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The Biggest Differences In The Cyberpunk 2077 Next-Gen Upgrade

"Cyberpunk 2077" has been in limbo for over a year now. Several patches aimed at fixing the slew of bugs and shoddy gameplay have been released since CD Project Red was forced to apologize for the game's disastrous launch in an attempt to fix the damage done to the developer's reputation. Some of these patches have attempted to make "Cyberpunk" into a brand new game by reworking major mechanical flaws, such as the overly lethal in-game police response and floaty driving controls. Still, many fans have been unimpressed with these improvements. Now, it seems the developer is attempting to give the game new life for the modern generation of gaming consoles.

The new 1.5 patch notes were recently released, listing all of the updates CDPR is planning to implement in order to optimize "Cyberpunk 2077." In addition to "numerous quest and gameplay fixes" and some brand new DLC content, this update promises to allow the game to take advantage of the hardware available on the PC, Xbox series X/S and PS5. The patch is massive, with players reporting varying file sizes reaching over 50GB. Here are a few of the biggest changes players can expect to see.

Next-Gen optimization

CD Projekt Red's new update modifies the game to take advantage of features available on modern hardware that weren't available in the past. One of the biggest advantages that modern consoles and PC graphics cards have over previous generations is the use of ray-tracing. The 1.5 patch not only adds ray-traced local light shadows, but it also adds two different modes on the PS5 and Series X so players can choose whether or not to activate these features (which can be straining on graphics hardware.) There is a "Performance Mode," which prioritizes higher frames per second, and a "Ray Tracing Mode," which focuses on generating the most stunning visuals possible. Unfortunately, according to the notes, "The Xbox Series S version has no graphics mode selection and is by default presented at 30 FPS in 1440p with dynamic resolution scaling."

The notes also promise significant performance improvements to prevent FPS drops, balanced HDR, "various visual quality improvements," activity cards for the PS5, Spanish voiceover support (only on next-gen consoles,) support for spatial audio on PlayStation 5, and support for the PS5's adaptive triggers. All of that adds up to the promise of significant performance improvements for players using the latest hardware.

New and improved content

Not everything in the patch is exclusive to next-gen consoles though, everyone who owns "Cyberpunk 2077" will be able to take advantage of the new content CDPR has added to the game. To start, player's will no longer be confined to V's starting apartment. They can now rent new places in Night City if they've got the eddies to spare. The notes state that, "apartments can be rented (with a one-time fee) when encountered in Night City or through the EZEstates website when accessed through the computer in V's Megabuilding H10 apartment." There are four new pads available for V to crash in: Northside, Watson (€$5,000), Japantown, Westbrook (€$15,000), The Glen, Heywood (€$40,000), and Corpo Plaza, City Center (€$55,000). Players can also renovate V's original apartment for €$10,000.

Players will finally be able to change certain aspects of V's appearance in game, such as hair, makeup, and piercings. This is a big one since many have criticized "Cyberpunk" for not allowing players to change their in-game character appearance. Given that one of the key themes of the game is body modification, this update makes sense. Players will be able to show off their new looks with a number of new poses in Photo Mode as well.

There will also be several new weapons and modifications available at Wilson's 2nd Amendment store. The Darra Polytechnic Umbra (Power Assault Rifle) and Budget Arms Guillotine (Power Submachine Gun) will both be available for purchase along with four new weapon scopes and 10 varieties of a new kind of weapon attachment called muzzle breaks.

New things to find

Fresh items and mechanics are nice, but players who have already played the game for a while and have already found most of the places most people didn't know they could explore are really looking for more stuff to actually do in the game. There don't seem to be any actual missions being added, unfortunately, but those fans will be getting a little extra gameplay.

According to the 1.5 patch notes, a few secrets have been left in Night City for players to discover. The notes don't go into what kind of secrets they might be referring to, but they do say that they won't be available on previous generation consoles due to "technical challenges," making it seem like these are more than just Easter eggs.

The notes also say that this patch will offer, "extended romances with Panam, Kerry, River and Judy by adding new messages and interactions," as well as "added interactions in the homes of love interests, including sleeping in bed with a given partner." On top of that, the patch will also implement fixes for dozens of the game's existing quests in order to make them run more smoothly.

Gameplay upgrades

In addition to the graphical improvements and the new content, there will also be a massive number of improvements to the way the game is played. Without getting into the nitty gritty details of each category, massive changes have been made to balance the in-game economy by adjusting prices and inflating monetary rewards. Additionally, the Evasion stat has changed, players can now hide from the NCPD, Cyberware stats have been adjusted, the combat AI had been re-optimized for both enemy and ally NPCs, Quickhacking has been adjusted, dozens of NPC stats have been re-balanced, several perks have been redesigned (and new ones have been added to replace older ones,) V can now move through fractured glass, and several car, weapon, and UI issues have been resolved.

That might sound like a lot – and it is – but it doesn't even scratch the surface of the various ways CDPR has modified the gameplay in "Cyberpunk." There are literally hundreds of items listing the mechanics that the team has modified to fix everything from combat and AI to cinematic and audio design to in-game traffic and weather patterns. Hopefully this new and improved "Cyberpunk 2077" will give fans the experience they've been wanting all along.