Cyberpunk 2077 was without a doubt one of the most anticipated games of the Xbox One and PS4 Generation with its initial reveal back in 2012. When Keanu revealed the first launch date at E3 in 2019 of April 2020, our collective hype meter went through the roof as we wanted to see what CD Projekt Red could do with a new IP after moving on from the success of The Witcher series.

Why Cyberpunk 2077 was delayed twice in 2020 seemed to make sense, fix the bugs, get all the glitches sorted, however, the launch on PC, had me both laughing and angry at the same time. Firstly want to state that in the first hour or so of my review playthrough I did not run into any major problems. Once I hit hour 2 my experience began to change exponentially for the worse, since Cyberpunk 2077 was marketed as an open-world game I started to explore Night City, and let me just say for a game marketed as having a lively city and NPC's with full day and night cycle, I can categorically say this is incorrect, the NPC's in Cyberpunk 2077 are more like Non-Participating Citizens :(

As we get into the crux of the review, please note as a transparency policy we always make it our priority to review a PC game that has high end recommended specs with hardware that is as close to the game's minimum and recommended requirements as a benchmark so you know what to expect if you are not running on any of the high-end hardware:

  • OS: Win 10 64-bit
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-4770
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM

Keep in mind I ran the game on High settings, occasionally reaching below 30fps

Technical & Graphical Optimization

Cyberpunk 2077 when it is running smoothly has some of the best-looking shots and environments; from Night City’s bright neon lights, the realistic rain, the punk-metal buildings, and futuristic cars, these all contribute to making the experience as V a whole lot enjoyable, plus the photo mode lets you capture both the graphical nightmares which pop up in the game and the gorgeous city landscape while you take a break from taking on Arasaka. However, at times the optimization of the game is dismal, for example during a gunfight taking on one of the Maelstrom strongholds my game hit 20 frames per second and though it is obviously playable, the frame drops in key moments of the game ruin the immersion.

Upon the release of the 1.0.4 patch it seemed to improve some of the frame rate issues, however, the biggest thing overshadowing the game is all the crashes and glitches that invade your game to the point of forcing you to frequently reload the game from your previous save. The longer I played the more rendering and content pop in issues occurred, another case in point, I was driving my bike and a whole building would render in front of me only once I made an impact with the wall. One good aspect on the graphical side of the game is the main story character models, they look great, not only are they visually appealing, but the features of each character from the facial expressions to the various augmentations really pull you into the world of Night City. Even with the bugs and glitches, graphically it is one of the best looking games of 2020, and I am certain that CD Projekt will solve all these technical issues with more of the patches in 2021.

Customizations & Character Config

The customization of V starts from setting up his/her physical appearance, in my playthrough, I chose the male V body, however, note you then can independently choose the tone of voice as well as which genitalia you best prefer. The options allow you to modify the body from a good amount of presets, customization of the face, nails, teeth, piercings, make-up, tattoos, visible scars.

As you can see below, we went with a generic V as the game is played in First-Person and you will not see your character apart from the various mirror activations in the game. Apart from that, the things you will be using are the various attributes which reach a maximum of 20 levels. These points determine both a series of key elements of the character from health, stamina, armor, damage, and stealth. As with most RPG's every attribute is linked to a variable number of skill trees, which you should keep an eye on as you will need to upgrade certain things to be able to defeat various bosses.

As you level up your character you earn perk points to be applied to the 5 attributes and skills, keep in mind that these attributes alongside the cyberware upgrades if done correctly can make you near invincible. Regarding the cyberware, these are your body enhancing upgrades some to be mounted on the torso, legs, head and arms. As with most upgrades, you can add certain parts to certain sections of the body and with mounted enhanced eyes, enhanced legs for high jumps, arms with deadly extensions including the epic Mantis Blades you will be an unstoppable force against the Arasakas.

As far as customizations go in Cyberpunk 2077, the character and weapon customizations should be enough, however as someone who loves to upgrade and improve cars in the various games I play, it is disappointing that you are unable to customize or upgrade the various cars in Night City.

Story & Gameplay

No matter how many times the bugs reared their ugly heads, Cyberpunk 2077's narrative always brought me back into another session, CD Projekt Red has not only brought the Cyberpunk characters to life and make this game the natural extension of the paper role-playing game, but this looks set to become a franchise. The main missions and story is well scripted and enthralling at times, even though some parts of the story lacks choice and is more linear, many decisions you make during the course of the game does not really change how the story goes down the line, unless you chose a specific dialogue near the end of the game, since there are multiple endings.

In Cyberpunk 2077 main story characters behave in a way that a certain mission or event has already been done, when in reality we did not actually do them, so in that aspect, the narrative gets a bit muddled, however, you will still know what is going on as Cyberpunk 2077 plot does not get too convoluted. For a choice-driven game this did ruin my immersion in a few missions knowing that I did not complete something yet I managed to progress in the missions.

Whether you are doing the main missions or side missions, engaging in firefights or driving, the biggest drawback is the game's lack of artificial intelligence, let me give you two examples so understand why I am frustrated with the AI, in many cases the NPCs or as I call them Non-Participating Citizens do exactly the same thing, when you steal a car the NPC just crouches next to the car, should you fire a weapon they will most likely run away, but not in a way that makes sense when a person is faced with danger. The other is the horrible law enforcement AI, in all scenarios I have been in when I commit a crime your wanted level goes up and the police will be dispatched, but not in the way you know like in the GTA or Mafia games, the police will spawn in the place you are in within seconds and begin their assault on V. The upside to the spawning cops is should you leave the room or place and go down the block the Police forget about you and your wanted level goes down.

Overall the gameplay mechanics are decent, the driving in the game is not on par with other similar games in the same genre (Nowhere near the quality of titles like GTA V or Mafia III) but it works, the car selection is diverse between motorcycles and cars with some of the best-looking interiors with the futuristic style makes your driving experience way better, however, the lack of traffic in some sections make you forget you are in a populated city. There is plenty to be disappointed at, however, I can see what CD Projekt are trying to achieve with bringing this IP to life, however, they should have taken more time to fix all the problems because I had a great time playing Cyberpunk 2077 when I stuck to the main story, and that is the issue, too many technical issues overshadowing what should have been 2020's best game until then the fixes and updates need to keep rolling in, and hopefully the game is heading to what was promissed in 2018 & 2019.

Mediocre

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Genre: Action role-playing
Release: 10 December 2020
Publisher: CD Projekt | Developer: CD Projekt Red
Out On: PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, Series X | S

6

Cyberpunk 2077 is a game that has a lot to offer in terms of Story and interesting characters but somehow Night City is missing something critical. Its potential is halted by the performance issues, the lack of optimization, and the fact that much of the content that was showcased earlier this year was completely cut and has left me dissapointed.

In the end the game does not live up to what was promised, I would wait for the 2021 patches.

Positives
  • Entertaining story
  • Character development
  • Soundtrack is perfect
  • Decent selection of weapons/upgrades
Negatives
  • Too many bugs & glitches
  • NPC AI is almost non existent
  • Graphical optimization is poor
  • Lacklustre open-world elements
  • Linear story paths with not much choice

Boris Bulj

Editor-In-Chief

With an unhealthy obsession with Coffee and Gaming, Boris uses his obsessions to fuel his passion for the gaming community. An avid fan of First Person Shooters, RPGs, if it's got explosions he's playing it. Most likely drinking coffee and playing an FPS right now :)