Review cover Cyberpunk 2077 (Computer)
Official GBAtemp Review

Product Information:

  • Release Date (NA): December 10, 2020
  • Release Date (EU): December 10, 2020
  • Publisher: CD Projekt
  • Developer: CD Projekt Red
  • Genres: Cyberpunk, Open-World RPG
  • Also For: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S

Game Features:

Single player
Local Multiplayer
Online Multiplayer
Co-operative
The most talked about game of the year is finally here, and discussions of its technical mishaps have dominated the discourse. When played on a PC, in its most functional form, how does it hold up on its own merits as a game?

attachFull239786

Cyberpunk 2077 is a game about excess. There's the hedonistic excess of a society that's disconnected from its humanity, seeking artificial intimacy, or thrills at the fatal expense of others. There's the capitalistic excess of a world where corporations have essentially replaced the government, and everything is up for sale. There's the survivalist excess of people needing to replace their body parts with cybernetic enhancements, to get a sense of power they can't achieve from their station in life. In a much more immediate sense, however, it's about the corporate excess of CD Projekt Red. Even setting aside the ethical issues of mandatory crunch or the litany of technical problems that have plagued them since launch, in its best, most functional form, Cyberpunk 2077 is a sprawling testament to CD Projekt Red's self-indulgence. That's not to say there aren't a lot of good ideas in here, but there's just a lot of ideas, period, and more of them fail than succeed.

Take, for example, the crafting system. Throughout Night City you'll find oodles of components you can use to craft new equipment or upgrade your current stuff. It's a fairly common system for open-world RPGs nowadays, but the implementation reduces it to little more than busywork. While you're inundated with components, you'll also get a lot of junk items that need to be broken in order to serve any purpose. (One of the first perks I got was one that automatically broke down junk items for me to save myself the annoyance.) But breaking down junk items or the low-level equipment you get off enemies only yields common components, which aren't good for making much. There's plenty of basic equipment you can craft, but since items don't degrade, you have no reason to ever want to have a bunch of low-level equipment on hand, and so these items and schematics become pointless clutter. The only worthwhile equipment is the epic or legendary stuff, but trying to craft them has its own set of issues. Finding item schematics is pretty hard in general, let alone finding good ones, so you'll have a paltry selection to choose from, and even when you manage to track down a legendary item that aligns with your playstyle, you need to put an absurd amount of points into a specific skill tree before you can actually make it. Of course good equipment should be hard to make, but I was showered with epic and legendary items from looting corpses at missions or buying them, so it made the crafting system seem like a terrible return on investment for the amount of time it takes. The only time the crafting system was ever useful was to produce more bullets, and if your game can be streamlined by removing an entire system and upping the drop rate of bullets, then it wasn't a very well-designed system.

attachFull239903

But, I can see why CD Projekt Red wanted to include it. It fits the setting perfectly, of people on the lower rungs of society scrounging and scraping together what they need to survive. Given more focus, it could have done wonders for immersing you in your environment and reinforcing the oppressive social structure created by the rich mega corps. Instead, it ended up being just one thing thrown into a giant heap of systems, and amounts to little more than an annoyance when you’re trying to clear all the junk out of your inventory.

It’s too bad it wasn’t used to organically build the world, either, since the world-building could really use the help. Most of the characters you meet (especially after the first act) are po-faced and melodramatic, ranting about the evils of corporations, which makes them feel like theme delivery vehicles as opposed to real people. There’s an astonishing amount of detail, but any amount of interaction shows how shallow it is. As I explored Night City, I came across countless police shoot-outs, gang wars, muggings--and a lot of the dialogue that accompanies these appears to be unique. It really makes the city seem alive, but once you introduce yourself into these scenarios, that facade falls apart. If you, for example, interrupt a mugging by punching out the mugger, the NPC who you saved will just stare at you blankly, or calmly walk away, nonplussed. Of course it would be a monumental undertaking to make every street activity react dynamically to your actions, but it's still hard to see the city as alive if it doesn't know how to handle a living, breathing player interacting with it. It basically turns all of Night City into a zoo exhibit; I can watch these little plays from a distance, but if I so much as tap on the glass, I'll scare the animals away.

