Many improvements have been reported for NPC's behaviour in Cyberpunk 2077 after the 1.5 patch update. Here is the breakdown of the most interesting changes.
If we ignore the obvious technical issues that have crippled Cyberpunk 2077 at the release, one of the biggest criticism for the game was NPC's behavior and overall lifeless feeling of the Night City, which was in good part because of that NPC's behavior that just didn't feel realistic, especially compared to other sandbox games, of which many were released much before Cyberpunk 2077.
CD Projekt RED announced that they are working on resolving those problems, and with the release of patch 1.5, they came through on some of the issues. Some of them do seem small, and some bigger features like police chases were not delivered.
Here is the breakdown of the NPC's changes players noticed so far.
Random spawning and despawning has been reduced
While the users are still reporting these occurrences, they are happening less frequently than before. The NPC's no longer despawn behind the player if he shoots a gun, and if a gang shutout is heard near the player, pedestrians can be seen running away from the incident.
Duplicate spawning of NPC's has been reduced as well, which was breaking the Night City immersion a lot. Even though many sandbox games suffer from this issue, it was quite noticeable with Cyberpunk as sometimes the game would feel like it's respawning the same 10 NPC's over and over again.
NPC drivers react to NPC pedestrians
A.I. drivers will no longer ignore their pedestrian counterparts, go over them or through them, and will either stop to let them pass or try to avoid them if possible.
A player can still get run over with the car if he's standing out in the open on a busy street, which is probably what would happen in real life as well.
If involved in a car crash, NPC's drivers and passengers can now die from the incident. The ability to drive away in panic from danger has been added too, although it could use some fine-tuning as the panic is sometimes overemphasized.
Start a fistfight
Players can now start a fistfight with regular NPC's on the street. Fistfights have been a part of Cyberpunk since the release, however, they were only available against some specific characters. Now players can pick a fight with random NPC on the street, as long as that NPC is willing to engage the user.
For now, only some of the NPC's have been marked as potentially aggressive, and they can be provoked by aiming, shooting, or by fighting.
New vehicle suspension
New suspension physics for the NPC vehicles has been added. Changes can be most easily noticed when the car is stopping, going downhill, or uphill.
The NPC's cars don't seem to float anymore, and they have a feeling of weight now, which is a nice improvement. The suspension physics varies by car as well.
Other changes that were also reported:
- NPC's now carry umbrellas in the rain
- New picking through trash animations
- Fixes and improvements to NPC melee and ranged combat AI and reactions, including taking cover, positioning, reloading, equipping weapons, dodging, blocking, etc.
- Sniper NPC's now deal more damage.
- NPC Stamina has been rebalanced.
In general, the traffic and the city look and feel more reactive.
These are maybe baby steps as some of these improvements could and probably should have come months ago, but it's always good to recognize someone's good work, even if they are coming late to the party.
For now, patch 1.5 feels like a breath of fresh air to the Night City.