Cyberpunk 2077 Review: Take me back to Night City

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Editor’s Note: This review comes a fair bit late to make up for the various hotfixes that CDPR released so that I could review the game in its current state that’s now deemed playable for current players on PC. The recommendation for console players however is to wait for an optimized version or a version that’s meant for the next generation of consoles, i.e., the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

It’s been eight years since I first heard about Cyberpunk 2077, the next labour of love from studio, CD Projekt RED that gained a lot of goodwill for being progressive, gamer friendly and largely because of their work with making the best RPG of the past decade, The Witcher 3.

Not much was known about this game until only in 2019, when we all learned that Keanu Reeves would be in this game and after several memes, internet gaming moments and more, I finally got a copy of the game in my hands to play on the PC. I had to switch out an entirely new rig to play the game at its best, more on that later and there’s not much that needs to be said on how the game had shipped in its state at launch. So, I chose to withhold my opinions until I could play this game smoothly as it was intended.

Night City RTX ON

I ran Cyberpunk 2077 on the lowest and the highest graphics card I could find at the time. I ran it on the GTX 1070 with a i7-4790K, a very old setup which still ran decently and a i9-10900K and RTX 3070. It is a next generation game in every sense of the word and a perfect advertisement for Nvidia’s RTX tech that you can experience, provided that you can find a card with the right price for it. Visuals are spectacular and the environment in ray traced light reflections are stunning.

The Illusion of Choice

This is a game where, as an open world sandbox game, the main selling points aren’t necessarily the main story but rather the world you get to explore, much like The Elder Scrolls Skyrim. Cyberpunk 2077 puts you as V, a character, that you can customize to great lengths on how you look. You can choose one of three life paths, Nomad, Street Kid and Corpo meaning you can be a free agent or street ruffian, or a cold corporate individual.  Night City, the world you play in, is a fever dream. A dystopian city filled with dreams and chaos in equal measure. You have the initial prologue story that introduces your character from the life path and then you’re off to the races.

For the most part, I felt that your background served little and provided some dialogue options but the way the game ends depends on some core choices you make and I felt slightly disappointed that your background mattered little for the main story but the story itself is very Cyberpunk so fans of the genre are in for a treat.

I tried to do a completion run, an impossible task where I attempted to finish everything Night City could throw at me. Going this route isn’t the most optimal way to play mainly because there is so much to do! Finishing everything means at the end, your end game will be relatively easy, without much of a challenge and you’ll breeze through the game.

A rewarding and confusing gameplay system

I truly enjoyed the gameplay but I won’t lie when I say the gameplay systems are so down to the minute detail that it can become frustrating for players who aren’t really into Role playing games. The game does give you multiple ways to approach any mission and you can choose to go in quietly or go loud, your choice but each choice comes with its own pros and cons and that’s for you to find out and the difficulty can spike if you end up going to a new area and a random side mission triggers and map pointers can be difficult to guess where you’re going or what you’re supposed to do.

Cyberpunk 2077, story wise is like reading a book, the good parts come in slowly but once you get to that point, it goes on a roller coaster pretty quickly. You can tell the Keanu Reeves loved playing Johnny Silverhand and that’s all I can tell you, anything more and that would go into spoiler territory but he carries the story in this game.

The Verdict

Is this game worth playing and spending on your money now? Well PC players can safely play this game and if you wanted to upgrade your gaming PC, this is an excellent reason to do so while lower end systems can still play it with a few sacrifices.

Console players will obviously need to wait. CDPR courted controversy and lost almost all of their goodwill because of it and that’s something the studio will have to deal with in the months to come as they expand on this game. I sunk in over more than 100 hours on a single playthrough and this will be a game I will play and jump in when I want to sink in to a story game that I can play at my own pace.