attachFull239904

Unfortunately, the missions don’t do much to help build the world either. There are four types of missions: story missions, side missions, gigs, and petty crime. Petty crime involves stopping gang activity or other small crimes happening in the area, and there’s usually not much more to it than eliminating a few troublemakers. Gigs are jobs from fixers, middlemen that serve to connect mercenaries for hire to their customers. These usually have a unique mission structure and setup, but very little story, since anything personal is being filtered through this middleman. This is disappointing, since there are some interesting premises here. One had me track down two men who killed a twelve-year old boy, the son of a televangelist, and recorded the murder to make what is essentially an interactive snuff film. Being able to speak with a man of God who turned to a seedy assassin to handle the evil that took his boy away would have been interesting, but instead it plays like any other mission; you infiltrate a building full of bad guys and either fight or sneak your way to the endpoint to retrieve something. The only thing that felt unique to this mission was that, after retrieving the tape, I found out the two guys running this operation were a father and son, so I decided to kill the son, just to give the father a taste of his own medicine. The fact that there was unique dialogue for this extremely minor character to bemoan the loss of his son is a fantastic attention to detail, but without a more substantial story to enhance, little details don’t make an engaging world.

So, unless you’re only looking to kill time with something mindless, you’ll spend most of your time with side missions and story missions. The main story is mostly fine, but doesn’t do much to stand out from other cyberpunk fare. The main issue is the pacing, as many scenes are bogged down with lengthy dialogue scenes badly in need of a trimming. Your storylines are also split for the majority of the middle section, so you’re running back and forth between stories as you wait for different leads to turn into something. It’s nice that you’re offered these chances to get some breathing space from the main story and try some side stuff, but being forced into it does major damage to the flow and urgency of the main plot. As mentioned, a lot of the characters are very gruff and similar, which means it’s hard to form real personal attachments to them. Like a lot of noir stories, your missions will bring you to a lot of different corners of Night City and meeting a lot of different people, which makes it even harder to grow attached. Some characters you meet in the main story will get side mission questlines, where you follow them through a series of missions to conclude their story, and possibly romance them at the end. These generally fare very well, as there’s a nice personal engagement with the character and usually a decent variety to the mission types. Aside from these, there are a few miscellaneous other side questlines, like eliminating enhanced enemies who’ve been driven mad by their cybernetic enhancements, or tracking down fragments of a fractured A.I. These work well at switching up the type of work you normally do in these missions, but sort of trail off from a story perspective, leaving you with no real answers. That’s likely meant to give players something to ponder and chew on, but with so little solid information, there’s not much to get emotionally or intellectually invested in.

attachFull239905

To add to this, so much of Cyberpunk's world seems to be borrowed from other cyberpunk sources. There are lots of references to famous cyberpunk works, like the red and blue pill from The Matrix or the Akira-style motorcycles, but there’s not a lot of fresh ideas, and the ones that are novel don’t seem to explore new themes. Take, for example, the Dolls—prostitutes that use a chip in their head to take on the personality that will most please the customer, both to enhance the customer’s experience and to protect themselves. It’s a very cyberpunk idea. It takes a high-tech concept and applies it to the lowest levels of society, it comments on people's habit of satisfying the need for a personal connection in the least personal way, and it demonstrates how depraved this over-stimulated population has become. But that's all present elsewhere in the genre. Hyper-realistic androids being available for the exploitation of our darkest desires isn't a new idea, and the Dolls aren't so much a twist on it as an artificial ratcheting up of the intensity. It doesn't have anything new to say, it just says it louder.

