Cyberpunk PS5

When CD Projekt Red announced that it was going to host a Cyberpunk 2077 livestream following months of silence on the game's future, we felt a small jolt of hope. But when the developer kicked said livestream off with a hugely underwhelming 'next-gen' demo, we knew that we'd have to play the newly released PlayStation 5 version for ourselves — and so here we are with our first impressions.

We've spent about four hours with the freshly updated title, booting our old PS4 save and rampaging across Night City. And while this is still the same Cyberpunk 2077 — the game that many would argue is a disappointingly shallow RPG — it finally feels like a finished product. It's actually polished, it looks great, and it isn't threatening to crash your console every time that you turn a corner in a speedy vehicle.

It's taken more than a year to get here, if you can believe it. But thanks to PS5 hardware and a gigantic update that's been months in the making, Cyberpunk 2077 is in a much, much better place. If you're familiar with the PS4 version — even if you were playing it on PS5 via backwards compatibility — you'll immediately notice improvements all over the place. The dynamic 4K resolution makes for an infinitely better image, and the frame-rate is a silky smooth 60 — give or take some slight dips when entering a busy area at speed.

The streets of Night City are better populated, and NPCs don't just disappear when you turn the camera. A decent number of cars traverse the roads, and sometimes, drivers actually drive around parked vehicles. But the biggest change that we noticed during our brief test happens when you fire a gun. Spray some lead near normal citizens and they'll run, while panicked motorists hit the gas, causing carnage on the road. That's artificial intelligence right there, folks. What a time to be alive!

Now, obviously, this is the kind of baseline stuff that you just straight-up expect from an open world title. But when you compare it to the wreck of a game that released in 2020, it's a genuine step forward. What's more, numerous quality of life tweaks add up very quickly. Better driving controls, the ability to dismiss calls from overzealous quest givers, and — thank god — clearer map markers are all much needed enhancements.

The game's PS5 features are worth a mention as well. CDPR has — perhaps surprisingly — made really good use of the DualSense controller. The adaptive triggers are maybe a bit too resistant at times, but the haptic feedback is solid, and guns have a particularly nice rumble to them. Elsewhere, a dedicated ray tracing mode cuts the frame-rate in half, but those reflections and refractions sure are pretty. Worth turning on at least once just to see it in action.

The bottom line here is that the PS5 can run Cyberpunk 2077 properly, and boy does it show. The PS4 version felt like it was on the verge of imploding all the time, so this almost seems like some kind of miracle.

Again, if you aren't a fan of Cyberpunk 2077 at its core — its gameplay, its mechanics, its systems — then this PS5 version probably won't change your mind. But if you wanted to enjoy last-gen Cyberpunk 2077 and simply couldn't because of its many, many technical issues, then this could be the time to jump in.

Have you sampled Cyberpunk 2077 on PS5 yet? We'll be bringing you a full review in the relatively near future, but until then, let us know if you've returned to Night City in the comments section below.