Cyberpunk 2077 was the most anticipated game of 2020. Of course it’s easy to stay the most anticipated game of the year as the release date gradually shifts from 4pm to 6pm. From April to April 10. December has been postponed. It’s even easier to keep up the craze when we release trailers since 2013. But after seven years of waiting for a fast train at the station, it was a bit of a disaster. A disaster reverberating through the station as everyone watches with horror.
I was so excited that I downloaded Cyberpunk 2077 on my desktop a few days before the release. I knew there would be a big patch one day, but I thought the preload would save me the pain of the installation and let me play earlier. It turns out that when a popular game like Cyberpunk is released, it still has the potential to break steam. There were so many users installed at the same time that the Steam servers simply couldn’t handle it. Many users, like me, end up with 95% of the downloaded files, while others couldn’t start at all. I ended up watching not one, but two Christmas movies with my wife before Steam passed the last 5%. She went to bed and I stayed up too late to play with my school books.
Perhaps one of the most impressive parts of Cyberpunk is the character creator. Since the release of Dark Souls III, I’m going to make a possible appearance of this awful looking character and bring a variation of McPasty Face. Luckily for the other inhabitants of Nachtstad, the creator of the cyberpunk works too well to admit such a monster.
Most character creators work by changing the individual elements of the face. When you look at the different options for the shape of the eyes, the only thing that changes is the eyes themselves. It is quite possible to create a character with abnormally small eyes and Neanderthal eyebrows.
Cyberpunk 2077 goes the other way and goes for a more natural aesthetic. When choosing the shape of the eyes, the eyebrows and cheekbones are adjusted to support the change and maintain a natural look. The level of care and detail brought to the character creator is unprecedented. It reaches a point where it is able to adjust the shape and size of the genitals. Despite the great size of the Creator, I limited myself to fifteen minutes in the character of the Creator, so I could delve into it as soon as possible. In the end, it was the best decision I could have made, given that we rarely see each other. If players don’t take the time to activate the mirrors and control themselves, it’s perfectly possible to walk through the game without ever seeing your character.
When creating a character, players also have the option to choose from three different backgrounds: Nomad, Street Kid or Corpo. This choice determines which of the three actors in the story of the prologue gets the experience, as well as a unique and random dialogue option. Personally, I’ve decided to go with Nomad. Given the size of Nachtstad and its surroundings, I thought it would be best to have a prominent background focused on public transport.
The game starts in the desert outside Night City, where V needs access to a radio tower to contact a repairman who introduces the players to Jackie. I spent a lot of time playing Dishonored this year, so of course I decided to do a drop test of the radio engines. It turns out instinct V kills, and then I realized how much this cyberpunk role-playing game is.
We always knew Cyberpunk 2077 was an RPG. But the term RPG covers a wide range of experiences. The advertising campaigns made it look like Cyberpunk would be a first-person shooter, but the end product was more like a Fallout with a higher budget. With the exception of acrobatic movements such as sliding and the ability to freewheel cars, Cyberpunk is much closer to a traditional RPG than I thought. To put it bluntly: I don’t see anything wrong with that, but it was surprising how important the classic skill tree is in an RPG.
Overall, my thirty hours with Cyberpunk 2077 were quite mixed. I used to be completely absorbed in every part of the experience, but the more I played, the more I felt that the cyberpunk took too long. At the beginning of the game great promises of adventure and strength are made. But over time I came across more and more street crime and rarely felt like climbing more than a few steps.
As promised, Night City is huge. If there’s one thing CD Projekt Red is good at, it’s creating a huge world. But in an industry where open world games only cost a dozen cents, competition is fierce. Surprisingly, as busy as Night City is, it doesn’t look alive.
Recent versions such as Spider-Man have a smaller card, but feel livelier than Cyberpunk 2077. In Spider-Man, busy sidewalks, chattering pedestrians and honking cars in digital city traffic make it seem as if people are going about their business. At the other end of the spectrum is Night City, where people live on the streets but everyone feels dead inside. The second-hand market is full of chatter, and cars only buzz when I park my bike in the middle of an intersection. There was a moment of rest when I was standing around a campfire with fifteen other people listening to two guitarists. Although the crowd drank and danced, the only sound was that of one of the two guitars. Instead of the moment of the celebration it seemed that it was sad and dark.
It was the right atmosphere. Cyberpunk 2077 is a dystopian and heavy imagination of the future. Companies have everything under control, poverty is rampant and you play a character whose brain is rapidly deteriorating. It’s not exactly a recipe for a good game.
In the beginning I tried to complete a parallel quest called Happy Together which turned out to be anything but happy. I won’t say what I did and what I didn’t do not to spoil the experience for those who didn’t have it. However, I have omitted a few details necessary for the success of the operation. At the end of the search line, I was asked to wait a few hours. I used the time jump function and jumped forward, only to have the game charge and tell myself that I had failed the mission.
