Developer: CD Projekt Red
Publisher: CD Projekt Red
Reviewed on: PS4
Also available on: PS5*, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X*, PC
Release: 10th December 2020
* PS5 and Xbox Series S/X versions coming in 2021.
So, here we are. Cyberpunk 2077 is out and everything was perfect and the game launched absolutely flawlessly on every platform and the gaming community rejoiced in celebration of a perfect game.
If you’ve been avoiding the news and/or haven’t picked up on the sarcasm so far, I’ll level with you. Cyberpunk 2077, at least on PS4 and Xbox One systems has been pretty disappointing to say the least. The game runs terribly on PS4 for the most part, the frames barely hit 25fps, textures go missing at every turn and there are glitches and bugs that truly seek to rip you out of the experience. These can range from objects floating all over the place to NPCs sliding around instead of walking. Another barrier that really hammered the struggle very early on is that the game would crash under the most random circumstances that would usually occur every 45 minutes.
If you’ve been keeping up with the news or have just played the game on either of those platforms, then you’d already know what I’m talking about but if you’re here and haven’t experienced these things, I’d advise that you wait a little to get the best experience of what this game has to offer. I don’t want to beat this game down all day long because, despite the bugs and performance, there is something great underneath the dirt and from what I’ve been able to play for extended periods has been great. Now that I’m done with the performance issues, I’m just going to focus on the content of the game itself.
The graphics are designed well enough to hold the cyberpunk aesthetic even with the performance issues. During the day, you can see a hazy Night City in the distance with a spread of towering structures and a sprinkling of flying cars that look like insects buzzing through the sky. The city really shines when the sun goes down. Neon is extremely prevalent in almost every building, room and sign that can be seen in Night City. It’s cool for the most part, but it can be a little overbearing when in a shootout or any other tense situation. The weapons, body mods, characters as well as any objects in the world have been designed in such a sleek way that fit the city and the game perfectly. I haven’t experienced the full quality of the visuals but I can see, with the art style alone, that the groundwork is certainly there for an immaculately pretty game.
Much of the action of this game stems from either shooting or driving. Both systems function pretty well but they each have problems in their own right. The driving works as you weave in and out of traffic but it’s also very slippery in that it’s really easy to lose control and slam into a wall. Again, it functions well enough but I feel like it could be tuned so that you don’t slide as much. The waypoint system can be slightly annoying at times. It adjusts so quickly that I found myself turning around and always going the wrong way at the same time. This became a problem when going to a different level of the city.
The shooting is fast and responsive but it can be tricky to precisely aim just due to the fact that the recoil can be pretty wild for most base weapons. You end up just aiming in the general head area of an enemy and hope you get a headshot. I could just be bad, but I expected a little more precision. The chaotic nature most of the guns can definitely give off a clunky feel.
The way you upgrade your character in this game is mostly through five pairs of upgrade trees. You’ll be able to earn attribute points for the entire category of stat but also points for abilities. Most of the abilities need to be unlocked in a loose order as they are locked behind one another and each can be upgraded multiple times. It’s a satisfying system that allows you to not only choose how your character grows but also makes you feel like you’re becoming stronger throughout the game.
One of my favourite things about Cyberpunk 2077 is the way you interact with characters. Instead of having to press a button to start a conversation, you just walk up to them and they’ll start talking. If you don’t want to talk right away, there’s no need to select an option saying that you don’t want to talk because you can just simply walk away. If you think the character is done talking and you go off on your quest, they can sometimes call out for you to come back just like someone would in a real conversation. The way this feature has been implemented just makes talking to quest-givers so much less of a chore than in other RPGs and it’s something that I hope to see more of in the future.
The main story so far is shaping up to not be quite as long as I expected but, that being said, it keeps things moving along and doesn’t seek to waste your time. From what I’ve played, the side content is astoundingly plentiful. After or during the main quest, you’ll have the opportunity to take on a wealth of tasks. These include, side missions to complete, gigs for you to earn some cash and crimes to stop. It’s up to you how much you do but I can say it’s worth it to let the world come to you and engage in as much of the side content as you can both for the rewards and for the additional stories that you can experience.
It’s well-established that Cyberpunk 2077 has many performance issues that hold it back from being a full experience right now but there is a great game underneath the rubble that will hopefully be experienced by all players eventually. If you haven’t played the game yet, it may be best to wait until some more updates drop for the PS4 and Xbox One or just wait for the next-gen versions to come out. Once the dust settles on the performance storm, this won’t be a game you’ll want to skip.
We will be bringing a follow up review when a lot of these issues present with the game have been ironed out.