Cyberpunk 2077 was long awaited since its first announcement in 2012. CD Projekt RED was already loved for the first two chapters in The Witcher series at the time. Success was a sure thing then.
However, the development road was indeed bumpy. Launch was a disaster between bugs, glitches and unplayable console versions. If you are reading this review, I think you already know what happened and the reaction of both players and press. I also wrote a small article about it because I needed to express some thought before this review.
I bought Cyberpunk 2077 on Day One and I have just finished the game today, after almost 70 hours of playing it. It took me some time because I was waiting for some of the patches that got released these months, and I was also playing other videogames in the meantime.
Talking about this game is not easy at all. It gathered all the hype and frustration of the entire gaming industry and my opinion will probably upset someone. So please note that this review reflects my personal opinion about Cyberpunk 2077.
Welcome to Night City!
In this game we will follow V, a mercenary who is struggling to gain their place in the town, and what will come in their path risking to destroy all the hard work.
I don’t want to go into details because I don’t want to spoil a single thing about the game. What I can say is that plot and character are really well written. Every tiny side quest is full of details about Night City and its people. At a certain point I was only doing side quests just to get a new glimpse of this dystopic future.
There aren’t many main quests, a bit less than thirty, but many of the side quests are as important as the main story.
V, our protagonist, is completely customizable, from gender to hair color to tattoos and piercings.We can also choose a background between three: Nomad, Street Kid and Corporate. The background gives a different introduction (and how we meet Jackie Welles, our friend and fellow merc) and certain dialogue options during the game.
I personally choose the Street Kid background, and I liked all the little knowledge about gangs and other stuff my V had.
Life of a Merc
You can choose many approaches about how you want to fight. You can focus on fighting with melee weapons, with firearms or even with your bare hands. You can also play more stealthy by approaching the enemies from behind or by hacking them and their security systems. You can also choose if you want a lethal or non-lethal approach with the enemies.
We have five skills: Body, Reflexes, Technical Ability, Cool and Intelligence. Each one is related to two or more sub-skills (for example Intelligence is for both Quickhacking and Breach Protocol, abilities needed if you want to be a good netrunner). Each sub-skill has its own skill tree and a total of 20 perks each, which you unlock by leveling up that ability.
My V is a netrunner, focused on Intelligence and Technical Ability. I had a lot of fun playing that way since I had to be a lot more cautious about the enemies, especially because I played on Hard difficulty level. Ending a mission without being spotted by the enemies was deeply satisfying for me, and I usually choose more direct approaches in other games.
Between main quests, side quests and gigs all around town, I had a positive impact with the gunplay, but not so good with the driving. While the gunplay is fast and spotless, the driving of almost all the cars in the game feels slippery and I had to use motorcycles during all the game just to drive decently across town. I don’t even know how to say this, I never had a sensation like that while driving in any game. It always felt like I was driving inside a river with any car I could find.
A thing that I did not like very much is crafting. I spent a lot of time dismantling and creating new gear, but it did not feel satisfying at all. The only useful thing that I got from it was upgrading the rarity of my quickhacks. Maybe it was only a problem of mine, but for me this feature needed more attention.
Lights and Shades in Town
I could talk hour about the soundrack. It is so catchy that some tracks are stuck in my mind even after days since I heard them. I am writing this review while listening again to some of my favorite songs.
The characters’ models and the degree of detail put into Night City are for me on the same level. You can see the passion that CD Projekt RED put into this project and it’s just undeniable.
It’s a shame that all this love poured into development is obscured by all the technical problems the game had since launch.
Falling cars from the sky, floating cigarettes and cups of coffee, quest objectives not spawning and exploding enemies out of nonwhere. These are the kind of bugs and glithes that I found during my experience. Worst thing that ever happened to me while playing was a crash of the game during the final main quest of Act 1, but I managed to complete it before hotfix 1.04. I consider myself lucky because other players had (and still have) worse problems than mine.
If Cyberpunk 2077 didn’t have all these technical problems, it would have been one of the greatest games of 2020. It still is a really good game. With time, I am sure that Cyberpunk 2077 could have been even better if the developers weren’t pushed to release the game sooner than they wanted. It could still become the great game it was meant to be, I have faith in the developers.
That's all from Night City!
Cyberpunk 2077 could have been a great title, but some of its problems are just undeniable. However, I really enjoyed playing it and, even though it has still many flaws even after hotfix 1.12, I recommend you all to give it a shot. Plot and gameplay are both worth the purchase.