Cyberpunk as a genre has always focused on the seedy underbelly of society--sex, drugs, violence--but does so to comment on how, as technology makes our basest desires more readily available to us, we'll overindulge and need to become more extreme in our outlets in order to get that same satisfaction. Most cyberpunk stories avoid going into real detail here so that they don't become exploitative themselves. Cyberpunk 2077, however, revels in the lurid details of its world, specifically in the weird, first-person sex scenes. Between these, the aforementioned Dolls, the interactive snuff films, and the drug runners, the world can be a bit overbearing in its seediness. It makes the whole experience feel less like an eighties cyberpunk movie, and more like a dirty, cheap exploitation flick from the same era. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of fun to be had with those movies, but there's a reason Vice Squad or The Exterminator weren't the biggest movie of their year or came in off eight years of hype. In the lack of real thematic weight, Cyberpunk 2077 seems to try to lean on shock value and its novelty as a videogame, which can’t support a title that asks so much of its players.

attachFull239906

Despite all this, Cyberpunk 2077 seems to cruise by on the reliability of its solid gameplay. (If you’re playing on a high-end PC, of course…) There are issues you can point to with the driving or how much of a chore inventory management can be, but for the most part things are enjoyable, if a little underwhelming. The gunplay is a lot of fun, with each weapon feeling substantial and impactful. Combat in general is always a delight--movement is breezy, the A.I. are pretty competent, and there’s a great variety of enemies that need to be dispatched in different ways. The stealth also works really well, striking the right balance of meaningful consequences without being totally unforgiving. 

And of course, this is where the high-tech, cyberpunk stuff really feels like it pays off. There are smart weapons that connect to your optical sensors, helping you line up headshots easier. There are a range of body enhancements you can get to increase your health or carrying capacity, add a double jump, or even give yourself bladed arms. You’ve also got quickhacks that let you mess with any kind of technology from afar, even the tech implanted in your enemies. You can distract enemies by activating a TV to help stealth, or you can turn off their eyes to initiate a sneak attack. There’s a lot of options here, and it makes some of the more tedious parts of RPGs, like shopping and equipment management, really exciting, as you salivate over a new toy or save up all your money to get a really cool-looking enhancement. They enhance everything, gameplay and story, in an organic way, and give you freedom to choose your method of approach in a way that feels unique to this world.

attachFull239907

Still, there’s something that feels very cyberpunk about Cyberpunk 2077, and not in the way intended. It feels less like a game of this genre, and more like something that would exist in a cyberpunk world. It boasts the most impressive technology, marketing hype, huge celebrities, and purports to be a thoughtful, moving story so it can draw people in. But the only part of it that sticks with me, that I really enjoyed, was when I disengaged from the story, and played it as a mindless killing simulator. There’s nothing wrong with that--plenty of great games are mindless killing simulators--but given the themes and lofty goals of Cyberpunk 2077, it ends up feeling a little incongruous, like the game is chastising you for playing it.

Verdict

What We Liked ...
  • Great variety of enemies
  • Quickhacks make combat enjoyable and unique to this world
  • Insane attention to detail in Night City
What We Didn't Like ...
  • Certain mission types become repetitive
  • Despite the little details, Night City never really feels alive
  • Story and setting rely too much heavily on inspiration from older cyberpunk stories
8
Gameplay
Pretty much everything works from a gameplay perspective. The gunplay is fantastic, the stealth is rewarding and the cybernetic enhancements fit fantastically into both gameplay styles in a way that feels unique to this world
6
Presentation
Night City is fantastic, bathed in tacky neon and populated by a realistic bustle. There's a lot to look at, but it actively resists interaction. Unfortunately, the things that happen in Night City aren't all that much more exciting, beyond some early highlights and the occasional rewarding side quest
7
Lasting Appeal
There's a lot shoved into this package, and how much you get out of it depends on if you're here more for story or gameplay. The missions can become repetitive, but the fundamentals of combat are solid enough to stay fun. Much of the supplemental material lacks a strong story, however.
7
out of 10

Overall

Cyberpunk 2077 is a great timewaster filled with plenty of opportunities for dumb fun that come from the clever implementation of future tech into its combat. Unfortunately, it fails to deliver on the clear ambition in its writing, mostly due to the clutter that drowns out its few moments of true inspiration.
I'm *this* close to a Platinum trophy myself and I have to say, I quite enjoy this one, in spite of all the bugs. I had the opposite experience - getting into the nitty gritty of the gigs and jumping head first into the filth that is the underbelly of Night City was the high point for me. I suppose time will tell if further polishing and patching will make the game a diamond or if it'll forever stay a bit "rough".
 
