Cyberpunk 2077's 2.0 Update Finally Feels Like the Game We Were Promised

A new lease on life.

Cyberpunk 2077
CD Projekt Red

Cyberpunk 2077 has come a long way since its rough launch at the end of 2020, but nothing comes close to the upcoming 2.0 update, which practically makes it feel like a different game entirely. CD Projekt Red has clearly put a lot of thought into making Cyberpunk more approachable, and that’s gone a long way to making an RPG that now feels much more satisfying to play than its original version. That also means now is the time to play Cyberpunk 2077.

There’s a whole laundry list of changes coming in the 2.0 update, but by far the most influential are completely reworked Perk and Cyberware systems. By reworked I mean completely and utterly changed, integrally altering how you approach character builds, and in the process making the entire system much more streamlined.

Up until now, Cyberpunk’s perk trees were a mess. That’s completely been thrown out the window now, replaced by a system that encourages highly specialized builds.

The Perk and Cyberware system is much cleaner and easier to navigate.

CD Projekt Red

The crucial difference here is that the perk trees now just make sense, versus the smorgasbord offering that the game had before, where you’d need to piece together skills from all the different trees for a lot of builds. Now, each tree is essentially dedicated to a specific build. For example, Body benefits up-close character with skills for shotguns, blunt weapons, and adrenaline. Meanwhile, the Technical Ability Tree is entirely dedicated to netrunning and quick-hacking. Each tree has three tiers of abilities that are unlocked as you use skill points and level up that tree’s skill.

On top of these changes, there are some fantastic new abilities that can really change the way combat flows. A dodge ability lets V quickly dash ahead five feet, which is absolutely deadly for melee builds, and an Overclock ability lets you continue using quickhacks in exchange for health, instead of RAM. There are even a host of perks inspired by the smash-hit anime Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. The best of these is the Edgerunner perk itself which lets you overload your cyberware and enter a fury state that slows time.

Cyberware is also completely redesigned from the bottom up, as you now have a gauge that shows V’s limit for implants. The UI for cyberware feels much cleaner and easier to navigate, and it’s easier to tell what implants are actually doing on a more micro level. At the same time, the convoluted armor system that made you slot mods into your clothing has been removed, and armor is now entirely tied to cyberware, with another helpful gauge on the right side of the menu.

Cyberpunk’s new perk system is much more focused on giving fun and unique abilities, rather than just stat increases.

CD Projekt Red

Cyberpunk 2077 is still a complex game with a lot to learn, but these changes to its two most prominent systems make it much easier to get into. The added benefit is that it’s easier to roleplay on multiple playthroughs because investing in one perk tree can feel so drastically different from another.

It’s worth noting a couple of the other changes in 2.0, with new car combat options and increased police response. Car combat adds in some interesting new approaches to a lot of missions, as it’s now a viable option to drive straight into a crowd and blast them away with machine guns or rockets.

Meanwhile, the heightened police response definitely creates more tension, but it’s really fascinating if you manage to get a five-star wanted level. This causes the NCPD to call in the elite Maxtac force, who usually take down cyberpsychos. Suddenly you’ll find yourself up against a whole team of elite soldiers all gunning for you, and any one would be enough to bring V’s rampage to an end.

Car combat and heightened police provide new obstacles when exploring Night City, and feel like a natural addition.

CD Projekt Red

Fighting Maxtac is thrilling, but it’s great to see them implemented in any way. Outside of a story segment introducing them, Cyberpunk didn’t use Maxtac in any way before this update, and having the team called in helps smooth out the illusion of Night City reacting to your actions.

It’s hard to understate just how much the 2.0 update changes how you play Cyberpunk 2077. The police and car combat add some new options, and reworked Perks and Cyberware completely change combat and stealth for the better.

With three years of fixes and now this massive update, Cyberpunk 2077 feels like it’s achieved its original vision. This is — finally — a game that can be recommended without caveats.

The Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 update will be free on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.

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