive. Sadly, that’s just a glamorous facade on a game that’s still surprisingly shallow.
CDPR added a surprising number of basic features in the hefty 50GB v1.5 patch — the sort of things that should have been there at launch. For example, you can finally change your character’s hairstyle, and doing things like showering and sleeping actually give you gameplay buffs. Night City real estate has opened up as well, giving V more options for apartments and upgrades.
The devs didn’t completely ignore the underlying issues in Night City. The combat AI is smarter, allowing enemies to seek effective cover rather than leaving themselves hilariously exposed, and drivers will finally try to get away if you start shooting at them in traffic. You definitely won’t see any major DLC content in this patch however, which is unfortunate given the amazing job CDPR did with The Witcher 3. It’s uncertain at this point when or even if Cyberpunk will see new storylines — they spent the last year just trying to make the game playable.
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