The most effective approach to playing Cyberpunk 2077 remains to rebel against its constraints and expectations
This time, Cyberpunk 2077 is truly fixed. All the issues we had with the game are now resolved once and for all, as long as those issues didn't involv...
This time, Cyberpunk 2077 is truly fixed. All the issues we had with the game are now resolved once and for all, as long as those issues didn't involve inconsistent dystopian themes, the absence of wall-running, the lack of a third-person view, limited role-play options, permanently closed doors, or the constrained and linear mission design. Assuming your concerns were related to disliking the skill tree, enjoying swimming in tiny pools of water, and wanting to shoot people poorly while driving, your problems have been addressed. Cyberpunk 2077 is now better than ever, but it seems like this may be the best version we'll ever have. If you truly want to love Cyberpunk 2077, you'll find reasons to do so here, but you probably found them even at the game's initial release. As always, the best approach is to rebel and play the game on your own terms.
I persevered, going against the current, to reach the end of Cyberpunk 2077 during its original, infamous launch. It was a challenging journey, with the game crashing roughly every 25 minutes (even while playing on PS5). It was quite a struggle. However, after 25 hours of gameplay (resulting in around 60 complete crashes), I finally reached the conclusion. I didn't find much satisfaction in my ending or the game itself at that point, but I had accomplished my goal. With my feet bruised, drenched in sweat, and feeling dehydrated, I crossed the finish line. Not long after, an update was released that addressed the most severe crashes. While it didn't fix many other issues, it was a welcome addition during a holiday season that was otherwise lacking due to the pandemic and console launches causing a shortage of new releases. So, I climbed back into the boat and started rowing again.
The currents were calmer this time. There might have been occasional crashes, and one mission was so bugged that it became impossible to complete, but overall, it was a smoother experience. Despite still not being fully convinced by the game as a whole, I persevered through every aspect of it. Every encounter with Cyberpsychos, every side quest, and even collecting every tarot card. I immersed myself in Cyberpunk 2077 until it became a part of me. It's not a big leap from there to understand why some people love it so passionately that its evident flaws fade away. However, I could only enjoy it by rebelling against what the game expected me to be and do, and this holds true for the 2.0 update and Phantom Liberty as well.
The main attraction of Cyberpunk 2077 has always been its fashion choices. That was the sole reason I decided to return and play the game. It was incredibly absurd that in a game titled 'Cyberpunk,' you couldn't even customize your own haircut upon its initial release. Even now, in its improved state, there are still limitations, such as being restricted to one body type and the absence of any influence from genitals in sex scenes (particularly noticeable in Judy's and Panem's scenes, which are specifically tailored to cisgender bodies). Moreover, there is a lack of comprehensive aesthetic body customization beyond tattoos, eyeballs, and lipstick. However, despite these constraints, Cyberpunk 2077's photo mode, the creative backdrop of Night City, and the various mission types and backgrounds you encounter throughout the game allowed me to engage with it as a fashion simulator. This aspect kept me invested during my extensive 100-hour second playthrough.
There's still a hint of that in 2.0 and Phantom Liberty. We receive numerous additional clothing options, although shoes are still limited. The missions in Phantom Liberty introduce specialized outfits that are exceptionally stylish. As a trade-off, photo mode options are more restricted compared to the base game, but you can still dress up V and make a flashy appearance in Dogtown.
However, rebelling against the game's expectations is not limited to this option alone. Dogtown, the setting of Phantom Liberty, is a bleak and desolate place. Every character you encounter is burdened with misery in one way or another. V's fate, including their inevitable slow death, is a constant theme in every interaction, even more so than in the base game. It feels like Phantom Liberty should be played right at the end of your playthrough, as it is immersed in the same melancholic atmosphere that V experiences as their main quest nears its end. Going back specifically for Phantom Liberty, as the majority of players do, can feel jarring. My memories of Cyberpunk 2077 are not defined by the last five hours of misery, and yet that is precisely what Phantom Liberty focuses on.
If you're playing Cyberpunk 2.0, I encourage you to explore beyond the main storyline. Take the time to complete any remaining regular side quests. Engage in unique activities, like finding the gamer girl's bathwater, and allow yourself to experience different aspects of the game. Have some fun. While there is enjoyment to be found in Cyberpunk 2.0, it's important to note that Phantom Liberty is primarily focused on themes of heartbreak, betrayal, and darkness. Before immersing yourself back into the cold and intense experience, take a moment to relax and enjoy the lighter moments in the game.