Cyberpunk 2077’s big Xbox Series X|S patch is here … but is it good enough?

Cyberpunk 2077 2022 CapsSource: Windows Central

I loved Cyberpunk 2077, right from launch. I stand by my review of the game, and am still more than happy to not only call it my 2020 game of the year, but one of my favorite games of all time. That said, I did play exclusively on the PC version of the game on a capable rig without any expectations whatsoever, which is an experience that very aggressively diverged from many others.

Cyberpunk 2077 on Xbox and PlayStation was a well-documented mess. The new-gen Xbox consoles didn’t do too much to mitigate the damage either, with poor resolution, bad textures, poor performance, and glitches galore. Since then, CDPRED has been hard at work trying to repair the game and bring it up to expectations. This week, we finally got the 1.5 update that brought with it new-gen enhanced versions, complete with a wealth of other changes and improvements.

I went back to give Cyberpunk 2077 another try on my Xbox Series X, to see whether it lived up to my experiences on the PC version. Thus far, I’d say it’s finally ready for console play — with caveats.

Rebalancing the loot and “RPG” aspects

Cyberpunk 2077 2022 CapsSource: Windows Central

One of my biggest complaints and criticisms about Cyberpunk 2077 was the itemization and RPG mechanics. In my humble opinion, CD Projekt RED isn’t particularly great at this in general, with itemization and character progression in The Witcher 3 falling a bit on the messy side. Cyberpunk 2077 turned that strangeness up a notch, though, with itemization that not only made characters look horrible, but also came with gameplay-trivializing overpoweredness in certain gear combos.

I played Cyberpunk 2077 entirely as a Netrunner in my review, which I’m certain enhanced my experience of the game overall. I didn’t engage much with the game’s weaponry or gear, instead opting to hide in a corner and murder enemies via CCTV cameras and hacks. This gameplay style felt great and still does, but in subsequent attempts to play, I found Cyberpunk’s gunplay and melee combat wholly lacking. CD Projekt RED has attempted to address some of these inconsistencies by adding new weapons and rebalancing some of the game’s high-end mods and equipment aspects. You can’t just stack mountains of crit-enhancing mods anymore, with new restrictions forcing you to be a little more considerate about how you approach character building.

Many high-end items now have more strict stat requirements too, which should add to the sense that your build actually matters. Some existing builds might end up broken as a result of this, though, with no way to re-allocate stats beyond starting over as of writing. They have added bonus stats to certain bionic upgrades, though. For example, Gorilla Arms now enhances your “body” stat, allowing you to carry heavier weapons without actually investing the points into your character.

While some existing playstyles may get nerfed as a result, many of these tweaks should add to the game’s depth, allowing for lesser-used builds to shine. CD Projekt RED also tweaked some talent trees like Cold Blooded to bring them up to par with other builds. CD Projekt RED also added new animations for certain melee weapons, like the Katana, which enhances the “cyborg ninja” fantasy a fair bit.

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