With the Cyberpunk 2077 1.5 patch finally arriving onto both PC and console platforms, the highly anticipated (and for many, highly disappointing) Sci-Fi RPG from CDProjekt Red has received some great quality-of-life upgrades that make the game feel like it arguably should have done at launch – though I still have a massive gripe with it.
Over a year on since the game's controversial launch and you still don't have the ability to 'transmog', or cosmetically alter your characters clothing, which sounds like a minor issue, but for a game that's so dependent on aesthetic, it makes you look like a total ass if you're trying to get the best possible stats from your outfits. If every NPC was beholden to the same rules as your playable character V, Night City would be a metropolis of clowns.
For those unaware, transmogrification is a term popularized by World of Warcraft for a system that lets you to apply the look of a particular piece of clothing to a different piece that has better stats. This allows you to have almost full control over what your outfit looks like without having to wear a hideous ensemble of unmatched clothing in order to personalize your character build to your needs.
Admittedly it's not a common feature to see in an RPG, but given the game was so heavily marketed on its futuristic style, I'd expect there to be an easier way to make my character look more in keeping with the theme, and fashionably at that.
That said, It's not impossible to create a suitable outfit using the existing game mechanics, but it is hard work. If you find that perfect top to match the rest of your gear then you can pump upgrades into it until it's suitably specced to not be a downgrade from your current fit, but this takes time and some grinding. I don't expect to look like a total baddie in the early stages of the game, but I'd love to at least not look as though my character had hastily robbed a Party City for the first 20-30 hours of gameplay.
In fact, you can't even recolor or dye the clothing items you have to make things match a little more seamlessly, which would have helped the fact that most of the clothing options in the game are dreadful. Thankfully, having a lifetime of playing The Sims has taught me that if you don't do a good enough job, the modding community will step up to help, but they shouldn't have to.
Cyberpunk fashion has so much potential, and this feels rather squandered. Bear in mind that the game was initially released back in December 2020, we could have had DLC packs for outfit collaborations with techwear brands or designers by now if CDProjekt Red didn't have to spend the last few months making the game playable post-release.
Does V wearing a crummy outfit actually affect the game? Of course not, and if you're happy to run around to grind your perfect outfit or just plonk on the first pink mini-skirt and military helmet combination you see then more power to you - I never want to discourage you from playing something you enjoy. I just wish that as much effort had been placed into the clothing within the game as was put into the marketing.
Cyberpunk 2077 upgrades we actually got
It's not all doom and gloom: the patch does at least allow you to finally customize V mid-game. Previously, once you'd left the character creation screen you couldn't make changes to them, which given the game is based in a city where body modifications are so commonplace...made no sense.
It was left to the modding community to provide a solution for those playing on PC, while console users just had to make do. Now, everyone can switch up V's appearance by looking in a mirror, though you're stuck with the physical face that you selected at the beginning.
We also got some fresh customization options including new hairstyles, colors and makeup options, but no additional clothing was mentioned. You can also get a new apartment by accessing a website from your apartment's PC, letting you move into digs in Japantown, Northside and Corpo Plaza and customize them how you see fit.
YouTuber OneDragon also found a bunch of changes that were not mentioned within the patch notes, some of which are specific to your choice of outfit in-game.
- The maximum number of mod slots you can have across all clothing items was reduced from 20 to 9
- Legendary mods now require legendary pieces of clothing to be equipped
- Every mod is now tied to a specific category of clothing (i.e. Deadeye crit mod can only be equipped in eyewear gear)
The full list of these undocumented balance changes have been listed by Reddit user Headin2sound who also mentions that changes have been made to nerf your crit damage, reducing it from 100% to 50% and every point in Reflexes now gives 0.25% crit chance instead of 1%.
For all its faults, I really do enjoy CyberPunk 2077, but it's likely we will see a few more patches roll through before people can forgive its disastrous launch, and I certainly hope that a few of them will include some new threads and treads.
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Jess is a former TechRadar Computing writer, where she covered all aspects of Mac and PC hardware, including PC gaming and peripherals. She has been interviewed as an industry expert for the BBC, and while her educational background was in prosthetics and model-making, her true love is in tech and she has built numerous desktop computers over the last 10 years for gaming and content creation. Jess is now a journalist at The Verge.