Cyberpunk 2077 Finally Found Itself
Late last week, the free 2.0 update for Cyberpunk 2077 came out, and with it the game feels more “finished” than it has any of the other times that the internet has proudly proclaimed that it’s now finally ready to play.
This patch has more than a simple list of fixes. It lays the technological groundwork for the DLC pack that launches tonight and brings the game firmly into the current generation of hardware, leaving the PS4 and Xbox One behind. But much more than that…basically every mechanical system in the game has been ripped out and re-imagined.
It’s one of the few times where the cliche “it’s like a whole new game” truly applies. The core storyline and many of the raw graphical assets are the same, but every facet of the gameplay has been touched. Loot works entirely differently now, with armor coming not from clothing but from cybernetic upgrades. The skill tree is completely new, and even features skills that were teased in ancient marketing but cut from the original release three years ago. Rather than just earning incremental upgrades to your character’s stats, you’ll now learn completely new moves with each skill investment. The pacing of combat is slower and more deliberate, with each action now infused with more input from the statistical RPG backend, and stamina now a resource to be carefully managed alongside more limited healing options.
It all results in a more polished gameplay experience that can stand proudly alongside the many other great deep RPGs released this year. It is indeed both the perfect time to start this game, and the perfect time to revisit it.
Here are my three favorite changes so far after several hours of play.
Wait a minute, aren’t I the guy that goes on and on about how great loot games are? Didn’t I just get done praising Starfield for its piles and piles of stuff to collect? Am I really saying that Cyberpunk dramatically cutting its loot down is a good thing?