20 hours into Cyberpunk 2077 I've started filling out quite a collection of vehicles: two motorcycles, a sporty '80s muscle car and a street racer with machine guns will all deliver themselves to my street corner with a snap of my fingers. Bugs scared me off Cyberpunk 2077 at launch, but now that I'm playing it, I'm so impressed with the first-person cutscenes and animations that I'm doing something I almost never do in games: driving in first-person. I decided early on that I was never going to pop the camera out to third person when I hopped into a car—I don't want to break the first-person immersion even for a minute.
Now that I've spent this much time exploring the city, though, it's killing me that Cyberpunk's 2.0 update still hasn't added the feature I was most looking forward to before release: a metro system.
I'm a city boy at heart. In real life, driving is always my last resort to get somewhere if I can hop on a train or subway instead. I'd rather sit and people watch or look out the window to soak in the scenery of the city I'm traveling through. The same goes for games with open worlds that feel properly alive—in Grand Theft Auto 5, I often got around the map by hailing a taxi and watching the ride play out for a few minutes to see Los Santos go by my window.
Metro systems are basically a narrative cheat code for showing the cultural cross section of a city in just a few seconds. They're perfect for movies (or games)—you can believably throw together the working guy in the suit, the little old lady with her dog, the street punks, and the weirdos in tight quarters. CD Projekt knew this: the very first shot of Cyberpunk's 2018 cinematic trailer is a map of the Night City metro system. A few seconds later, the words "game engine footage" appear on the screen as V squeezes past a crowd of Night City metro passengers. Then the train clears a tunnel and we see the city skyline through the window, a mix of corporate skyscrapers and slums visible from the elevated rail line.
In seconds that one shot established the exact cyberpunk fantasy I wanted to live. And if there was a mission in Cyberpunk that recreated the train fight from Cowboy Bebop? So much the better.
CD Projekt featured the metro system in a great piece of concept art, and it's also notably visible cruising by overhead as V leaves her apartment in the impressive 48-minute gameplay reveal walkthrough. Even though riding the metro was never shown again after that reveal trailer, it just seemed like such a no-brainer that I was shocked to boot up Cyberpunk 2077 back at launch and find there was no way to actually board a train. "Riding" the train via a fast travel menu really bummed me out. In the same way that Andy Kelly fell out of love with Night City when he started examining the finer details, I was disappointed that what felt like such a key way to explore the city was blatantly missing.
Three years later, Cyberpunk 2077 has improved in just about every conceivable way but this one: there's still no metro system. I assume the feature was originally cut to get the game out on time, since players discovered half-finished metro stations shortly after release. But now it's been three years! The metro even shows up in the Edgerunners anime. CD Projekt has, understandably, had more important things to focus on—I don't think I'd give up the revamped police system, better cyberware, overhauled perks, or other changes in the 2.0 update just to ride the subway. But it seemed like such an obvious box to check off before declaring the game done for good.
I'd almost made peace with the missing train system when CD Projekt went and twisted the knife by setting Phantom Liberty's recent cinematic trailer on—you guessed it—a train. Just rude, honestly.
Perhaps CD Projekt decided not to commit the resources to building out a full metro system because modders have done it for them. The metro system mod is really impressive, though with some obvious limitations---a single car devoid of NPC passengers doesn't quite capture the iconic subway melting pot. The add-on mod Metro Re3worked includes plans to eventually add NPCs, multi-car trains and more, but doesn't have those features as of this writing and neither yet supports the 2.0 update.
So for now I'm stuck on the ground, hoping modders are able to fill in the final piece of the Cyberpunk 2077 I had in my head back in 2018.