A game eight years in the making: Cyberpunk 2077

Em Richardson reviews Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red's latest offering.

Em Richardson
21st December 2020

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably well aware of the hype surrounding Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red's new, futuristic game. Ever since it was announced way back in 2012, it’s been seen as a given that, when it was eventually released, this would be one of the best games of the decade. As of the 10 December, it’s now here for us to see if it lives up to expectation.

Firstly, I’ll start with a disclaimer. If you’ve been following the news about this game, you’ve likely seen reports of a rather rocky launch. Specifically, the fact that the game has been branded “unplayable” on the last generation’s consoles like the PlayStation 4. Personally, I’m lucky enough to be playing on a new gaming PC with decent specs, so I haven’t really encountered these issues. For me, the graphics really do live up to the ambitious claims made by CD Projekt Red. Likewise, I’ve played the game for ten hours, and haven’t really encountered any bugs, unlike many other players. However, I will still add that many of my comments are likely only applicable for you if you plan on playing the game on a PC - it seems like the console versions of the game are currently a very different experience.

With regards to the actual gameplay, the first thing you’ll experience is character creation. Whilst I was impressed with the graphics, I was slightly disappointed with the number of customisation options available. Although you can customise most parts of the body, many body parts only have a couple of options.

However, my disappointment ended the moment the storyline started. I won’t give away any spoilers, including ones that are specific to the “nomad” character backstory that I chose, but I will say that I loved the opening. You’ll find yourself thrown into the midst of an action-packed scene, really getting a feel for the game. Shortly afterwards, you’ll receive a short tutorial on the (very detailed) fighting mechanics. I was actually very impressed with the way this was inserted into the storyline. I often feel gameplay tutorials are clumsily inserted, but in Cyberpunk 2077, there’s a cool reason for the training sequence. It also manages to be great fun, placing V - the game’s protagonist and your character - in a number of interesting scenarios.

In terms of the actual storyline, I’ve so far found the game to be full of rich dialogue and interesting plot twists. Night City is a great setting, with something interesting hiding around every corner and residents that really do give it the gritty feel of a city torn apart by gang violence. Think Gotham meets Bladerunner meets the backstreets of New York City. Cyberpunk 2077 is first and foremost an RPG, and V is given many interesting decisions to take. As a player, you won’t be disappointed with the various paths available for your character.

So, does Cyberpunk 2077 live up to expectations? While it’s too early to say for sure (ask me again after another fifty hours or so of gameplay!), I think the answer could well transpire to be: yes!

Featured Image: [@CyberpunkGame on Twitter]

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