Game is ok. I didn't quite have super high hopes or expectations for it, so it wasn't so much a let down as a "just ok" for me.

I think the biggest issue (beyond the bugs :P) is CDPR tried to shove too much shit into the game to make it appear to have a long playtime...but forgot to add depth to those things at the same time, especially with all those shitty "gigs" that were basically there to just be repetitive time wasters and serve no other purpose. I'd much rather they scrapped the majority of the gigs and put the time they spent making them into creating more/longer/better side quests, there were like a whopping 6 or 7 "major" side quest chains with moderately important NPCs and that is depressingly tiny for an open world game like this. They could have even implemented a faction system for all the little gangs you encounter, at least then they'd serve a better purpose as opposed to just randomly calling you every 5 minutes to give you a job you've already done 500 times elsewhere.


Big agree on the crafting system as well, towards the latter half of the game I ended up just not picking anything up that wasn't legendary/Epic because there was just so much junk that was absolutely useless that wasn't worth bothering with. You're better off just finding a weapon you like, buying/acquiring the crafting spec (if possible) and re-crafting the thing when you need a big upgrade as opposed to anything else.


But overall yeah, game is just ok. Could've used more time in the oven to work out the bugs, but I think even when it'll be "finished" it's just not going to be the mindblowing 11/10 amazeballs wank fest everyone kept hoping it was. Still not the worst game in the world, but definitely nowhere near the best either.
 
I'm *this* close to a Platinum trophy myself and I have to say, I quite enjoy this one, in spite of all the bugs. I had the opposite experience - getting into the nitty gritty of the gigs and jumping head first into the filth that is the underbelly of Night City was the high point for me. I suppose time will tell if further polishing and patching will make the game a diamond or if it'll forever stay a bit "rough".

I can totally see enjoying getting into the little gigs, given how good the gameplay is. By the end I was honestly enjoying the gigs the most because I knew it wasn't gonna ask much of me--I could skip all the dialogue and exploration and just enjoy fighting enemies. But I lean more towards the story in RPGs because there are better games to scratch that combat itch. (I finally got around to starting Doom Eternal after finishing 2077 and it's just about perfect for this.)

I really liked the filth and grime at first too since, like I said in the review, I do dig exploitation movies. But it just got to be a bit much. There's a reason why something like I Spit On Your Grave is only 90 minutes instead of a three-hour epic, right? And the fact that I can realistically compare the biggest game of the year to a dirty exploitation flick is pretty ridiculous.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Julie_Pilgrim
Maybe you have more information than I do but I honestly thought that endoverend (the person who wrote that review) was a different person from relauby (the person who wrote this review). Honestly, I could be mistaken and if I am then I completely understand why you would compare this review with an unrelated review from 2016 in a serious manner.

Otherwise, it looks to me that you're grasping at straws for a reason to be upset.
 
I'd like to try whatever game the reviewer is talking about because it certainly isnt CyberPunk 2077. The game is fully complete and Im seeing reviews judging a game that "couldve been" instead of a game that "IS". The only thing these people will fix is how every side quest cant be completed if you leave the area or do multiple quests.

The CyberPunk I played was completely broken (v 1.06). The stealth is completely broken, the driving is horrible, the police ai is hilarious. The enemy AI is terrible. The wall clipping is nonsense. The story is mediocre, the npc designs dont fit the game. The main character creator is terrible. The crafting systems suck. The guns dont differentiate. the NPC dialogue is some of the worst ever. The dialogue options dont do anything. Etc Etc.

