Does patch 1.5 finally make Cyberpunk 2077 a true next-gen game? Cyberpunk 2077 was one of the most hyped titles in recent video gaming history, and when it was finally released, it was far from perfect. Since back then, the developer, CD Projekt RED, has continuously worked on updates and fixes. This was done not only to please the fans but primarily to prevent financial fallout from being banned from the marketplaces and similar issues.
On PCs, this matter was different, but while the release happened around the time when the next-gen consoles, being PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X/S, were coming out, many gamers were looking forward to seeing the glory of Cyberpunk 2077 in the best possible visual quality and performance. But it didn’t happen like that. The title was not even qualified to be considered a next-gen game on consoles until recently.
Does patch 1.5 really turn Cyberpunk 2077 into a next-gen game?
Our initial review of Cyberpunk 2077 was largely benevolent as it’s a worthy game to play, despite some shortcomings. Now, since the Patch 1.5 has been released, we thought it would be a good moment to revisit the title and check out if the content updates and visual improvements turn everything around or not. I’ve spent about 20 hours on the Xbox Series X now, and here comes the verdict.
Does the new patch make Cyberpunk 2077 look any better?
There are several good fixes done and new features added to support the visual quality and performance. They worked on a performance mode that was said to enable a framerate of 60 FPS with dynamic 4K scaling, as well as a ray-tracing mode with a focus on visual fidelity rather than framerate. So what’s the performance mode like? I felt no difference in how the game performed previously on the same console.
No, wait, I felt a bit of a difference. Having the motion blur effect on by default on Cyberpunk 2077 with the patch 1.5, I actually felt a little dizzy and unwell after playing for some time. I actually had to disable this motion blur setting to feel a little better while playing, and that was a new sensation to me. I usually feel fine playing even for prolonged periods, but I wanted to share that with you in case you might be sensitive to that as well and are not sure what you could do now to fix that.
How about the visual appeal? Running the ray-tracing mode, the game became so slow and laggy that I’d simply say that it makes it unplayable. There is no fun to be found here, and I’d suggest to only temporarily turning this on when you want to take some shots for video game photography and not actually to play the game. In summary of the visual changes in the Cyberpunk 2077 patch 1.5, I would say that the marketing and press release sounded like we’d get a lot more than what we actually got.
I’m sure there are some changes and improvements, and the console makers actually granted them the certifications to be optimized for next-gen hardware. Still, I see little to no difference in comparison to earlier versions. It’s sad to say, but by now, I think the CD Projekt RED’s marketing and PR are better than their product. They hyped the launch without much to back it, and they hyped the patch with little to nothing to show for.
Wait, didn’t they say they would also add content?
Why, yes, they did. There are some improvements that we can find while playing, such as being able to make adjustments to some aspects of the character’s appearance when you’re looking into the mirror of your apartment, for instance. Talking about apartments, it’s also worth sharing that they introduced a new feature that lets you change apartment styles and purchase new apartments. Still, just like in earlier versions, there is no actual reason to ever go to your apartment because there is just nothing you need to do there. You can get some buffs in your apartment, but I just don’t feel like that makes it worth going back and forth all the time.
What else? They teased updates to combat AI, crowd improvements, traffic, and a more lively world. Thinking carefully about this, I don’t think I noticed a shred of difference in comparing Cyberpunk 2077 on patch 1.5 with any previous version. Surely there might be some technical adjustments that they made, but it truly doesn’t feel different. Night City could be so much, but it just feels empty and unreal.
If you want to dig into the official patch 1.5 and next-gen updates of Cyberpunk 2077, you can do so, and maybe you will find something useful that you like, but I didn’t. Cyberpunk 2077 is still a fine game, as it was at launch. It’s fun to play, but, in my opinion, patch 1.5 introduces nothing that would make me want to play the game again just because it would look or feel much better than before.
Maybe it’s time for CD Projekt RED to cut their losses, focus on building a great new Witcher title and leave the rest to Rockstar Games. If you’re not sure what to think of my judgment, then please feel invited to also compare various modes from various versions in the video below. Maybe you’ll find it more replayable than me based on seeing some actual comparison footage.
YouTube: Cyberpunk 2077 Patch 1.5 | Xbox Series X Graphics Comparison (Next-Gen Update)
Photo credit: All images shown are owned by CD Projekt Red and were made available for press usage.