Cyberpunk 2077 Review
Cyberpunk 2077 has issues, at least from a technical, optimization standpoint. And this review for the most part is going to disregard a lot of them in order to stay relevant after patches without a major rewrite. Although they will be discussed, while my own personal experience wasn’t nearly as buggy as some others or perhaps even most people’s experiences that is, however, before we get into the review proper I feel the need to address the bugs I did and didn’t have.
I did not personally experience any hard crashes or progression locks. Although I did get a few visual or mechanical bugs that required me to save and reload in order to fix. They did not technically block my progress, they were simply annoying. This consisted of UI Text getting stuck on the screen and being unable to summon my vehicle. I also got a few common visual bugs that while present in most AAA Open world games I feel the need to mention.
- I saw about 3 t-poses in my thirty-hour playthrough.
- Had some pops of low-resolution textures to the high resolution while driving quickly (namely cars and stoplights).
- Most frequently of the visual bugs, the lip-syncing turning itself off for a few seconds.
I also had a few mild AI bugs, but they were almost always in my favor in the sense that they made the game easier (AI not seeing me in stealth sections, and at one point an enemy got stuck in the floor and I had to use a grenade). Keeping this in mind, these things will affect the overall score I give the game, but it will also include a score once these bugs are fixed.
I enjoyed Cyberpunk 2077 a lot. Although it would’ve taken me a miracle for me not to. I’m personally a huge fan of the Deus Ex franchise (specifically the new games) and this plays like an open world version of that only with more RPG elements. One issue I found is that individual level ups don’t feel extremely powerful. It’s more about equipment than your actual level. But that’s not to say you don’t become more powerful as the game progresses.
As for the actual gameplay, I’m really satisfied with the gun-play and melee. Both are better than its most obvious rivals (being Fallout 4 for me). There’s enough variety in weapons for you to have plenty of options but not enough for it to feel overwhelming. You will be finding statistically better versions of any weapon you’re using if you have a preferred weapon that’s not of the Iconic class (which you can upgrade to higher rarities yourself.) One element of gameplay that could use some improvement, at least based on my playthrough is Stealth. Which is a relatively barebones, sneak up behind people take them down (lethally or non lethally) then dump them in a bin. All while avoiding cameras. This might partially be due to my build not being oriented around quick hacks which could increase the options you have in stealth scenarios. I just personally found it more interesting to take encounters guns blazing than quietly.
The story is good, I personally enjoyed it. It isn’t anything particularly groundbreaking. I won’t delve into spoilers yet. It took me about 30 hours to complete the main story but I could’ve easily doubled that time doing more side quests. One thing I particularly enjoyed was how many side quest chains stem off of the main story. It allows the main story to introduce you to these characters and get you interested in them before you begin taking their smaller jobs. As a huge Keanu Reeves fan, I enjoyed his performance in the game, he was in it with much more dialogue than I anticipated. The rest of the voice cast is solid, there was only ever one character with poor acting that pulled me out. However, that character was barely in the game and only present in one side quest for a celebrity cameo.
One ‘character’ I would specifically like to highlight is Night City itself. Which has already cemented itself as one of my favorite open worlds. The dense city has a lot of verticality and areas which the main story barely scratches. Even the side missions I’ve played have yet to exhaust the game’s world. It’s both beautiful from within, finding the way up to the sky-bridges to observe or leaving the city itself while looking at the spires of steel and holographic advertisements on the horizon. It’s just gorgeous. If your PC can handle it, just walking around the streets with the highest crowd density enabled is great. While horizontal scale it’s nothing new, I’d much prefer this dense style of open world than something vast without much in it.
Before I move onto the final score, I’d like to briefly touch on the elements I didn’t like so much. And CD Projekt Red has a history of improving their games as they did with Witcher 3 (although that was in a better launch state). Hence, why I’m keeping this all separate as it may become irrelevant when they fix the game.
This section may include some mild spoilers but will mention no names or events.
Firstly, there are only four true romance options throughout the game and all of them have some restrictions on them based on your character, meaning you’re probably not actually going to have a choice.
Having more options or reducing or removing the restrictions on them altogether (while not perfect) would help alleviate this issue.
Car and Police AI is fairly substandard, this meant I usually used motorcycles when driving around because I could maneuver around vehicles. I personally never got wanted very much in my playthrough but that’s mostly because I didn’t do much to warrant that.
The police actually spawn on top of you. There’s a perk that automatically disassembled junk items that you should never take as it ruins your income for the entire game, my suggestion for that perk would be give you access to a menu that allows you to set what automatically disassembles (weapons below a certain DPS, junk worth no money).