Cyberpunk 2077: Update 2.0’s best change revamps crimes and skills

A wanted system makes all the difference when you're running and gunning through Night City.
cyberpunk 2077 update 2.0 impressions

Crimes are, generally, frowned upon. But prior to Cyberpunk 2077‘s long-awaited Update 2.0, it seemed crimes were just fine. Wandering the virtual streets of Night City, you could commit a crime, and the local police would barely bat an eyelid. You could start a skirmish in the streets, attack random civilians, let off a gun in a crowded area – and there would be no consequences for your actions. Perhaps some civil unrest, a few scared looks, onlookers running. But for the most part, it would go unpunished.

Following Update 2.0, that all changes drastically. Courtesy of CD Projekt Red, GamesHub has been given early access to this incoming revamp, alongside new content from Phantom Liberty. In our time with the refreshed version of the game, its changes have proved to be genuinely, game-changingly significant.

Now, when a crime is committed in Night City, a Grand Theft Auto-style Wanted System activates, providing you with a star rating based on your wanted status. A minor crime will earn you an automatic one-star, with multiple stars added to the rating as your crime spree continues. As in GTA, you’ll need to escape the police to reduce your Wanted flag, hiding out in bunkers and away from the streets to ensure you’re quiet long enough to become anonymous.

Read: Cyberpunk 2077: What’s new in Update 2.0 and Phantom Liberty?

It’s not just about hiding, however – as improvements to the police AI system makes them dogged in their pursuit. Despite running and hiding out of sight, a group of police – shown steadily approaching on the map – eventually uncovered my first hiding spot after I attacked the Dogtown cop barrier.

>cyberpunk 2077 phantom liberty
Image: CD Projekt Red

From behind cover, I picked a few off – but a steady string of investigating police eventually discovered the bodies, which led them back to my hiding spot. Eventually, I was forced to retreat, only escaping by the skin of my teeth, and thanks to a zippy motorcycle that sent me hurtling beyond the awareness circumference of the police radar.

After a few minutes beyond their reach, the Wanted System beeps to let you know you’re safe – and while it is fairly unbelievable that you can simply be forgotten, even when you return to the crime scene, the system is still a welcome addition that makes Night City feel far more dynamic than it previously did.

Since its launch, Cyberpunk 2077 has been criticised for its worldbuilding – with regions often feeling empty, or devoid of real personality. Previously, crimes happened, there was brief chaos, and then the status quo would immediately be restored.

But in adding consequences to crime – a relatively small tweak by this update’s standards – CD Projekt Red has added layers to the gameplay experience, providing disincentives for doing the wrong thing, and requiring you to be slightly more ingenious with your approach.

If you choose to attack a roaming gang, you might wind up being pursued and terminated by cops. If you cause a disruption at any point in your journey to new town borders, you’ll be denied entry. The new system forces you to reckon with your actions, to learn how to tread carefully, and to understand that every move carries a consequence.

It’s not the only change in Update 2.0 – but it certainly feels like the most essential one.

How skills change in Cyberpunk 2077 Update 2.0

Beyond tweaks to the crime system, Cyberpunk 2077 also introduces a new skills system in Update 2.0. When logging into the game – whether base or with Phantom Liberty – all players will be required to re-spec following the upcoming game update.

That’s because skills have now been completely redesigned. With a whole lot of fresh skill points to play with, you’ll need to decide which areas of combat you’ll preference – rather than assigning points randomly. Some specific skills allow you to take a stealthier approach, others allow you to work on your muscles and attack strength, and you can also specialise in strong cyberware, strong quickhacks, or car-based warfare

The intriguing foible with assigning these points is that better skills are now locked off within each category. For example, to unlock the better skills in the ‘Cool’ category, you’ll need to earn and assign at least 15 Cool Perk Points, while also learning any skill dependencies from the lower rungs of Cool.

>cyberpunk 2077 gameplay update 2.0
Image: CD Projekt Red

With only limited skill points, you need to make tougher decisions about what to prioritise – which will then shape V’s approach to battles, and how they can dispatch enemies. In quests, it may also reshape your approach – as doors may be locked behind high Technical or Body abilities, forcing a rethink if you’ve prioritised another skill area.

Alongside these changes, CD Projekt Red has also overhauled the Cyberware system, so that V is now limited to a particular number and type of cyberware additions, based on their skills and abilities. This also determines armour rating, meaning players can now pick and choose clothes based on fashion, without a need to change outfits to level up.

Again, these are minor tweaks – but they make a major impact on gameplay, as the shift allows you to get more creative with your build of V, and how you intend to play the game. Pursuing Technical ability, for example, improves cyberware capacity, opening up possibilities for cool add-ons and hacks that aid tense battles.

While some of the skills are very niche, and require a moment or two to understand their purpose – many concern percentages of attack damage or particular skills you may not have uncovered – exploring each ability’s new skill tree reveals a cavalcade of fresh options for buffing V’s attacks, and ensuring they’ve got impactful weapons in their arsenal.

Read: Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty – Night City Wire News Roundup

Those planning to start the game fresh will get the full benefit of this overhaul, as changes will be integrated from the beginning. Anyone who’s returning to Cyberpunk 2077 to continue their story – particularly via Phantom Liberty – will also find the changes distinctly refreshing.

The same can be said about Cyberpunk 2077 as a whole, following Update 2.0. Three years later, the game finally feels complete. Following multiple, meaty updates, crashes are now a rarity, graphics are crisp and often gorgeous, driving is smooth, combat is sleek, and the story of Cyberpunk 2077 shines throughout. It’s a game with incredibly strong writing, a compelling and hook-filled narrative, and a cast of characters worth rooting for.

Update 2.0 is the latest in a long line of many changes for the game – but it’s by far the most important. The changes it makes ensures Cyberpunk 2077 feels fresh, and imaginative, and dynamic – and it reflects the game as it should have always been. While it’s taken a while to get here, Update 2.0 feels like the long-awaited refresh Cyberpunk 2077 desperately needed.

Cyberpunk 2077 Update 2.0 launches for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC on 21 September 2023. It will be followed by the launch of the Phantom Liberty expansion on 26 September 2023.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.