Review: Cyberpunk 2077 (Console)
A review that I have put off as long as possible, but which I still feel obliged to give an opinion about, is Cyberpunk 2077. A game that promised so much and delivered so little. That being said, Cyberpunk 2077 isn't a bad game at all, but even some core elements don't run as they should.
Let's start with the basics. Cyberpunk 2077 is a game from The Witcher's CD Projekt Red. A highly commended studio for making arguably the best RPG of the previous generation. After being delayed several times, Cyberpunk 2077 came out late last year for PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One, with a next-gen upgrade on the horizon. It's an open world RPG with Keanu Reeves and a lot of promise in terms of core gameplay. We have played the Playstation 4 version on both the PS4 and the PS5. How that version runs is something we will come back to, of course. However, I would like to say that a large part of the verdict and the figure is based on the road to 2021 for Cyberpunk 2077. The game has seen some improvements,but there are a number of elements that cannot be improved much without at least a year of development.
December to now
CD Projekt Red has postponed Cyberpunk 2077 several times. Still, after a few times, the studio felt the pressure to release Cyberpunk. Developers were exhausted, stocks fell and the public grew impatient. Well, get out of that game! Oops, that's where the problems started. The game on PC received some praise for cool graphics and a relatively stable frame rate. Yes, the game was full of bugs, teething problems and a few crashes for many PC players, but it started relatively quietly there. The console version, however, is where the monkey and all its siblings started to get involved. The previous generation (PS4) version of the game was a mess. Let's not even get started on the Xbox One version, running on the Xbox One S.
This also applies to me. Launch day had arrived. I sauntered my way from the hole I've been locked in since March to the Gamemania. I got a fairly large disk box pushed into my hands and walked out of the store with a smile on my face. On the bus ride back home I was already in the box peeking at all the bonus content that was in the box. The unboxing experience for a 60 euro game at Cyberpunk was just fantastic. The cover was stylish, the postcards and folder were stylish and I was looking forward to it. Well, hop hop cram CD into those Playstation 5. My friends were already online and started to warn right away: " Is this from the makers of The Witcher?! "
It can't be that bad, can it? Those were the words that floated around in my then optimistic brain, with every letter in that sentence wearing rose-colored glasses. Well, that's where the ride down started. I only had 20 crashes in the first week. The game looked like a Switch port on a next-gen console, where the characters sitting right in front of me were even more blurry than the scenery behind them. I didn't know what happened to me. And yes, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but look at all the promises, the years of development, the hype that was built around it. I was downright disappointed, ready to give the game a 3 out of 10 purely for performance. Well, I tried to overlook it anyway, but that's where a lot of other issues started to surface.
Let me just add that the developers are working very hard to make the game better and that a lot of those issues will also be partly solved in the first quarter of the ó so beautiful 2021. There have already been a number of bug fixes , the resolution seems more stable and the crashes are much less. So, this is only a matter of time, not yet cause for total panic. The PS5 version still runs at 60 frames per second, woohoo!
Apart from the fact that Night City on the console versions has few NPCs walking around, Cyberpunk's architecture is one to embrace as straightforwardly awesome. The city isn't necessarily bigger than an average RPG, if you consider overlaid. Until you find out how many layers there are in Night City. The city has a lot of verticality, secret places and alleys, open buildings with several accessible floors and so on. It's an infrastructure that just seems to make sense. It's one of the few strong points in Cyberpunk 2077, but it really is a great city to wander around.
You meet different types of people, where even the clothes they wear have their own lore attached to it as a kind of price tag. The style of the game is fantastic and I can't say much about it. There's neon everywhere, there's booze, sex, drugs and body modifications everywhere. It is a certain dystopia, a vision of the future that we as humanity actually do not want, but we really like to run around for 40-60 hours with laser guns and fast engines. So I can't really comment on this again.
In the world of Cyberpunk 2077, every NPC should have a day and night cycle, agents should be more realistic than ever and NPCs should respond appropriately to the actions of others, including your player character. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Let's start with the people in Night City. According to CD Projekt Red, these people would go to work, come home, go out and you name it. After following several NPCs you soon find out that they are really just walking around in circles. Anyway, that's not so bad, despite not quite the truth from the studio.
The reactions of NPC have already improved, although not yet perfect. But people respond much better if you aim at them with a gun, for example. The police, on the other hand, are arguably the most frustrating aspect of the game, outside of the bugs and crashes. These simply spawn right in front of you, tenfold, with drones. There's very little you can do about it. It's not that they arrive in their car and the chase can start, no they are suddenly just in front of you, with a bullet pressed into your head. This is simply unnecessary game design and very frustrating to experience constantly.
is it an RPG?
Now the question remains; is Cyberpunk 2077 an RPG? That answer is yes and no. It's pretty vague. Well, Cyberpunk is an action game with RPG elements. But it's not through and through a role-playing game. In my opinion, an RPG stands for choice and freedom. That's something that's pretty rare in Night City. Yes, you have an open world where you can run around, buy clothes, get weapons and acquire an arsenal of body modifications and skills. But, that's what you said. These are all for cool features. However, most of the 'choices' you have are some kind of illusion. It's kind of like a Wizard of Oz principle, where you think you have a choice, but in the end someone is just pulling the strings for you.
At the start of the game, you are given three life choices. These should have an impact on conversations and how you get out of certain situations for the rest of the game. However, this is a straight lie. For the first hour your storyline is different, after that nothing changes except which hot air you exhale in response to NPC. However, that reaction doesn't matter, because your mission ends the same. There is little to no choice, freedom and it is simply scripted content. There are multiple endings in Cyberpunk, missions can be missed if you make wrong choices at times. However, it is just all so scarce outside of this.
My pessimistic chatter doesn't stop here, I can already tell you. Cyberpunk's controls feel like they've been left behind in the early stages of development. Everything just feels very stiff and outdated. This also applies to driving in vehicles and running around. The combat only feels responsive when you start another game. In all seriousness, you do have to pull and push the controller settings to get better controls. The combat itself often seems chaotic because of the setting and all futuristic weapons all look great. This also applies to the vehicles. Unfortunately you said so too.
Story and characters
With the exception of Judy, Jackie and Silverhand, it soon ends in terms of interesting characters in Cyberpunk 2077. The whole storyline is generally not bad, but the performances of many characters are. It often just feels very cringe to listen to characters whose voice actors try way too hard. What's cool is the interaction between V and a number of characters, even when you're going into romances. Judy best girl, change my mind. However, the story in combination with the overall atmosphere is very nice to experience, if your game is not constantly crashing. Keanu's performance, however, was fun to witness. His voice and the swearing that saarbij is really genius at times. He is the only humorous thing about the game.
The music, outside of the world building, is by far the best in Cyberpunk 2077. This adds to the overall tone CD Projekt wants to set with this game. Each song has a unique vibe and the artists chosen are far from disappointing.
I could go on for hours about why CD Projekt Red lied on so many levels. A studio that should lead by example has taken on too much. Anyway, this disappointed me a lot. Even the sex scenes were half of what was said in trailers. The game has good elements, which are mainly in the music, world and eye for detail in this world. Unfortunately, the features that the game has to carry are not nearly enough to actually do this. The game just feels far off. I personally think that many features will be difficult to fix, without drastic gameplay changes. However, CD Projekt Red still has so much to do to make the game run well at all. We'll probably come back to the end point for Cyberpunk 2077 at some point, until then, enjoy a slow-start 2021.That was sarcastic by the way.
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