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Cyberpunk 2077 - Critique

Discussion around Cyberpunk 2077 has been interesting to say the least. I remember the amount of people who were excited when the E3 2018 trailer came out. CD Projekt Red, the developers behind the incredibly acclaimed The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, were adapting a classic tabletop RPG while also drawing inspiration from other pieces of cyberpunk work. It would have an expansive world brimming with detail, life populating every corner, and many adventures to be had. It was CD Projekt Red of course and they were praised for such things. Then they dropped the ball and revealed Keanu Reeves, one of the most famous and well respected actors out there, would play a role in the game and I think that’s what got a lot of people hooked. This team made what is considered one of the greatest RPGs of all time to a majority of gamers and they were getting ready to do it all over again. The ambition, drive, and passion showed as development went further. Cyberpunk 2077 could be the greatest game ever, but notice how I say could rather than would. Cyberpunk 2077 finally comes out in 2020 and it wasn’t what people were expecting, and not in a good way. A truck load of bugs, performance issues, and the many hard crashes across consoles made this one of the disappointing games in 2020. Not only that, but reports of crunch culture and workplace toxicity happening within CD Projekt Red. Crunch culture was at an all time high in 2020 and continues to be so. The fact CDPR, considered one of the best in the Triple A landscape, managed to get away with it for so long was hard to believe.

That wasn’t to say Cyberpunk 2077 was a bad game or that people didn’t enjoy. Gamers who had the hardware to properly run the game and remain bug free had a mostly swell time. If the game had not been released unfinished general reception would have been better. Flash forward today and things are looking a bit brighter. Terrible game launches aren’t forgettable, but when you can do it with time try to redeem yourself. Fix your game, remove the bugs, and try to make it what it should be at launch. Over the course of three years CD Projekt Red has been slaving away to make Cyberpunk 2077 better. During that time they hired Studio Trigger to make an anime for them, and slowly people got drawn back into the game. What was the most disastrous launch in recent memory became the biggest redemption story you could have. Cyberpunk 2077 was at last playable and it grew a following. A following willing to defend it front and back and consider it to be the greatest game of all time. Which is exactly what they envisioned when that 2018 trailer came out. The game is good, but then there’s me. Someone who honestly doesn’t care. I did not care when that E3 trailer came out, I did not care as they showcased more of the game up until release, and was glad he wasn’t extremely hyped as everyone raved how bad it was. I absolutely did not care what happened going forward and I still didn’t care when they finally fixed the mess they’ve made. It’s not that I hate the setting or what they’ve done, I just genuinely do not care.

Then I started to see the shift in tone when it came to reception for Cyberpunk 2077. We have a group of people who think it’s disappointing and even now think it’s not exceptional for CDPR to come out with a broken product originally, and we have a group of people who endlessly gush about ti and say the game deserves no criticism for how CDPR fixed it for CDPR cannot do any wrong for some reason. This reception is kind of what drew me into playing the game and that’s the scary part right there. So I caved and decided to give it a try this year. The Phantom Liberty DLC came out back in September and what better time to finally cover Cyberpunk 2077. I have beaten the game, done a good chunk of its side content, and managed to get into a relationship with one of the many side characters of the game. How do I say it without upsetting any of the die hard people surrounding this game? I think Cyberpunk 2077 is the most okay game I’ve ever played. It is not a terrible game and I expect a lot of general players to enjoy what is on offer. If you buy this game now you are getting your money's worth as it’s loaded full of content and can offer endless hours of play with the many endings you can achieve. I am one of many individuals who see video games as an art form and CDPR had something to say Cyberpunk compared to a lot of other game devs out there. Cyberpunk is not a bad game, but it’s not a good one either.

The more I played this game the more I started to notice the many things off with it and it’s not the bugs. To be honest, almost all the bugs present at launch are gone now and thankfully I had my PS5 to provide sturdy frame rate and performance. Despite the game being almost bug free now I still felt disappointed with this game. Tons of ideas that either felt shallow or they could’ve been pushed further to make a more compelling open world RPG. A game with a rich story and world where your actions actually matter. Again, not a bad game, just okay. The most okay game I have ever played and today I want to explain why I feel this way. I really wanted to be another one of my normal reviews, I really did. There’s just too much to talk about and I want to get it out of my head. Cyberpunk 2077 is the most okay game I’ve played and here’s why.

