It has been a hot minute since CD Projekt Red graced the world with its bug infested game, Cyberpunk 2077. To say the launch was a mess would be an understatement. Despite all the backlash, there seems to be a good chunk of the player base that really enjoys the game, myself included. In fact, on Steam right now, the game has a “mostly positive” review score after 300,000 plus reviews. That’s not too bad. But here at Parallax Media, we like to give you our opinion, or mostly mine, on what we think about Cyberpunk 2077. Sort of.
This will not be a super in-depth review. I played Cyberpunk on release but since the holidays and with work getting busier, it is getting more difficult to spend time with the game. However, I have about twenty-five hours in the game and have done a little bit of everything. So I would like to share my thoughts on what I have played so far.
To kick us off, the characters in the Cyberpunk universe are pretty great. I mean the world itself is a gorgeous futuristic dystopian wonderland. But, you will meet a good amount of characters throughout your journey. Most of these offer you some sort of job or side gig, but others are just people you meet along the way as you play. The dialogue and story writing are pretty good. Most times I find myself paying attention to what people are saying and feel engrossed in the narrative. I think some of my favorite moments are with Jackie at the beginning of the game and later with Panam. Panam’s story is quite interesting and you go through quite a lot with her that blossoms into a nice friendship. One side mission where you partner up with a detective had you tracking down a truly disturbed individual. This individual was targeting lonely kids. I remember a specific part of the mission where you have to read through emails and come to the realization of what was going on. It was a little chilling but man it was good.
The characters really bring the world to life and are an essential part of the game. You may go bust up some baddies with Jackie down the street or partner up with Judy to take down some rival gangs down by the nightclubs. There is a sense of community with where you interact with these characters and how each narrative plays into those interactions. With Panam you spend a lot of time outside of the city itself and when I played I got a sense of appreciation for being back inside the hustle and bustle after helping her. The game creates a real sense of atmosphere that I think the characters really carry throughout the game.
Alongside the characters, you will be doing all sorts of activities during your time in Night City. From shooting bad guys to stealing valuable loot, hacking vending machines for money, boxing, helping cops take down more bad guys, finding lost robot cars, solving detective cases, upgrading your cyberware, and more. Yea, there is a lot to do. I will admit that some of it is forgettable but a lot of what Night City has to offer is pretty fun. For instance, you can roam around the city and come across gangs of bad guys that are assaulting someone. You can stop the assault to get some quick cash and pick up any loot. While these are somewhat enjoyable to do here and there, they mostly operate the same every time. When I am not going straight into a mission I like to just drive or walk around a certain area and see what kind of trouble I can get into. I would say the most fun for me is shooting bad guys, hacking to get money, or the side quests. My goodness, some of the side quests are phenomenal. There are a handful that are pretty lengthy but also tell a great story, if not a little dark. I think one of my favorites is “The Hunt,” which involves a suspended detective looking for his family member. It is some really good storytelling that really made me say “oh shit” out loud when I realized what was going on.
Speaking of mechanics, there is a lot at your disposal. Shooting, hacking, breaching, stealth and more. The game does a decent job at allowing you to decide how you want to approach any given situation. Some encounters call for stealth, for example, but you could shoot your way out if you wanted (I did a little of both). The fact that the game allows you to figure it out is pretty fun and most times I would start out with stealth with bits of hacking then eventually just start blasting. Some of the cooler mechanics were the cyberware stuff you could upgrade. Eventually, you can unlock some pretty high tech gear to equip. One of my favorites is that instead of throwing grenades you can put a little missile launcher on your arm and fire little homing missiles at bad guys. Pretty freaking’ cool.
The customization in Cyberpunk is a little mixed for me. There are lots of different options to make your character, V, look cool but those options may not always be best in terms of stats. This can be kind of a bummer since I want my character to look cool at all times. Sadly, I had to compromise on some clothing options so that I could beef up the armor for future encounters. I hope they add in some type of transmog down the road so I can keep my cool outfit but also have the numbers to take down the baddies.
During my playthrough, I did encounter plenty of little bugs and a few crashes here and there (PS5). The little bugs would range from items being suspended in midair (like if you took a drink of beer the bottle would just sit in the air) to dialogue not triggering when it is supposed to. The biggest issues were the few crashes, luckily the game autosaves pretty generously, so I never really lost any progress.
What else can I say? Cyberpunk 2077 is exactly what I wanted. A vast open-world RPG that lets me enjoy it how I want to. There are some bugs and there are some things that could be improved like the customization element, but I have enjoyed my time with the game so far and look forward to digging in more as the game evolves and improves.