Not much of a feature, but filler and almost a justification for not pumping out more articles as I’ve been playing Cyberpunk 2077 at every possible opportunity.
If an iron (that’s what future people call guns) was pointed at my head and I was asked what triple-A I was most looking forward to this year, it would most likely have been this or Ghosts of Tsushima – coincidentally, I still haven’t bought it.
At the time of writing, I’ve clocked in about 22 hours of gaming into Cyberpunk 2077. Sometimes that’s the equivalent or even double of a lot of the games I play. Does it make me an authority on the game yet? No, and even if I tripled that, it’s just an opinion.
Btw, you can read the Cyberpunk 2077 review here.
Cyberpunk 2077 First Impressions
The build-up wasn’t so much of a big deal for me, as I’m never waiting for games – there’s always something to play, and being someone who is grateful for each game – even the turkeys, I could have waited.
However, after getting myself the game via GOG a few minutes after the midnight release, I have made excuses to play it again and again. Is it the best game I’ve ever played? No. Is it revolutionary and change the way we will look at games? No.
Why is that so many people put so much weight on this being a life-changer? I didn’t pay much attention to the build-up and features of the game. After the first delay, it would have been a bonus to see it before 2020 finished, so I was happy to play it.
But in the time I started writing about my Cyberpunk 2077 first impressions, the game was held in high regard – Twitter full of cyberpunk hashtags. That’s still rife, but now it’s a lot of hate.
A Dystopian Future
I probably share my opinion with about three other people in that as an active gamer, a lover of almost all genres, I treat games as entertainment and an excuse to write about them. I love playing games, but they aren’t my life.
If a game sucks, I don’t kick the dog or shout to strangers to boycott a game because the plot wasn’t to my liking, nor do I encourage petitions to get HBO to remake a whole season of fantasy family banging. I do understand why people care so much though like a team one supports or a movie franchise ripped apart by a different take. People are welcome to their opinion, but it’s tiresome when they try to change others when it’s so insignificant.
But just because I feel that way, doesn’t mean everyone else does or should be the same. I don’t need to convince anybody anything, but naturally, I share an opinion here – agree or disagree, that’s fine. In my opinion, Cyberpunk 2077 is a fantastic game, and like mentioned, have been dedicating a fair chunk of time on it.
What’s the problem with it? Yes, there are glitches with NPCs walking through vehicles, and the odd car teleporting. The worst experience I had, which was frequent, was random explosions blowing up the city – it made no sense, but was funny and didn’t disrupt gameplay, but it may have annoyed others. Oh, and some dialogue would stop playing, but as subtitles were on, I got the gist.
It Pays To Pay Out
I’m not going to give my argument that you should buy Cyberpunk 2077 – do what you want, but while I paid full price for it like everyone else who bought it and don’t think digital games should cost so much, I don’t regret getting it. Though I’m so glad I went the PC route and not on my PS4.
Without going down that route and giving my opinion on something I have zero experience of, the console versions are apparently trash. Boycotting a studio though? Hmmm.. maybe I don’t know enough. Do we get into Telltale territory and talk about gaming ethics and the politics of it all? Go ahead; I’ll be busy playing games.
Getting to the PC version of the game and my experience, I would have recommended it, but based on the hatred going on now, I’m even reluctant to finish this post, let alone make it go live, but free speech and all, and I’m not trying to change anything.
Ignoring the apparent flaws, there was not one moment of a crash, loss of data, or anything disruptive enough of me wanting to bail. The only thing that got to me was the gameplay and my inability to get past a gang, or decide on what skills to invest in.
Let The Tree Grow
What to invest in? There are stealth options, hacking skills such as quick hacks that allow you to poison enemies or take control over cameras, and then there’s the gun proficiencies and melee. Oh, and don’t forget cyberware.
It got to the point that I was going around ticking off the side quests that had a moderate rating – even the very low difficulty. Each main mission and side quest will give you a danger level based on your rating and the enemies.
However, invest wisely in the right skills, and you can bypass some of the challenges. The stealth options, in particular, are excellent and somewhat overpowered, as long as you have the patience and can multitask with the button presses.
In many ways, the game reminds me of Deux Ex: Human Revolution, both in aesthetics and application. I hasten to add that it was one of my proudest gaming moments as I finished the game without killing a single person. Just saying’.
A Bullet In The Head
But the temptation to steamroll through and blasting everything is too great, and I often found switching to the assault rifle and repeatedly aiming for the head, as long as you don’t alert the police. Elemental upgrades are super useful too – the incendiary options being a highlight at this early stage.
Melee attacks have appeal on paper, but in practice aren’t so great. I’m not the biggest fan of first-person melee combat anyway. There are standard attacks, charged attacks, blocks and parries and they’re ok if there are no other enemies about as your peripheral vision is understandably poor, and calculating your distance is very much a case of winging it.
There are options to improve passive traits such as stamina and health points and the usual benefits of shockwaves sent out if incurring a large amount of damage. But combat is just a portion of it, and there’s a fair share of driving and story sequences.
Failure is on the cards with dialogue trees, and CD Projekt RED already shafted wannabes casanova’s in The Witcher 3 should you try to woo both of the ladies. We don’t want morals; it’s a video game – it’s for the players, right?
The story is ok so far – fairly predictable for the genre, but the side quests make it. In fact, occasionally returning to the main missions is a bit of a curveball as you get reacquainted with the arc. It’s not complicated, but occasional dialogues will repeat themselves – especially when you use your ‘class’ responses. I opted for Nomad, and each time I used it, it was like the first time as the NPC would seem surprised, even though I told them three or four times before.
But it’s a game, and despite offering a great deal of escapism, it’s not perfect, and people expect too much. Again, I couldn’t comment on the console versions, just my own experience and I’m very happy with it.
The driving side of things looks like GTAV but doesn’t offer the same handling. I’m currently using the mouse and keyboard which is ideal for the combat sections, but looking to switch to a controller for driving. The radio stations, on the other hand, are excellent and I often listen to the metal channel, and sure I heard Fever 333 on one of the stations too.
First-person driving is usually for me, but as the cars are all over the place, I find the third-person mode better. Besides, I get to see the sights. While the focus has continually been on Night City, I found myself enjoying Nomad territory more. I suppose the handling, and also aesthetics of driving, are more like Mad Max.
The Future’s Bright…?
I haven’t been able to play Cyberpunk 2077 this week, despite wanting to, as there are games that need to be reviewed and other things more important outside of the gaming world.
It’s becoming trickier to avoid all the negativity towards the game at the moment, and a lot of it is drifting towards political. If people want to go that route, then that’s their prerogative, but personally, I’m happy to continue the way I’ve been going and play games for fun. If it’s not fun, I’ll stop.
Should you buy Cyberpunk 2077? Well, it applies to all the games I cover – it’s your decision, and this is just my perspective – neither of us is wrong. However, if you share similar tastes to me, you may find a very good game here – even in its current (PC) state.
There’s no point me joining in and shouting about how inferior the console versions are – I haven’t played them, so I’m not going to give an opinion on what I haven’t experienced. From the PC experience, it’s been incredibly enjoyable, and I genuinely hope that these issues get fixed for other folks so they can have as much fun as I have had thus far.