Without a doubt, CD Projekt Red’s action role-playing game Cyberpunk 2077 was one of the most talked about and anticipated games of 2020. Development began as far back as 2012 and the game went into pre-production in 2016. During development several trailers were shown and excitement for the game amongst gamers steadily grew.
Originally slated to release in April 2020, the game was delayed a few times and was finally released in early December 2020. With the anticipation and hype at incredible levels, CD Projekt Red had a gigantic weight on its shoulders to produce a game that was virtually impossible to live up to the hype.
Cyberpunk 2077 Details
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Stadia
Reviewed on: Stadia and PS5 (Backwards compatibility)
Developer(s): CD Projekt Red
Publisher: CD Projekt
Genre: Action role-playing
ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)
Welcome to Night City
Cyberpunk 2077 takes place in Night City, a vast and elaborate world that is filled with a large cast of characters who have their own agenda and play key roles in the story. The city is divided into 6 main districts that each contain their own unique ethnic groups, cultures and atmospheres.
You play as V, the game’s protagonist, a mercenary who is totally customizable from head to toe and then some. The game begins with a choice of 3 distinct lifepaths to choose from: Nomad, Streetkid and Corpo. All 3 share commonalities between them that are key to the overall story including characters they meet but all ultimately lead down the same road. Each of the lifestyles are starting a new life in Night City and meet up with Jackie Welles, a mercenary who likes to work alone. Through a series of events, V and Jackie become buddies who are inseparable and slowly work their way up the ranks of Night City hustlers.
The duo’s first “big time” gig is to steal a biochip that is the key to immortality from one of the world’s most influential and feared megacorporations, the Arasaka Corporation. During the heist, they witness the murder of the Arasaka’s leader by his son who tries to cover it up. During V and Jackie’s escape, V is forced to insert the biochip into his head and sets events in motion for the game’s emotional rollercoaster story. Shortly after, you’re introduced to Johnny Silverhand who essentially lives in your head. Throughout the game, you bond with Johnny and experience everything Johnny has been through, including his pain.
Compelling story that isn’t without its flaws
Above all, it is Cyberpunk 2077‘s story that makes the game so compelling. At times it does feel like the pace of the story is a bit rushed. I would have liked to see a little more character development in T-Bug and Rogue. I feel that as important that they are to the game’s story, I never really got to know them. On the other hand, I think that CD Projekt Red did an incredible job with Johnny. I can’t count how many times that my opinion on him changed throughout the game. By the time all was said and done, I went from dispising him to sympathizing with him.
Explore the sights and sounds of Night City
Cyberpunk 2077 is an action role-playing game and as such you can equip V with cyberware implants that give you enhanced abilities. For example, you can install optics that allow you to zoom in on objects. Additionally,V has a variety of skills including hacking, combat and machinery that you shape and customize to help you along the way. The life path you choose at the beginning of the game has a heavy influence on your skills.
Cyberpunk 2077 is a non linear adventure. That means you can choose to focus solely on the main story, or get lost in the game’s many side missions and events. When push comes to shove, there really is no right or wrong way to play. The game’s main story is played out through main jobs which advance the story and are required.
Side jobs, while optional, are in many ways just as important as main jobs. There are many side jobs that affect the ending of the game and relationships that you have with other characters in the game. Additionally, there are Gigs, hostile situations and NCPD scanner hustles for you to complete while free roaming Night City. These usually are composed of tasks such as escorting someone or stopping gang wars and robberies.
Beautiful graphics and atmosphere on Stadia and PC
When it comes to Cyberpunk 2077‘s presentation, it all depends on the platform you are playing on. While neither Stadia or PS5, via backwards compatibility, were devoid of glitches, Cyberpunk 2077 looks better on Stadia. The game runs smoother, has higher quality textures and the use of neon colours really pops. While I did encounter the occasional graphical glitch such as cars popping in or NPCs disappearing, it was far less frequent between on Stadia.
On the other hand, playing Cyberpunk 2077 on PS5 I encountered numerous game crashes and glitches. In fact, there was one such glitch that I could not complete one of the game’s later main jobs. As a result, I had to go back to an earlier save about an hour before and play from there.
To be honest, Cyberpunk 2077 would have benefited from another delay on consoles. It’s clear that it wasn’t ready to be released for PS4 and Xbox One. Since launch, several updates have been released and performance along with some glitches have been resolved.
Cyberpunk 2077 is a worthy purchase, depending on the platform you are playing on
Overall, I enjoyed Cyberpunk 2077—more so on Stadia than PS5. The game’s story really drew me in and had me hooked. While the gameplay is nothing revolutionary, it’s standard fare for an action role-playing game. Aside from the game’s main story, there are a ton of extras to do both in and outside of Night City, many that are worth your time.
If you are thinking about picking up Cyberpunk 2077 on consoles and don’t mind the bugs and crashes, you’ll no doubt love the story. I’m confident that, in time, CD Projekt Red will be able to iron out the bugs. How long will that take? Nobody really knows at this point. However, with the amount and frequency of the updates released so far it’s encouraging.
Conversely, I have no doubt in recommending Cyberpunk 2077 on either Stadia or PC. While there are still some bugs, it is no where near what there is on consoles.
+ Captivating and emotional story that will have you hooked
+ A lot to see in do in Night City that is worthy of your time
+ Johnny Silverhand’s standout acting and storyline
+ Beautiful graphics and atmosphere on Stadia and PC
– Bugs, game crashes and performance issues on console
– Some of the main characters in the game are not fully fleshed out
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF CYBERPUNK 2077
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5