Keanu Reeves character model looked bad I dont even know how they screwed that one up. The faces are all over the place, some look realy good (panam), some look straight cartoon (jackie), some look ps4 era (johnny), some look ps3 (adam), most look ps2 (big black guy, every generic model) and a lot of the load-in would just look like 1-Pixel Vox art lolol. Most guys when you kill will have a PS1 Green hologram covering their face afterwards, i dont know if its a glitch or what. Same with the cars. Some part of the city are not even complete LOL. Some areas look straight out of PS1 and then there are parts of the city that are BLURRY and look like a mess and thats literally how the game was released, no bugs or glitches...

I liked the amount of clothing, but there no color changing or anything. I liked the World Design. And honestly, the bugs and glitches are the only thing going for CyberPunk2077. The story is BLAND.

1/10, because Keanu is awesome. Ray Tracing only helps with the character cutscenes and thats about it.

(edit: NOTE: the game is a very solid 3 out of 10 but the amount of glitches and bugs and inconsistency with everything, the final polish, the fact you need at least 900 save files because something WILL go wrong... all that knocks it down it a 1/10. At least they completed it)
 
I can totally see enjoying getting into the little gigs, given how good the gameplay is. By the end I was honestly enjoying the gigs the most because I knew it wasn't gonna ask much of me--I could skip all the dialogue and exploration and just enjoy fighting enemies. But I lean more towards the story in RPGs because there are better games to scratch that combat itch. (I finally got around to starting Doom Eternal after finishing 2077 and it's just about perfect for this.)

I really liked the filth and grime at first too since, like I said in the review, I do dig exploitation movies. But it just got to be a bit much. There's a reason why something like I Spit On Your Grave is only 90 minutes instead of a three-hour epic, right? And the fact that I can realistically compare the biggest game of the year to a dirty exploitation flick is pretty ridiculous.
Oh, I don't know about that. :P From a cursory reading I got the impression that you treated it as a killing sim after a while, which is fair, there's a lot of killing to be had and it's enjoyable for that purpose, it just wasn't the star of the show to me. I enjoyed the variety, the gigs that "stood out", so to speak. It was interesting to play a game where one minute you're rescuing someone before they get butchered for organs and implants, and then the next you're going on a drunken bender on somebody's yacht with the explicit purpose of trashing it, or having a fist fight with a clown. There's one quest line where all you really do is meditate with a monk and take in the views - nothing else. Each to their own, of course - I think your score is fair either way, I would've given it a similar one myself given the state of the game upon release.
 
First to the Review, very good. I do not agree with some of it, but overall its really to the point.

To the Comments, i really cannot see what you are all whining about. Its a pretty solid game. And yeah it has some problems but on one hand if you know how Companies work then you will see how they couldnt delay it again and on the other hand half of you already bitched and moaned about the last delay, now you all say they should have delayed it again.

My opinion: Its a really good game with many small and some major Problems. I really hope they will tackle some if not most of them in the coming patches and some DLC's. And im really tired of reading that this or that is repetitive in a game. I mean what do you expect if you have that many sidequests? If they were all unique and only a few existed you would complain about the lack of sidequests. I would have given it a 7 to 8 with chances of change with the coming Updates and DLC's.
 
My expectations going into this game were non existent, and despite some small bugs that didn't ruin the experience in any way, i found it the best thing i've played on my beast pc since RDR2.
 
Thanks for the insight. I can't really play it anytime soon, but now I'll have a better idea of what to expect when I do. Maybe we'll get some new content to help with the story aspects between now and then. Man, is this going to be a recurring trait with modern "RPG" games? Great gameplay and combat, but lackluster immersion in the writing? Hmmmm. Gives me something to think about.
 
I'm finding the game pretty awesome.

I am playing on a PS4 Pro and haven't had many issues, the ocasional visual glitch here and there but that's it.

Granted, I did not have unrealistic expectations for it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Julie_Pilgrim
i would have gave it or 6 or even a 5 for this buggy failure of a train wreck release. they should have waited at least another 6 months and ditched the ps4/xbox versions.
sure thats the RIGHT thing to do BUT you can already hear it. "you lied to us! where is last gen copy" and "where is our game?? stop delaying it" can never win.
 