At that moment I witnessed the terrible consequences of my choices, and it shook me to the core. I downloaded my previous backup set and tried again. For this attempt I gave a little gas because I thought I had missed an opportunity to communicate and get other results. That’s bad luck. So I tried again. And then I tried three more times. Same results.
Then I found out how much I fell in love with Cyberpunk 2077. I’ve invested in better results for these otherwise irrelevant characters. Considering the darkness of the world of Cyberpunk 2077, I’m not sure I can use the word enjoying my stay in Nachtstad. What really got me going were the side missions, the characters we met and the new skills I discovered.
Characters like Panam and River have big side missions to do. Unlike Skyrim or The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, I feel like the most intriguing stories are side questions. Skyrim had guilds, The Witcher 3 had cast iron pots, and Cyberpunk 2077 had a serial killer hunt. The problem with games of this size is that the main plot is diluted by a huge amount of material. The focus is on quests and entertainment which, in the case of cyberpunk, are not always worth exploring. Although some of the ancillary activities, such as those mentioned above, are worth the distraction, most of them have little reward.
What motivated me to keep playing is character building. I’ve played more than enough melee and shooting characters over the years, so I started playing a character more suited to cyberpunk. I put most of my stats into tracking to focus on fast guns.
By putting all my points and character peaks into Intelligence, I was able to greatly improve my ability to hurt characters from a distance. Even in Tough mode, I could easily drop severely damaged characters and perform fast hacks like Synapse Burnout and Contagion without being seen. An added bonus was the selection of handheld weapons to help with remote hacking. The freedom of choice that Cyberpunk 2077 gives the players is the second best part of the package.
Where CD Projekt Red really spent all his time on the visuals and shows it. Heck, I was impressed by the statue of Cyberpunk 2077. Of course, I just built a new tower and I was lucky enough to hang a RTX 3080. But I led the game through the ray tracks: The Ultra graphics were set to 120 frames per second and were excited by the lighting. Honestly, I work full time as an audiovisual director for a large event and I specialize in lighting. I tend to pay more attention to light effects in the media than most people, but for me it was the pinnacle of the cyberpunk visual experience.
Cyberpunk 2077 is an incredibly beautiful game. Too bad there are so many bugs, even on the computer. Some problems are minor inconveniences, even humorous ones. It certainly ruined the immersion, but I couldn’t help laughing when the V slid on the car while driving, or when Jackie got stuck in the T-mode.
The other bugs are much more frustrating. A couple of times I took a phone call or opened a menu, and when I got back to normal, the V-movement became kind of forbidden. Sometimes he lost his ability to walk, and sometimes he got stuck in a suitcase that wouldn’t let him go from one side to the other. My only solution so far has been to spam the jump and slide buttons, and it finally solved itself.
Besides, my weapons disappeared in the middle of the battle. They kept firing, but it resulted in a strange series of animations in which you switched weapons and saw the effects of particles coming out of nowhere.
However, the worst bug I’ve encountered so far has caused my game to crash nine times. As I tried to get closer to the final location of the secondary quest that I had been looking for for some time, my game suddenly collapsed. At first I thought it had something to do with how fast I was literally hacking into a minefield, but even after I gave up that approach, Cyberpunk crashed. It took about 40 minutes, but in the end I managed to get it working. The solution? Check the local files and download the 8 GB patch.
As boring as these encounters are, I am grateful that I can play something different from the consoles of the previous generation, which have made a huge effort. The launch of the PlayStation 4 was so hectic that Sony took digital copies of the game out of stores.
Cyberpunk 2077 is a good game. It is not the end of the game that was promised us half a decade ago, but it is still an objectively good game. Despite my own impatience for his release, I would rather wait a few months than release him in his present state. But we’re here. It was a mess when it was published, and the CDPR has some control over the PR damage, but in the end, we’ll all forget this fiasco and be happy again when they publish their free DLC extensions next year. In the meantime, I’m going back to more positive sci-fi games such as Mass Effect to cleanse my palate.
|Cyberpunk 2077 offers the best visual experience I’ve ever seen.||The gameplay has many layers that make Cyberpunk 2077 a game you will want to come back to in the future.|
|The soundtrack is fantastic and puts people in the center of the action, which makes the adrenaline flow. There is less directionality than in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and we feel like we’re missing a huge opportunity.||The current version of Cyberpunk 2077 is so full of bugs that it really hinders the gaming experience. The dark world of Night City is hell, but it’s not always a pleasure to be a part of it.|
|Last block: 8.0|
Cyberpunk 2077 is now available for Playstation 4, Xbox One, Playstation 5, Xbox Series X and PC.
Viewed on PC.
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