CD Projekt Red and their reputation as an industry darling held for a long time due to the enormous success of Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and their supposed greed-free mantra. The botched launch of Cyberpunk 2077 misplaced much of this goodwill, however. If the massive update, DLC, and new-gen free trial are any indication, the development team is keen on earning consumer trust back.
Appropriately titled ‘REDstream,’ the hour-long livestream hosted by quest designer Pawel Sasko was a doozy; trying to cover every tweak and feature in a 50GB patch under an hour is certainly a herculean task. We compiled a list containing all you need to know before returning to Night City.
New in-stock at The 2nd Amendment
Our good friend and weapon vendor Wilson has some new stock. He can be found in Megabuilding H10, the same complex as V’s starter apartment. All of this new gear can be accessed once V has spoken to Takemura in Tom’s Diner at the beginning of act 2.
- You can check out new items in Wilson’s 2nd Amendment store in Megabuilding H10 or look for them while exploring Night City.
- 2 new weapons: Darra Polytechnic Umbra (Power Assault Rifle), Budget Arms Guillotine (Power Submachine Gun)
- 4 new weapon scopes: Kang Tao Jue long scope, Tsunami Gaki sniper scope, Arasaka Kanetsugu short scope, Handyman short scope
- New type of weapon attachments – muzzle brakes: 10 new muzzle brakes: 5 for handguns (RC-7 Ifrit, RC-7 Liger, RC-7 Dybbuk, RC-7 Kutrub, RC-7 Babaroga); 5 for assault rifles & submachine guns (RC-7 Aswang, RC-7 Varkolak, RC-7 Zaar, RC-7 Yokai, RC-7 Strigoi).
The Combat AI
The ‘perk tree’ received a rework to improve overall balance to combat. The ‘stealth’ branch has been renamed ‘ninjitsu,’ as well. After patch 1.5 is loaded, each skill must be manually reallocated. “Can I make an effective dil*o build?” asked Sasko. Apparently, yes. Also, all knives have a boomerang-like mechanic and will now return to V after being thrown; their rarity will affect how quickly they return to V.
- Multiple fixes and improvements to NPC melee and ranged combat AI and reactions, including taking cover, positioning, reloading, equipping weapons, dodging, blocking, and many others.
- Multiple improvements to dismemberment triggers, hit reactions, and death animations, adding greater impact to ranged and melee combat.
- Enemies are now much better at blocking and evading (Kerenzikov) attacks. The heavier the weapon, the easier it is to hit. The opposite is true for evading.
- Further diversification of melee and ranged combat behaviors for different factions: reckless, aggressive, balanced, defensive, and cautious.
- Followers now contribute more in combat but can be defeated and temporarily disabled if they receive enough punishment.
- Numerous fixes and balance changes to netrunner combat.
The AI is much improved, both in and out of combat. For example, if a pedestrian in a car is threatened, they’ll recklessly ‘panic drive’ to escape a dangerous situation rather than sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic and pile onto each other. In addition, a dispersed crowd will no longer despawn or disappear should V turn around.
- Aggressive crowd behavior: certain NPC archetypes can and will enter combat with the player when provoked by aiming, shooting, or fighting. Due to some technical challenges, this change is not available on the previous generation of consoles.
- Time skips affect the state of NPCs and reset the state of the devices, environments, and certain scenes.
- Improved crowd reactions, pathfinding and despawning.
‘Quality of Life,’ Customization, and Romance
V can find a new place to live, and there are a total of four apartments to choose from, ranging from a luxurious penthouse in Corpo Plaza to a more low-key room in Japantown. Sasko mentioned he “wanted the apartment to reflect the identity” of your V. Unfortunately, our dear kitty-cat Nibbles has to stay behind.
- Visibility while driving is now better-suited to first-person perspective, a major issue that made it near impossible to see the road in front of V. According to Sasko, “each car and bike model will feel a little bit different.”
- V can change their appearance mid-game. There are a variety of new hair and make-up to choose from, including glossy and matte lipstick. The collective response is “Finally!”
- A toggleable walk command has been added.
- Your apartment stash is shared, making organization easier for the avid gun collector.
- Sleeping and showering will give V a buff. “I was surprised to learn people shower naked,” Sasko poked fun at how V used to shower fully clothed.
- You will be able to wake up next to the character V romanced, and there will be more related dialogue. “The DLC is packed with stuff most people don’t know about except for Pawel,” said community manager Alicja Kozera.
- A photomode specifically for Johnny Silverhand is the final DLC for this patch. “Since virtual photography is very popular in our game and we follow it very closely, we wanted to see what people can create,” said Sasko.
The free trial for the new-gen update is available now on Xbox Series X/S and the PlayStation 5, where all demo progress will be carried over upon purchase. What better way to prove your game is running optimally than to allow people to play it for free, after all? It would seem CD Projekt Red knocked this one out of the park.