Is Cyberpunk 2077 good now — Is 2.0 enough to save the game?

Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 Review

In the whole history of gaming, it could be argued that no AAA launch was as catastrophic as Cyberpunk 2077. Even the failings of Anthem and its subsequent abandoned revamp pale in comparison to some sources’ reports of 30,000 refunds. The game didn’t just fail to deliver on the promised gameplay, storyline arcs, choices, customization, and depth, but even performance. Cyberpunk was unplayable on certain platforms due to awful optimization. However, the team at CD Projekt Red promised to do what so few AAA developers often do and stand by their game until it represented what they promised. Now, with the release of Cyberpunk 2077 2.0, are the players finally getting what they were promised in those golden days of Keyanu Reeves promo appearances?

Refund the police

Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 review

PC Invasion

The Cyberpunk police of the original release were the ones we all wish we had in real life. You could smash your car through a crowd of people, barrel roll out of your still-moving vehicle, and empty 16 clips into a crowd, all in front of a police station. This would barely even raise an alarm even if they decided to look up from their neon Dunkin Doughnuts. Not that I want to commit vehicular homicide, but complacent police would be great.

Even when you did get fingered by the cops, their ability to track, chase, and catch you was a joke. You could climb from your car and casually stroll from whatever police-based conflict you had begun and not get hit once. The police made no pursuit and had the aim of Star Wars Storm Troopers.

Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 has promised to revamp the police AI systems in the game, and it has improved them somewhat. In a game like GTA, terrorizing people is going to create enough trouble for you that you very well may end up in a multi-billion dollar chase that results in tanks and aircraft. Do not expect this kind of organic trouble from the police of Cyberpunk.

Hard to drive with trotters

They have upped their alerts for sure. Running down an NPC or two will result in a crackle over the radio and a star appearing beside the map. Elevating your mayhem will start to up the stars and increase the heat. However, I found the awareness just simply isn’t there. At one point, with a solid three stars, I drove past a police station and was able to park just yards away to lose my heat completely. Their driving leaves much to be desired, but having driven many cars/river-barges-with-wheels in the game myself, I understand their struggle.

Boring battles

As for their gunplay and involvement, it is somewhat improved. They can hit a barn door with a rocket launcher now but don’t expect much more. The lack of air support limits them significantly to ground troops. This means, apart from the odd drone and maybe one or two police on a bridge or building, it’s a very 2-dimensional fight.

The police still feel dull and barely present as a threat in the game. Their pursuit is little more than a momentary hassle, and even if you want to do one of those quicksave, all-out carnage battles you can whip up in a GTA game, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Even when pushing your stars up to the top, the fights are samey and dull.

Untangled branches

The skill tree in the original release of Cyberpunk was a tangled mess. It was complicated to work out and had a lot of players simply opting out of what looked to be far too much work. With the Cyberpunk 2.0 update, I feel that the system is significantly improved. However, it is not faultless.

Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 review

PC Invasion

Cleaner layout

The old system had sub-menu after sub-menu, leading to wasted points and convoluted builds. The new menu flattens out the whole system, making it easy to read and easier to distribute your points. There are a number of new branches and options added on, allowing you to really make your build unique.

The skill tree does take a little learning and a bit of time to really study and read. The perks work together with a lot of the tech you use, and there is a huge amount of it. The skill trees can focus on everything from melee builds to hacking or tech weapons. This really drives me towards researching a build for playstyles. However, I feel that a lot of players simply aren’t that invested in doing the research and tailoring builds in Cyberpunk 2077 that much.

Too tailored

As you play through Cyberpunk, so many new and interesting weapons come up, meaning your playstyle endlessly adapts. Even with the ability to refund points and redistribute for free, this means that a lot of the time, your skill points will be useless unless your whole design is switched up.

I see what they’re going for with the detailed and tailored skill tree. However, I still think it is a little too convoluted and complex for the average player who simply wants to run, gun, hack, and slash, even if they are looking for a specific build.

Less Mad Max, more Moderate Max

Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 review

PC Invasion

The revamped car chases and driving AI is something people have been calling for desperately since the first release. There are a wealth of videos on YouTube of cars becoming hilariously erratic and chases being evaded at a snail’s pace. The new Cyberpunk 2.0 update has promised to remedy the problems with AI and provide a driving experience that doesn’t leave you simply fast-traveling everywhere.

In the older game, knowing I had to drive somewhere was such a chore. Instead, fast traveling, which was thankfully abundant, became the norm. It was a shame because the team had obviously put so much thought into the city’s aesthetic. However, driving was a nightmare with cars slamming into me, new vehicles popping into existence meters inches in front of me, and the cars handling like buffaloes on butter.

Do I think the cars now handle in a way that makes me want to take a casual city drive? Maybe. Do I live in constant fear of other drivers popping into the world and totaling my car? No. Do car chases fill me with a rush of adrenaline and fear? Absolutely not.

Car combat

The new car combat system in Cyberpunk 2.0 is fun. Being able to pop out your windshield or open up a door and empty clips into other cars is great. The hacking and driving system is also a lot of fun if only limited to go, stop, and explode. Also, buying weaponized cars is a fun addition. However, I feel that the excitement is just massively dulled by the fact that driving AI is still so boring.

Even at the highest level of police chase, there is no real threat. I used the roadblocks put in place as a chance to get out and pick up one of the cars from the police barricade numerous times. There was never a time I had my tires blown out or the police even used their roof-mounted weapons to any effect. And, once I was done with the chase, I just drove off. I had to actively pursue the police to maintain a fight. Improved, yes. Good, no.

Combat 2.0

Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 review

PC Invasion

It took me many hours into the new update and expansion to realize I had been playing on hard the whole time. I only realized because I went to check if I could turn it up. Thankfully, enemies standing around T-posing in the middle of a firefight seem to be a thing of the past, but they shoot like they have their hands on backward.

I was rarely forced to use cover, and their awful aim was enough to keep me stress-free. However, I did notice that enemies now start to use flanking systems to keep the fight fresh. It was nice to see that the combat AI now takes into consideration where you stand in the fight and deals with it competently.

The new AI had me moving around the map a little more, clearing new vantage spots for myself and utilizing my full range of weaponry and cyberware. The combat isn’t difficult or requires a lot of skill, but it did make me think and sometimes snuck up on me from behind. However, I was still able to simply walk straight through most levels without really doing much more than pointing and clicking.

Is 2.0 the Cyberpunk we all dreamt of?

Cyberpunks issues lay far deeper than simply the brainless AI and samey combat. The game itself was flat and uninspired. It was linear in a way it promised to be anything other than, and the customization and individuality simply weren’t there.

The changes have opened up the UI a little more to the more casual gamer, and the AI improvements have made the world feel a little more interactive and responsive. However, the game still doesn’t feel like it has any soul or gravitas.

Cyberpunk 2.0 isn’t the saving grace of the game. It has made it a little more playable than its previous version just in time for the release of the Phantom Liberty expansion. However, don’t go expecting a whole new game. It’s more of a Cyberpunk 1.5 than a 2.0.


Leo Gillick
About The Author
Leo is a Freelance Writer for PC Invasion. He has a degree in English Literature and Film Studies and more hours buried into videogames than he cares to admit. He has worked extensively in the Videogame and Travel writing industry but, as they say, get a job doing something you love and you'll never work a day in your life. He uses his writing as a means to support indefinite global travel with the current five year plan seeing him through Latin America.