CD Projekt Red has finally released Cyberpunk 2077's much-anticipated 2.0 update in addition to its Phantom Liberty DLC, the first and final expansion for the original game. In a very real way, it seems like the developer has had its final say on this installment ahead of whatever comes next for the video game franchise. And I can honestly say that Phantom Liberty and its corresponding massive free update have shocked me… because I cannot believe Cyberpunk 2077 has managed to completely rework itself while still failing to include a flashlight.
I cannot believe this in part because I've had several previous instances of not believing it. When I first started playing Cyberpunk 2077 at launch on Google Stadia (I stand by this decision, even now), I couldn't believe it didn't have a flashlight. When I went back to Cyberpunk 2077 after the popular 1.5 Edgerunners update smoothed a lot of broken pavement to clean up its side quests, I had a hard time believing CD Projekt Red hadn't added a torch. When I moved to Steam after the death of Google Stadia (again, I stand by this decision) and picked it up again, I constantly tried to illuminate my surroundings and grumbled.
And when I booted up the press preview of Cyberpunk 2077's much-lauded 2.0 update ahead of the release of Phantom Liberty, I for one final time exclaimed aloud, "Is there seriously still not a flashlight?"
One could argue that a developer is never actually beholden to add specific features. There's nothing out there stating that CD Projekt Red, or any developer for that matter, must include a flashlight. But I do think this is part of a social contract of sorts that a developer enters into when that design decision is made. If you're not going to include a flashlight, you have to let players, you know, see what it is they're doing.
And yet, there I was, stumbling around in the dark of Delamain's garage fairly late into Cyberpunk 2077 and having a hell of a time trying to figure out what I was even looking at, let alone where I was going. At the best of times, Cyberpunk 2077's quest markers can be a bit wonky for navigation, and it took me far too long to spot a specific vent I needed to access thanks to the lighting being effectively nonexistent. Resorting to the classic muzzle-flash lighting trick and bringing up the hacking interface to get properly oriented probably isn't what the developer had in mind.
It's just one of those things that leave you scratching your head a bit. I'm having a hard time imagining a scenario where I've been glad to not have the option to turn on a light, and it certainly seems like I'm not alone. One of the more popular Cyberpunk 2077 mods is just… a flashlight. Regrettably, it doesn't seem to have been updated for 2.0 or Phantom Liberty yet, but it does seem like only a matter of time at this point.
With so much else totally overhauled in 2.0 and Phantom Liberty, not to mention what came before, it's hard to see the lack of flashlight as anything but a deliberate choice on CD Projekt Red's part. And hey, I can respect developers making deliberate choices, even if they are ones I don't agree with or find actively aggravating or unintentionally troublesome. But I also continue to hold out hope that perhaps a different sort of deliberate choice will be made come the release of whatever it is that lies ahead for this franchise.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty and the 2.0 update are both now available. If you're just looking to play the newest of the new stuff, here's how to start Phantom Liberty in Cyberpunk 2077.