Cyberpunk 2077 Review – Disaster Masterpiece
Editor’s Note: At the time of writing, Cyberpunk 2077 is still a product with fundamental bugs, This review might contain issues that could have been fixed in the future.
How do you talk about a game that was set to be a cultural phenomenon, then falls flat on its face, and is now in a freefall of mistakes that have harmed them more than ever?
At which point will the game ever be fully fixed, so that the players could enjoy one of the best story-driven games you can play right now, one which emphasizes CD Projekt Red’s attention to making even the side quest enjoyable, in between the sometimes tedious gameplay.
That being said, is Cyberpunk 2077 a promising prospect for becoming a game that’s bound to be well remembered, or will it die within the flames of obscurity? Only one way to find out.
The game takes quite an amazing dedication towards sticking with the Low-fi Science Fiction route with the game’s city and even UI. Night City itself doesn’t look out of place from a Ridley Scott movie set, complete with outer city capitalism and flying ships moving in and out.
Though the game looks aesthetically pleasing, the graphics side is quite glitchy at times. An issue that has plagued the game since the beginning.
An issue with streaming in objects (how buildings and cars load into your field of view) has made the game quite jarring considering the force first-person perspective, making it immersion breaking at first.
One another neat thing I also like is their UI, which consisted of the *beeps and boops* of old computers ringing towards every press of the menu. A consistent droning noise fills the air as you do stuff on the menu, making you feel like you’re using one of those old terminals in-game.
Audio-side, it keeps the feel of a punky future where the songs within the in-game radio stations only play grunge rock, synth tunes, and the occasional Chippin’ In station for good measure, not a lot of famous licensed tracks too, and It feels quite right with the game’s weird atmosphere.
Its combat music is also very intense with synths beating hard as you ground pound a Cyberpsycho or the various factions to make a quick buck, putting you into a trance-like state as you move around and retiring all these gang members.
Sounds kinda like a certain star’s recent action movie series, I might add.
Cyberpunk 2077 plays, for better or worse, like Grand Theft Auto with some elements of Deus Ex in terms of first-person mechanics.
The shooting mechanics feel solid enough, with snappy shooting for any encounter but it’s melee combat, although it has some depth with upgrades, doesn’t really feel quite as engaging as using guns.
But it does get some usage in stealth sections. In general, combat is what you expect from this type of open-world game.
The open-world itself is interesting. Night City is none short of side-quest along with the many areas and most of them are quite entertaining.
CD Projekt Red’s promise of making exciting side-quests can be traced here as some of the more interesting story beats came from this side of the game.
Serving as a good filler towards the main story, like how Obsidian’s Fallout New Vegas does it, it helps flesh out the city more from its paperback origins.
The RPG side is vast with 5 different tiers to level up and upgrade to make you the better V that you’ll always want to be. Its leveling up system is based on how many actions you did in one combat encounter, with the ability to upgrade certain tech trees individually.
But the number of perks is large and with a level 50 cap, which you can reach quickly, it doesn’t mesh well if you want to unlock all of them and since there’s no New Game Plus, you can’t carry over them too.
And then there’s the vehicle handling. Oh boy, it’s like GTA IV’s handling except it’s super twitchy. Bikes feels weird too and though you can do the iconic “Akira slide”, rather have a stable enough bike really.
I’ll lay to you guys straight. This game is still buggy as all hell, even on the 1.07 patch which somehow introduces a newer game-breaking bug.
It is fully apparent that the game was rushed out before its November release date. And while the version that I have played is pretty solid, the last-gen version is still quite troubling to play with low frame-rate and awful texture pop-in.
Heck, you can name the bugs that many have encountered and my copy has experienced it, at least once as well. And though I feel that CD Projekt Red will make good on this promise to fix the game before the first DLC.
It does set quite a tone for over-hyped games under delivering and serves as a warning for players to set their expectations at a good standard now.
Bugs issues aside, the game with side quest completion could see you reach upwards of 30 hours before reaching your preferred ending of choice.
The game will suck into its world rather quickly. CDPR’s storytelling about a person and their implanted friend trying to fight a corporation are quite gripping with some story beat still sticking to me even after finishing the game.
Especially the side quest like Sinnerman and Life in Wartimes being considered as one of the best quests in terms of interacting between V and the characters within that moment. It even rewards you with interesting stuff, like the trailer Quadra Turbo car.
Even Johnny gets to shine in his own questline in which you could feel his character changed from a punk rocker that hates the work to a man with a good reason for revenge. If there is anything that I could say more, is that the story team did an amazing job with this.
This is one of those games where your enjoyment may vary from player to player. It might be a disappointment for those who have waited 7 years for a product to be unfinished, but it might be one of the best open-world titles that bring enjoyment towards players longing for a game that is open enough to be played and enjoyed.
In retrospect, it is a bit like a certain Death Stranding, quite fitting too then considering the mixed reception of that, only with lesser bugs.
And I did enjoy my time with this game. All 70 hours, in 2 separate playthroughs. Fair to say that the story of getting a relic out of your mind is not only a fun watch (Go watch Keanu Reeves’ Johnny Mnemonic) but fun to play as well. I can describe my playthrough as fun the first time, then knowing the beats, intriguing the 2nd time.
To me, this game is a bit like my favorite Fallout entry, New Vegas. It has its quirks but one thing that differentiates both of these games, a decade apart, is the questline depth. Cyberpunk is a bit shallower but still has that engaging feel towards it.
But would I recommend it now? No, not yet. Let’s roast in the oven some more, I reckon.
Cyberpunk 2077 is ambitious in theory but has one of the most rubbish launch weeks in recent memory. But underneath all this fluff is a game that might surprise you with its vast and engaging story.
Perhaps, once the dust has fully set and the game has been patched to its fullest, maybe then it would showcase the game that many were expecting it to be. But for now, rest again, dear Samurai. CD Projekt Red got some work to do.
Played on Xbox Series S, Review copy purchased by the reviewer.