Cyberpunk 2077 update 1.2 is here. The long awaited patch is gigantic, promising to fix a veritable catalogue of stability issues, bugs, and other problems. But is it the update that finally transforms Cyberpunk 2077 into a game that doesn't crash every couple of hours on PlayStation consoles? We returned to Night City in order to find out.
Let's start with the good news: we've spent six hours with the open world RPG on PS5 since the launch of patch 1.2 — five of them consecutive — and we haven't encountered a single crash. We even visited multiple crashing "hotspots" — specific parts of the map that are notoriously busy — hours into our testing, and the game chugged on through. What's more, the framerate appears to be smoother overall. Performance is still far from perfect — hitching still occurs at regular intervals and frames do drop in built-up areas — but stability appears to be much improved, at least in our experience.
In our damning Cyberpunk 2077 PS4 review, we stressed that crashing issues were by far the game's biggest problem. If they've been fixed, then CD Projekt Red is definitely on the right track. But update 1.2 obviously doesn't stop there, so what else has improved?
Well, we did notice that non-playable characters appear to be more reactionary. We started multiple gunfights close to bustling city streets, and civilians actually ran away instead of immediately cowering in fear. It's difficult to say whether the infamously bad artificial intelligence has been tweaked, but Night City's residents do seem to be a bit more... Alive. Don't get us wrong, this ain't Red Dead Redemption 2 all of a sudden, but it might be the beginning of something better for this dystopian adventure.
Sadly, the same can't be said of traffic. We still encountered plenty of cars just sitting there in the middle of the road, and that roundabout where vehicles just drive straight through multiple barriers over and over again remains. Even with an 8,000-word article detailing all of those bug fixes, update 1.2 couldn't squash that one.
And then there's the law enforcement. Everyone's favourite police department continues to be a bad joke, despite some very slight adjustments to the game's wanted system. CD Projekt Red made a point of highlighting this particular change, promising improvements to how police officers spawn into the world after you've committed a crime. And yeah, the system is improved, but only just. Now, instead of instantly teleporting into existence right behind you, cops take 20 seconds or so to spawn in across the road. The sad part is that you can still clearly see them manifest from thin air if you happen to be looking in the right direction. We're hoping that this is more of a temporary "solution" than it is a permanent fix.
Oh, and the pop-in is still a real immersion-breaker on consoles. The game might be more stable, but you can still see NPCs, cars, and other assets blink into reality (and back out again) with alarming frequency. We get that cramming Cyberpunk 2077 onto PS4 caused a lot of problems, but surely CD Projekt Red can do better than this? Turning the camera away from a crowd of people, and then swinging it back around only to find that everyone has vanished is embarrassing.
But look, at this point, we'll take what we can get. Cyberpunk 2077 has been such an unmitigated disaster that not having the game crash in five hours of play is a genuine miracle. Here's hoping that CD Projekt Red continues to improve Cyberpunk 2077, and that one day, we might end up with an experience that's worthy of the PlayStation Store.