(NOTE: This article contains affiliate links. Purchasing from these links will directly support me and help keep the website running.)

It’s been eight long years, but it’s finally here! While there’s no denying that Cyberpunk 2077 could have used a few more months of development, the game, despite all of its technical hiccups, still lives up to all the hype.

Before I go any further, I just have to say that if you’re looking for someone who wants to talk about performance issues and such (especially on consoles), I advise you to look elsewhere, because I’m going to be focusing mainly on the narrative aspect of the game. Since I currently have a rig that’s loaded with an RTX 3070, my complaints will mostly be about the bugs, but we’ll get to that later.

Honestly, it’s kinda funny that I’m writing this now, since I’ve already clocked over 40 hours of playtime. I was just too consumed by it that I completely forgot to write my first impressions. With that said, I’ll try to keep this relatively short.

Welcome to Night City!

From the gritty badlands and run-down slums to the high-class establishments and megacorp buildings, the game perfectly nails the genre’s “high tech, low life” aesthetic, and with crowd density set to high, Night City feels just like the cramped megalopolis it’s supposed to be. This is almost exactly what I imagined the world would look like in novels such as Neuromancer and The Girl Who Was Plugged In, and I’m enjoying just exploring the map way more than I care to admit.

Your mileage may vary with this aspect, but almost every area in the game feels so vibrant and alive. Even outside of quest interactions, there have been so many moments where I was so tempted to just turn on Photo Mode and take a couple of screenshots for fun. Being lucky enough to have a GPU that can run the game smoothly with ray tracing on is just the icing on the cake, because out of all the RT-supported games at the moment, Cyberpunk 2077 has to be one of the few titles where that feature really shines (heh).

Gripping Story

Since the game’s still fresh off the oven (and a bit undercooked, but we’ll get to that in a bit), I’ll try to avoid spoilers as much as I can.

Honestly, I don’t get why people are complaining about the main questline being “only” 25-30 hours long. Sure, it’s no Witcher 3, but it’s by no means short, especially with the replay value brought by the multiple lifepaths and certain choices throughout the game actually having an effect on the narrative.

I chose the street kid lifepath for my first playthrough, since I felt like it’d be the most “raw” cyberpunk experience. Maybe it’s my prior addiction to the Shadowrun games, but playing as a mercenary raised in the streets just felt right, and the brief intro sequence immediately exposes you to the chaotic world of mercs, fixers, gangs, etc.

The whole first act (which, depending on how you play, could last several hours) is pretty much a prologue, with the “actual game” starting immediately after an insane heist that ends with Johnny Silverhand getting stuck in your head.

A lot of crazy things happen during this introductory period, and it’s only going to get crazier as you progress through the main questline.

I’ve seen people complain about the length of the game when it’s only been a few days since launch, which I find hilarious. I took an entire day off to play the game at launch and spent the majority of my weekend playing the damn thing, and I only just got to the third act. What Cyberpunk 2077 does really well are the side quests, which is where most of the character development happens.

Side jobs such as Pyramid Song and Sinnerman were really compelling, and incredibly touching for the former. It’s honestly a nice change of pace from all the action, and some of these story arcs apparently do affect the ending (kind of obvious in some cases, really). You have to remember that this is a narrative-driven game, and quests like these flesh out the world and characters around you. There’s clearly a lot of effort put into them, and I expected nothing less from CD Projekt Red.

Bugs. Just, Bugs.

Welp. There’s no way to avoid this topic, so let’s just get this over with. In its current state, Cyberpunk 2077 is riddled with bugs. Based on my personal experience, it’s mostly hilarious glitches such as NPCs sinking into the ground and cars launching into the air after getting shot, but there have been a few disruptive bugs every now and then, and I have absolutely no idea what triggers them or how to avoid them.

One prominent example is when I’d get stuck in scanner mode. On very rare occasions, after closing out of the scanner, my FOV stays awkwardly low, and I’m completely locked out of any other actions except for movement until I reload the game.

It’s not exactly game-breaking, as it seems to only happen to me outside combat, and simply saving and reloading fixes it, but it’s still incredibly annoying.

Then we have more extreme stuff, like fall damage being incorrectly calculated by the game. Sometimes, falling off a ledge that’s only two feet high will instantly kill you, and I have no idea how or why it happens, especially since I can’t seem to recreate it on the same area twice. It just kinda happens at random (and no, it wasn’t a sniper. It’s killed me a bunch of times outside combat too).

Luckily, as of writing this, CDPR has already announced that they’ll be rolling out more patches within the next few weeks (and large updates in January 2021 and beyond). Hopefully this fixes a lot of the issues, including minor stuff such as overlapping dialogue and text messages from characters not showing up in the correct order.

Conclusion?

Cyberpunk 2077 has an amazing story that’s overshadowed by its glaring technical issues, which I really hope the devs fix immediately (Sorry, last-gen console users). Despite its many flaws, it’s still an incredible experience, and I hope people who haven’t tried it yet give it a chance.

I’m gonna be finishing the game within the week, if not the day after I write this, and I’ll be starting my next playthrough immediately after. Expect a more in-depth review from me soon, and possibly even a short video review.

Leave a Reply