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Cyberpunk 2077 Game revisiting

Revisiting 18 February 2022, 15:42

author: Karol Laska

Is Cyberpunk 2077 Worth Going Back to After Patch 1.5?

CD Projekt RED didn't give up and the patching effort for Cyberpunk 2077 is still ongoing. New content, though modest, is still reaching the game. Patch 1.5, which is its next-gen upgrade, is a big step forward, though I, for one, won't be playing.

The review is based on the PC version. It's also relevant to PS5, XSX, XONE, PS4 version(s).

February 15, 2022 is not only a day of attempting to burn calories after Valentine's dinner, but, for many, also a return to another, sometimes beautiful, but also toxic relationship. On this day, quite out-of-the-blue, the next-gen version of Cyberpunk 2077 launched alongside patch 1.5, which was gigantic in terms of the sheer number of changes, both major and minor. Jason Schreier even called the day, half jokingly, "The day Cyberpunk should really have been released," and we have to admit it's a fun notion to entertain. In any case, a whole host of players flocked back to Night City, which for starters requires from 50 to about 90 GB of free disk space (opinions are divided how much specifically). I also played it. I played the 5 hours – as much as the free trial allows for. Was this enough to convince me it's worth getting back to? Not really – because there's not much to go back to. Still, it's worth pointing out that at the same time, this was definitely the best Cyberpunk 2077 experience I've had.

Love-hate relationship

First off, you probably want to know who's talking – am I even familiar enough with the game to be entitled to making such judgments. I did finish the game already, and as a professional duty I've spent a few extra hours searching for easter eggs and such. In Cyberpunk 2077 I appreciate the city, vibrant cast, the idea for the weird connection with Johnny Silverhand, and an excellent plot. On the other hand, I found the gameplay almost completely bland for the most part, and in terms of technology, I'd compare the experience to playing the original Gothic for the first time in your life, having played only the slickest games like those from Naughty Dog.

Patch 1.5 Makes Cyberpunk 2077 Shiny on PS5, But It's Not Enough for Me to Go Back – Illustration # 1
The game boasts of the changes made at the very beginning.

I must admit that I have a "love-hate" type of bond with Cyberpunk 2077; I am more disgusted with the hype and the PR surrounding the release than the final product itself. Although "final" is quite an unfortunate way to put it, because we all know that CDPR has been hard at work polishing the game – for many, many months. Patch 1.5 is the most tangible effect of this grind. This time, we're getting more than bugfixes. This time, we're talking about mechanics and functionalities reworked from scratch, plus a slew of quality-of-life improvements. Let's deduce and let's verify – if these changes are indeed tangible.

We have GTA at home

Before the release of Cyberpunk 2077, many people hoped for a futuristic Grand Theft Auto with a truly witcher-like role-playing element. CD Projekt RED did somewhat tone down the moods and expectations of players – it was never advertised as GTA in the future – and it truly isn't. Driving wasn't amazing, the entire police system was a misunderstanding; there were no barber shops, stores with clothes, nor other minor activities unrelated to story.

Patch 1.5, has brought Cyberpunk and GTA a bit closer. Driving has been noticeably improved – it's possible to control oversteer now, so it's more viable to actually use the power of your cars in the city, without having to worry about weird laws of physics. These, however, remain weird. The collisions still lead to grotesque car acrobations, and I even noticed two vehicles magically merge their textures. It was fun. It was extremely brief, but it did seem a nasty glitch. It's better, but it sure is no Forza Horizon.

Cyberpunk 2077 with Patch 1.5 Sparkles on PS5, But It's Not Enough for Me to Go Back – Illustration # 2
Drivers seem very panicky when V starts to drive aggressively.

In addition, AI of opponents has been improved. How does this bring the game closer to Grand Theft Auto? Well, the residents of Night City finally act accordingly when we attack them on the streets. I took about 30 minutes to walk around Japantown and sow some chaos. Have I noticed any improvements? Well, not all passersby are regrettable cowards anymore. Out of dozens of victims, about five stood up, taking part in the fight, and the rest ran away in panic (without watching their own shoes, as they customarily did in the past). It was also nice to watch the drivers panick. They reacted to the threat by pressing the pedal to the floor, often hitting random pedestrians.

Sure, it's still not a mayhem sim like San Andreas – especially since law enforcement still isn't working in a predictalbe way, though it seems a little smarter and more realistic, without officers materializing on the crime scene in an instant. However, I feel that this is the first major step CDPR took towards increasing the fun of just walking around the city and spreading unjustified terror. This is a substitute of a real sandbox that this game needed.

Cyberpunk 2077 with Patch 1.5 Sparkles on PS5, But It's Not Enough for Me to Go Back – Illustration # 3
Don't forget to reassign the perks – they have been changed and reset.

The sweet cherries on this modest, but still quite tasty cake are small, yet fundamental facilitations, such as the ability of changing the appearance of the character in the comfort of your home, or slightly more prestigious rewards for completing a number of tasks at the district fixer. Above all, though, I finally felt an actually incentive to spend 50k eddies on a real corporat condo – there have been a few new flats added to the roster, and they now come in basic color varieties. You can now also listen to Samuari on vinyl in your apartment while somking a ciggie – and in moments like these, Night City finally feels more than a container for quests.

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