Earlier this week, developer CD Projekt Red rolled out a massive patch for its Blade Runner homage, Cyberpunk 2077. It’s the type of update that could turn a troubled RPG around, retooling everything from the notoriously wonky combat to the unbalanced skill tree. But my favourite new change is more subtle: The map.
Prior to the update, Cyberpunk 2077’s map was a tangle of disorder, jam-packed with so many icons you could barely make out the underlying geography of its setting, Night City. Of course, Cyberpunk 2077 is by no means the only open-world game to commit this sin — everyone, say hi to Ubisoft — but previously it didn’t offer many tools to make the map any less of an indecipherable clusterfuck. What’s more, the colour scheme wasn’t exactly complimentary. Teals bled into dark blues bled into muddy yellows, all overlaid on a muted red map. It was, in short, tough to parse.
Following the update, however, I feel safe saying that Cyberpunk 2077 now sports one of the better open-world maps around. CDPR added a slew of options for customising how it’s displayed. One setting allows you to filter solely for the game’s jobs — main missions and side quests — displaying them, and only them, in circled exclamation points on the map. Another displays “service points,” basically encompassing everything that isn’t a job. There’s a third setting that allows you to customise a filter across 14 categories, including missions, side-quests, vendors, vehicles, personal apartments, and fast-travel points.
All three are terrific, but the one I’m most struck by is the “dynamic” setting, which fills in more detail based on how close you zoom in. Check it out:
It’s an ideal balance. I can zoom out and consider Night City in streamlined totality, seeing nothing more than the missions on my plate. If I need more detail, I can zoom in and pick, say, a fast travel point to head to or a vendor to hit up. I get the best of both worlds. All things considered, it’s a minor improvement, but it’s the sort of detail that shows CDPR was conscientious in considering what to fix for Cyberpunk 2077’s second coming.
Indeed, right now, there’s no shortage of reasons to return to the once-busted RPG. As my colleague Jeremy Winslow noted earlier, the haptic controls are transcendent on PlayStation, thanks to Cyberpunk 2077’s newly next-gen version making use of that console’s revelatory DualSense controller. Fans have spent the past few days praising background visual flourishes, like police chases and umbrellas, that make Night City feel less like a neon-lit diorama and more like a real metropolis. Oh, and in case you were worried, no, Keanu Reeves hasn’t gone anywhere.
In the wake of Cyberpunk 2077’s phoenix-like reemergence, a lot of people, rightfully burned by its original 2020 rollout, have been wondering if it’s worth returning to, have asked if I’m back myself. I haven’t had an answer. But after spending the past few days considering the quieter merits of Cyberpunk’s respray, yeah, I’m thinkin’ I’m back.