Welcome to 2016
If the game is painfully boring to play, I'll happily take a semi-working but fun replacement.

It's like that one time when Nintendo made a giant open-world Zelda and forgot to populate it with NPC's. And called it Breath of the Wild. Shoulda called it Tumbleweeds of the Wild. :V
 
People are still mad over that Yokai watch review?

I enjoyed CP 2077 a lot. Easily my Goty 2020. The bugs are trash. Console Port optimization is trash. The unfulfilled promises suck. Still loved the game a lot. Only 4 Achievements away from getting them all.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Julie_Pilgrim
I Still Like This Game ) PC Here 1440p Ultra Settings ( the only thing i dont like is the driving ...cars in 2077 have no grip they just slide about ,,, i wish they added a VR feature .... as im into VR at the moment.
7/10 game .. could have been a solid classic ..could have been .............................
..................
....
 
I Still Like This Game ) PC Here 1440p Ultra Settings ( the only thing i dont like is the driving ...cars in 2077 have no grip they just slide about ,,, i wish they added a VR feature .... as im into VR at the moment.
7/10 game .. could have been a solid classic ..could have been .............................
..................
....
A lot of the cars have very poor handling, which is why most people opt for using motorcycles instead. Out of the cars I can recommend Johnny's Porsche 911, however I hear that the best car hands-down is the Mizutani Shion "Coyote", which has a top speed almost matching the Caliburn while having the best handling in the game. It's a little pricey, but you can actually get a unique version of it for free if you're willing to betray Panam's trust at one point of the game - no spoilers though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SuperDan
A lot of the cars have very poor handling, which is why most people opt for using motorcycles instead. Out of the cars I can recommend Johnny's Porsche 911, however I hear that the best car hands-down is the Mizutani Shion "Coyote", which has a top speed almost matching the Caliburn while having the best handling in the game. It's a little pricey, but you can actually get a unique version of it for free if you're willing to betray Panam's trust at one point of the game - no spoilers though.

You Know i was smashing through it when it came out .... eventually i can to a point where he is on a rooftop looking over Night City .... & i was asked to either take a PILL or not i took the pill and the game eneded LOOL & ive not gone back since .... as i bought myself a VR occulus 2 and ive been quite addict to it since Xmas .....
 
Review cover
Product Information:
  • Release Date (NA): December 10, 2020
  • Release Date (EU): December 10, 2020
  • Publisher: CD Projekt
  • Developer: CD Projekt Red
  • Genres: Cyberpunk, Open-World RPG
  • Also For: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Game Features:
Single player
Local Multiplayer
Online Multiplayer
Co-operative

Reviews

  1. Computer

    Eternal Threads

    Launching tomorrow on PCs and later this year on PS4 and Xbox One is Eternal Threads, indie developer Cosmonaut Studios’ debut title. Described as a non-linear, time-manipulating narrative Rubik’s cube, is it worth your time to solve?
  2. Hardware

    Doogee S98 Rugged Smart Phone

    Rugged, burley, and well put together are compliments I get every day, but will the Doogee S98 Rugged phone be applauded or lambasted? Let's find out!
  3. Xbox Series X|S

    Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising

    Launching today is Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising, the prelude to Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes. Despite being a companion game, it offers a full experience with an original cast of characters and...
  4. Computer

    Norco

    While Geography of Robots’ game Norco is inspired by the titular town of Norco, Louisiana, its blend of sci-fi and surreal happenings are far from something you’ll (hopefully) experience in the...
  5. Hardware

    EPOS H3PRO Hybrid

    EPOS expands its H3 gaming headset line with two new colour variants of the H3PRO Hybrid: Ghost White and Racing Green. With EPOS’ traditional comfort, premium build and sound quality, is this...
General chit-chat
Help Users
    AliceCE @ AliceCE: smurgle