Review – Cyberpunk 2077
There are 168 hours in a week, and in the week since Cyberpunk 2077 was released, I have played a little over 50 hours. As reviews go, I’m not sure that I need to say more; but I will.
At 50 hours in, I have not completed the main storyline, so my typical review style cannot apply. I very much enjoy the gigs and NCPD scanner hustles, which are short side quests that are like gaming popcorn. It is easy to chain twenty or thirty of them without ever getting bored. They are varied enough that even similar missions don’t seem formulaic. However, I don’t as much enjoy that the main character of V, and Johnny Silverhand voiced by Keanu Reeves, are both unlikeable characters.
I know ‘unlikable’ is a subjective term, and there is no argument that both characters fit into the world of Cyberpunk 2077, it’s just that every time the character acts like a jerk it punches me right in the immersion. That said, it’s not like any of the Witcher games gave you any choice on Geralt’s character, so maybe I’m just asking for too much.
When it comes to games, just like any story, immersion is important. For me, when the character behaves in a way that I get no choice over, it jangles my immersion. That’s where games are different from novels, a character in a novel in the same situation wouldn’t interrupt my enjoyment of the novel, because I never had a choice in that case. That said, both in games and in novels, I don’t like it when characters’ motivations aren’t explained. And that’s how I feel about V and Johnny Silverhand right now, I know what they want, but I don’t know why. Now as I said, I haven’t finished the game so it may come clear as I go, but I’m well passed Act 1 at this point, which is when that kind of character exposition should be. All in all, it’s a very tiny negative, and I’m really enjoying the game.
Typically, I don’t care about the spectacle of a story. I still love black and white Doctor Who where the set moves as they walk. To me, it’s all about the story. And on my new computer, with its intel gen 10 processor and 3070 graphics card, the game runs like a dream. But to others, the graphics and rendering do affect their enjoyment, and the game has reportedly been terrible on older consoles. I would recommend getting the game on PC definitely, but if you only have a console, maybe wait until after the planned January and February updates before giving it a go. It is disappointing that this has happened, as CD Projekt Red – the game developer – was riding high on gamer confidence. They knew that the game was going to play poorly on console and they didn’t tell the nearly 4 million people who bought the game on console. CDPR has a reputation for being upfront and honest, and a lot of people feel betrayed by their omission. They have offered refunds to those who want it, but it will take time for people to regain trust in CDPR.
I don’t doubt that CDPR will regain the trust of their customers in time, or at least most of them, because the game is good. No Man’s Sky had a similar reception at launch, and it has built a loyal player base which continues to grow. The conflict between the big launch of a AAA game and being totally honest with consumers will come up again, as developers want to make the most out of what they have been working on and sometimes that gets in the way of being totally honest.
For now, I’m going back to night city to run around in a lawless metropolis where the spark of humanity has nearly been extinguished.