(Available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia and PC)
(backwards compatible on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S and both have free next gen patches as well as PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S versions will be available later this year)
(PC version used for review)
Well after so much hype and several delays in 2020 alone Cyberpunk 2077, the latest open world action RPG from CD Project Red is out promising to take open world games to new heights detailing the story of V whose orgin story is altered depending on one of 3 fractions you chose from the beginning and uncover conspiracies across towns tying to the mega corporations that run Night City and fulfil the final wishes of Rockstar turned terrorist Johnny Silverhand (played by Keanu Reeves). The futuristic Cyberpunk setting is nothing new but this game pushes it to the forefront with big plot points revolving around AI and the common use of cybernetic implants. The game has released with a ton of controversy that will be commented on in this review.
- Character creation and progression: this game not only has great character creation tools but also has a great character progression. Normally games will give you several stats you can level up but cyberpunk gives you stats with stats so you can choose to only improve your abilities in certain skills whilst avoiding others within the same field to make truly versatile character creation, for example if you want to not necessarily improve your intelligence but still have some hacking skills you can do that and then focus more on core skills for your character
- graphics: when cyberpunk works well it is a really good looking game and the devs put a lot of effort into making the world and characters look great especially if you have a pc with the ability to give the best possible settings for ray tracing
- gameplay and controls: I haven’t played the game with a controller but with a keyboard and mouse controls were really good which is one of the reasons I would recommend the PC version as the best option. The gameplay itself is also pretty good, I’m not a fan of the stealth gameplay but that was fine because the game allowed me to choose whichever strategy I wanted and how you play can really change your perception by certain characters in the world
- Story: the main Story of Cyberpunk is in a word Serviceable. It centres around a rather typical story of bringing down the big corrupt corporation that runs the city with an added plot of your character V having a short time to live after a botched heist. It has some good moments but it wasn’t very interesting and did feel very been there done that. Where the story really succeeds was in the side stories with the extra characters and that is one of the reasons I would really recommend getting the most out of this game do as much of the side content as possible
- Open world design: if there’s one game that the world design is similar to it’s Grand Theft Auto 5, this was particularly noticeable form the beginning the massive city and desert environments which I got especially acquainted with because of choosing the Nomad start. Even when you get in the city the structure feels similar to GTA but I would say that alougth there is a lot of NPC’s and there’s some really cool design choices the world doesn’t feel as alive as other open world games which make you feel like you’re having an impact like Breath of the Wild or even CD Project Red’s previous game The Witcher 3. I also don’t know who designed this mini map for tracking missions and locations but I absolutely hate it in terms of design and it took a lot of getting used to.
- Doesn’t work on base PS4 and original Xbox One’s: this was finalised in January so this might be slightly fixed by 2 already upcoming patches but if you’ve been on Twitter or YouTube for 5 minutes over the middle of December you would’ve seen all the AI and particularly graphical bugs on the original models of PS4 and Xbox One’s. Now I’m going by second hand information and clips because I played the PC version of the game but going on that when I say this is almost unplayable on those particular consoles I’m not exaggerating. It looks downright unfinished and if you thought that Final Fantasy 7 Remake had rendering issues at launch that has nothing on Cyberpunk which at launch is one of the worst of the entire generation of the console. These versions of the game have clearly not had as much care and attention put into it and despite the fact the game runs slightly better on PS4 pro’s and Xbox One X’s it hasn’t fixed all the issues and even with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X out and reportedly working better, it really stands that this game is currently only accessible to high end PC users at this point in time. It was so bad Sony removed the digital from the PlayStation store and it’s made worse by a combination of fake trailers and ridiculous review embargos which I wasn’t subject to covering up how bad the console versions were.
- Frequent Bugs including game breaking ones: I may have been using the PC version but I still had real issues running the game. now thankfully the bug that erased your save file if it got too big it would become corrupted and you’d have to start your game again has been fixed but I ran into a whole bunch even after I updated my drive from dumb AI, to floating pizza boxes as well as other floating objects, I fell through the map twice and had to reload to earlier saves, before I updated the drive there were random trees generating everywhere and the game crashed on a couple of occasion. Even on the PC version this game has serious issues though I never ran into something as bad as the famous clip that went around of the bike suddenly flying in the air
- Doesn’t live up to the hype: for all the hype the game had going into launch it really doesn’t meet many expectations. If you’ve played a lot of open world games it really doesn’t do much new or innovative and while I accept that part of this is down to fan expectations I will say that CD Project Red and to a certain extent Microsoft (who have the marketing rights to the game) did not keep players expectations in check and I’m willing to risk this turning up on a poorly aged page on twitter or Reddit to say that fixing the technical issues will not make it much of a better game down the line and will not really make up for the fact that it’s rather generic in many factors and doesn’t stand out in my opinion and would go on to say this is not the game of a generation as it was thought it was going to be.
Cyberpunk is a decent game but even when you get past the bugs and other issues it’s not a game that’s really that amazing at all. The controls are really good, when the graphics render properly they’re amazing and I hope that the character progression method gets used by other devs but as it stands in my opinion thanks to the rather lacklustre story and world design I don’t find it that enjoyable. This game is a mess at launch pure and simple and it seems that after all the crunch that was put on already overworked employees who have nothing but my sympathies they will be put in the firing line for delivering a broken game because their bosses couldn’t take another necessary delay. As it stands though I can’t be disingenuous and say I enjoyed the game all that much though I absolutely didn’t hate it there’s some great moments in it but I’d be lying if I said this was a game I’m going to play often
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