Probably the most controversial release of late-2020. A year most known for the beginning of a global pandemic. Many games released in 2020, thankfully, but Cyberpunk 2077 was and still is very topical in the gaming sphere. Most of this is likely due to the subpar performance of the game on the previous generation of consoles that started in 2013.
Disclaimer: The following review is based on my experience with the game, played on a PC with the listed specifications: 32GB of RAM, a 2080 Super, and a Ryzen 7 3800X.
My specifications aside, let’s talk about the game. I love the game. From the standpoint of story and gameplay, Cyberpunk 2077 is really solid and definitely among my top games ever. The picture at the beginning of the article is a screenshot I took with the in-game photo mode. It’s a beautiful game, on the right hardware.
With my love for the game, I will also admit that it has problems. Those problems are not in the story or the gameplay, but more in the open-world aspect of the game.
As seen above, there are world-based issues. I shouldn’t have been able to park here, but the game let me. That guy in the car is not my character, he’s an NPC. There are other issues in the same category throughout the game. Do they make me hate the game? No, they’re issues most open-world games have. It’s hard to experience everything in testing an open-world game. The issues present in the game, even with the new patch, don’t take away from the story or gameplay which are both stellar at their core.
It’s an open story that allows for a lot of player choice, something games don’t very often do well. Leading up to the segment pictured above, I had three choices beforehand that could have affected how this turned out. Even during the pictured segment, there are a few times you get a choice of what you say that can change things entirely. The level of player freedom in Cyberpunk 2077 is immense, and it’s refreshing to see.
Even just ignoring quests and exploring the open world is incredibly satisfying and rewarding. You’ll look around and see a massive variety of NPCs, just like citizens in a city. You can scan freely and find loot sitting around such as armor, food, health items, and weapons. Sometimes, you’ll find a seemingly random dead body in an alleyway. That dead body has a bunch of loot and a shard that tells the story of how that person met their fate. Little touches like that in a world really make it feel alive. In the case I just mentioned, the man had a lot of drug baggies around him full of various pills. He was also wearing an expensive suit. Without any dialogue, a story is told. A very short story, but a very cool thing to just happen upon.
There are many instances around Night City like this, where you learn that people really are struggling. It really feels like a real city at some points. At other times, you’ll see someone walking in mid-air. Instances like that take some immersion away, but it comes right back as soon as something cool happens in a side mission or “gig” as they call them.
As much as I love the game, I do think there are some additions and features that would make the game much better and much more immersive. However, those things should come after the bug fixes that are definitely needed. I firmly believe that this game has fantastic potential to be regarded as one of the best ever, just like The Witcher 3 after some time.
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