The gist of it:
There’s so much to write about and so little space in regards to Cyberpunk 2077 but I’ll try to be brief. A huge warning to future buyers, the way the game was marketed was a complete lie. Cyberpunk 2077 is not an RPG at least not in the pure sense, it’s an action/adventure game with RPG mechanics with a huge focus on linear storytelling rather than “making your own destiny in Night City” as CPDR claimed it will be up until the release date. That being said I won’t downvote the game based on what should’ve been but what it is and as such, the gist is, Cyberpunk is a wonderful game, an amazing work of art when it comes to story and atmosphere, a world that will be hard to surpass but a flawed and janky experience ruined by technical issues.
I’ll be blunt, Cyberpunk 2077 is not a “make your own” kind of story at all and besides one particular quest at the beginning and the ending, nothing you do or choose will have any major impact. All the dialogue choices do is either allow you to access a story side quest or they change the next line of dialogue from the characters you talk to. Lifepaths that CDPR lauded are nothing but 20 minutes intros and have no impact at all. They did not even bother finishing the lifepath quest in the main game, for example, I played as a Corpo and the path starts quite nicely as you’re thrown into a betrayal type of quest with powerful characters and intrigue and it just ends. You never hear about it until later in the game in the form of a 5-minute side quest. At the end of the day you should never trust a corpo, and that includes CDPR.
Leaving the lies and bullsh#t out of the way, the linear main story and especially most of the side stories are top quality, good ol’ CDPR stuff. The main story has its up and downs and even if you know what happens to one particular character because pretty much everyone saw the cinematic trailer years ago, it still felt incredibly emotional and it does not stop with him. Keanu aka Johnny has a cringe acting everyone knows this but you still love the guy. He has an incredible charm in his voice and it shows quite well in the game. I honestly felt like an as*hole for choosing negative responses to him. You will laugh and you will feel sad and many other emotions when it comes to how Johnnys’ story is told but it does not stop there. The side quests, the romance ones are honestly among the best stuff I’ve seen. They’re full of charm and emotions and the atmosphere of it all is incredible. I wish I could write more about the whole stories how random and stupid some are and how well written others are but I have limited space.
Suffice to say, disregarding the lies, Cyberpunk 2077 comes with an incredible story and you won’t be disappointed.
Story rating: 9/10
So CDPR lied about the stuff regarding the story but you may be wondering what about the gameplay mechanics? Well, it’s a mixed bag, to say the least, but overall it’s enjoyable. If I were to describe it perfectly it would be a great eurojank.
You have a leveling system where you can spend these points in 5 main “paths” and each major path has a sub-path. These 5 main attributes are Body, Intelligence, Reflexes, the Technical path, and Cool and each governs your playstyle.
The leveling up is simple, if you use quickhacks you gain xp in the quickhack path, if you take down enemies in stealth you gain xp in that respective path, and so on. Each of these attributes or paths or whatever you want to call them have their own skill-tree where you can upgrade V as you please. As with any skill-tree, there will be a lot of useless stuff, especially in the melee/brawling ones at least in my opinion.
I tried to play as a Deus-Ex kind of guy, specialized in quickhacks and stealth with non-lethal upgrades. Stealth takedowns are bad, they just did not bother fixing and animating them properly at all besides the fact that the AI is a joke and random as hell but playing as a stealth “mage” never got boring.
There are a lot of things to craft and upgrade and the weapon variety is quite decent as well as the fact that some of the weapons you can use are cool as hell but the armors you wear are below average and ugly as hell. It’s insane when you look at the other characters how well designed their outfits are and then you look at yourself in the inventory menu and you look like a fing clown.
For people looking for stuff to do in the game besides the gigs, side quests, and main story you’ll be disappointed. There are no fun activities to do or minigames. It took me 80 hours to complete the game and I did all the side quests I could find as well as some gigs to level up my character and I never felt bored which is quite an incredible achievement.
Gameplay rating: 8.5/10
As I mentioned above it took me 80 hours to finish the game and not once have I heard a bad voice acting in the game. Everyone does an incredible job voicing their character and I do have to give a special shoutout to male V for having so many dialogue choices and every single one being incredibly well-acted and his moments with Johnny and Panam were one of the best in gaming.
The music in the game is quite nice as well, fits well with the atmosphere and I really loved some songs in certain special moments, not to mention certain radio songs will just force you to keep driving with the Night City in the background. Great stuff and it adds so much to the already incredible visual atmosphere of the city.
Audio rating: 9.5/10
Graphics, performance, and tech analysis
Going to start with the bad, and that is the technical issues. Yes, the game is a fine mess, there are so many bugs that it would take me hours to list them all and they all range from UI getting stuck on the screen to dialogues not triggering and I think I’ve reloaded the game a thousand times, to say the least. There are so many jarring issues with it that I was baffled how they did not bother fixing it. What the hell have they been doing all these years?
The game can be incredibly taxing on performance but this is not entirely a bad thing. It’s a demanding game for good reason. The world, Night City, is incredible. It’s the best open world to date and it has a huge amount of details and you’ll be shocked at how many places you can enter. People were disappointed that you could not enter every building in sight which is not fair considering this is a game that had to be released on last-gen consoles. It was just not possible unless they created loading spots.
It’s clear as night and day that the team that designed the map are on a higher skill than everyone else on the development team and it saddens me to see such an incredible world filled with bugs and dumb AI roaming the streets but I won’t downvote the designers for stuff that will get fixed.
Graphics, performance and tech analysis score: 9/10
Take away the lies, the bugs, the incomplete features, and Cyberpunk as you can see by its score, is an incredible experience, probably one of the best but it could’ve been much more, something that would remain in history. Alas, the team behind it, just like all corpos, got greedy, overambitious and management ruined it.
Final score: 9/10 but if I were to include issues/lies: 7/10
Written by Nightingale Prince, follow at Twitch.
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