06 Apr 2021 9:20 PM +00:00

Cyberpunk 2077 Review: The More You Want, The Less You Get

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Cyberpunk 2077, arguably one of the most anticipated games for the last few years, has been released worldwide after multiple delays. The game, made by The Witcher 3 developer CD PROJEKT RED, was announced all the way back in 2012 and delayed three times this year before it eventually came out.

We’ve finally been able to get our hands on Cyberpunk 2077, and after a week since launch, here’s our review. There’s no point cutting corners, so let’s just dive right into it.

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Night City, What A Place

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Night City is rendered in staggering detail

Immediately upon starting the game, one of the most intriguing parts of the experience has been the hype behind character customisation. For a game which revolves around a future in which humans can tweak their appearance to their liking, I was pretty disappointed by the lack of customisation in this game.

Unfortunately, you just have to pick from a list of preset faces and hairstyles which is pretty much just the bare minimum for character customisation at this point. Sure, you can tweak your genitals but you have like two options to choose from for each category. Also, hairstyles are gender locked… because of course they are. 

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Thankfully, choices that actually matter appear right after this, and you can select your Lifepath - which is one of my favourite parts of the experience.

I went for the Corpo lifepath during my main playthrough, and the Nomad path for my PS4 secondary playthrough, and to see such a stark difference in the way the game begins was a really cool feeling. I also like the way that your lifepath influences your dialogue options throughout the entire story.

As for the gameplay itself, Cyberpunk 2077 is beautiful. The graphics have not been changed from the game’s trailers, gameplay previews and more. It’s nothing absolutely drool-worthy like Red Dead Redemption 2 or The Last of Us Part 2, but the visuals are definitely top tier, especially at night in the rain.

Gun For Hire

Cyberpunk’s narrative is surprisingly thrilling, and for something which you originally perceive as a simple gang story, it turns into a riveting rollercoaster of twists, shocks and an awesome deep dive into the world of Night City. Similar to other RPGs of this nature, Cyberpunk’s fictional setting of Night City is a character in and of itself. 

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The world-building is exactly what I expected from a game like this, and I’d love to say that I was one of the millions of fans who have been unconditionally hyped but since the game was announced I never had that driving force behind me, and because of that I actually feel like I appreciate the game a lot more.

I went into Cyberpunk 2077 with barely any expectations or hype, and because of that it really feels like I’m not as disappointed as other people were. Sticking with the world-building, the atmosphere and world design of Night City is perfect. I love the way that the city feels completely different during the day in comparison to its nightlife.

Not A Big Talker

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Keanu Reeves is almost ever-present throughout the game's campaign

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For an RPG, though, the people who inhabit the city are just not interesting enough. You have your cast of characters who will give you quests and missions to complete, but day-to-day NPCs are generic people who walk around doing nothing.

You can’t talk to any random people, you’ll just get vague random dialogue that you can’t reply to. The dialogue in the game itself is well-done, and I’m glad CDPR recorded voice lines for every single piece of dialogue, it’s just something I personally appreciate. 

As for the dialogue choices, the writing is pretty good and the game tells you which choices will advance the story and which ones will provide more context and information before you move on. It’s a small choice but something I especially noticed! 

By now, you probably know that one of the creative decisions with Cyberpunk’s core gameplay was its choice to keep the perspective first-person for the entire game. At first, I didn’t exactly agree with this, but I do believe the game is more immersive this way. I would’ve liked an option to play in third-person, but a fully first-person title like this feels extremely different, especially in the way animations are handled which is a cut above the likes of Fallout.

Pew Pew On Jig Jig Street

One thing that I still find myself undecided on is Cyberpunk’s gunplay. As an RPG, I wouldn’t think that gunplay would be a major thing to think about but it’s one of the main methods of combat in this game… and it’s weird. Guns don’t really have a weight to them, and a lot of the weapons feel weak and awkward to use.

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You automatically lean and move very smoothly, and I particularly find that mechanic fun and of high quality. Shooting your weapons, however, is just plain awkward. The animations have barely any recoil, and yet your bullets can fire all over the place. Weapon sway feels inconsistent, and the combat isn’t satisfying in the slightest.

As for the story, I won’t delve too deep into it to avoid spoilers but there are actually some incredible moments where I couldn’t look away from the screen. There is a mission during the prologue that is exceptionally long, up to an hour and a half, and yet it was one of my favourite missions in the game.

I don’t usually feel like I have the patience to do side quests in RPGs, and yet with Cyberpunk I really wanted to take my time with things and soak it in. But I’m mentioning all of this without talking about its biggest flaw. The bugs.

Glitch In The System

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Night City is full of crime, guns... and bugs

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Cyberpunk is one of the most broken games I have ever played in my life, and I haven’t gone 10 minutes without some sort of glitch or bug appearing on the screen. Characters' faces stop moving, the AI is absolutely dreadful, the police are straight-up broken… and the pop-in, oh my god, the pop-in is the worst of all. You could be right next to something and it will still take ages to load in.

This is just the stuff I experienced on PC. Thankfully, CD PROJEKT RED sent us a secondary copy for PS4 testing and I honestly thought at the time that it might be less buggy or more optimized. I was a fool. The PS4 version, which we played on PS5, was an absolute mess. The game has a choppy framerate, the bugs are even more common, and the graphics sometimes just straight up break.

I waited for a day one patch to see if anything changed, and it didn’t even feel like I installed an update on either platform. None of the common bugs had gone, and the same problems were still there.

I am shocked that this game was delayed three times and yet the developers still thought it was acceptable to release Cyberpunk 2077 in the state that it's in. The gameplay is great, the narrative is fun and the game itself is honestly a really solid title. But the current quality of life needs to be addressed, and fast.

The developer is (apparently) handing out refunds to people who bought the game, and if I were you, I’d get one. Especially if you’re playing on a console, which they even admitted that they completely neglected. That’s one word that I feel can sum this project up - neglect. 

The Verdict

The console version, the game’s AI, the bugs in Cyberpunk, and the employees making the game in the first place were all neglected and ignored to try and push a broken title out before 2021. 

It’s a state, and right now it needs to be fixed. I’m not personally angry about Cyberpunk, because my expectations simply weren’t that high, but I am empathetic to those who were excited for this. It’s a good game, and I have enjoyed playing it, but it has flaws. Lots of them. And until then, that’s all Cyberpunk is - good. Nothing more, nothing less.

3/5

Review Code provided by the publisherReviewed on PC and PS5 (PS4 version)

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