Part 1: My Honest Thoughts on CDPR

Before we can dive even further into Cyberpunk 2077 why not discuss the minds behind it. The ones people consider to be one of the best Triple A studios out there. CDPR and their history of making games. They started out as an indie studio and in 2007 they released an action RPG titled The Witcher. Inspired by the fantasy novel series under the same name. The Witcher was not a really good game when it came out. Tons of bugs and even when you get rid of them you have a finicky game to play. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? However, for this first game in a series it had a lot of promises and would pave the way for what came next. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, and compared to the first game this one was received really well. Considered one of the best of 2011 and a substantial improvement from their first big outing. Then they made The Witcher 3 and this is where CDPR skyrocketed into being a god tier studio. All the while the author of the novel series, Andrzej Sapkowski, maintained directive control and helped steer CDPR towards the right direction. The Witcher 3 has a lot of things people love about video games. The story is well written, there’s a ton of interesting lore to dive into, fun mechanics to engage with, and the ways quests could play out. Everyone loves The Witcher 3, and I don’t. This is where we dive over into my perspective and what I honestly think about CD Projekt Red and their work.

I really wanted to get into The Witcher 3. A lot of people consider this one of the best games ever made. It won Game of The Year in 2015, had a glowing reception, and people still talk about it to this day. My friends both in high school and college pushed me into checking it out as soon as possible and eventually I did. In 2021, I picked up a copy of this game and sat for 2 hours trying to get into it. Dropped it, came back the next day, and a week afterwards deleted it off my PS4. It was a very disappointing feeling and I recall how disgusted my friends looked when I told them this. They persuaded me to try it again and so I did. I pumped another five hours into it and then gave up entirely. I have seven hours in The Witcher 3 and while that doesn’t sound like a lot of time I wish I had put that time into another game. This game has a lot of things I do not like and it’s shameful because I’ve played games similar to it. Games with similar quest design, combat structure, and RPG mechanics and despite some of them doing RPG mechanics decently I prefer them more. Combat while not the main of The Witcher 3 feels like an afterthought. You bounce around like a ballerina, your attacks lack impact, and Geralt just feels really finicky to play with.

Everyone talks about how amazing the quest design is, but I’m doing exactly what I did in titles like Horizon Zero Dawn and Red Dead Redemption 2. Talk to an NPC, follow a dotted line on the radar, maybe walk alongside an NPC, get thrown into the combat, and then finish a quest and get a measly reward. Section where you investigate crimes or mysteries are not very mysterious when all you have to do is turn on your Witcher Senses and follow a trail of blood. As an RPG it fails on a lot of fronts with how very low the consequences for my actions were, and how unfun leveling up felt. The game has terrible exploration despite having open world elements, and even when I tried to explore I either came across an underwhelming discovery or something that quite punished me for trying to have fun. You can’t really create much of a build or playstyle, and to be honest the story absolutely did not connect with me. In some ways I feel like I was supposed to play previous games first, but at the same time not. This was supposed to be a new chapter in the storyline, but I believe the reason why I didn’t care was because the world and characters did not connect with me. Everyone is either an asshole or unlikable, and even though it’s better to have a flawed character than a perfect one that never improves or develops, that is not the first impression you want to give for your game. The Witcher 3 is a game made by people who love the series they are basing it off of, so it’s very much by fans for fans. I am not a fan, so no.

Now this brings us back to Cyberpunk 2077. I will say this is probably the most accessible and easy to get into between the two games. Unlike The Witcher 3 where it felt you needed extensive knowledge on the universe and characters you don’t need it with Cyberpunk. You can just hop right in and immediately understand what is going on. There’s a similar design philosophy which we’ll address later, but for right let’s address the elephant in the room. The launch and how they fixed this game since release. Where do I stand on this issue? I think it’s good that CPPR fixed this game since release, but that does not excuse the fact it came out broken and surrounded with crunch culture issues. I do not believe people should work harder than they should. If a studio or company gets away with this then don’t allow them to. I do not think a game should come out broken and you should absolutely follow the motto of “release first, fix it later.” That is one of the worst mottos a company could follow and I hate how that has become the standard now. You all know I’ve played and reviewed dozens of games by now, but average people do not have the money or time someone like me has. Bricky, a youtuber I follow stated it best. Reviewers, critics, journalists, streamers, and content creators all of whom are funded by their fans and sponsors should not be the base metric/audience for your game. Your base audience should be the general public. People who attend their daily jobs, struggle to pay bills, send their kids to school, and so on. At the end of the day they expect a fun game to play and what you instead serve them is a pile of slop. A pile of slop that is unplayable at launch but will be eventually.

People did not pay sixty dollars for the game to be good eventually. They expected it to be good now, which you should be delivering on. What’s baffling to me is how everyone forgave CDPR once they patch the game years later. Completely forget the crunch culture and bugs at launch. I’m sorry, but this does not bring you back to an honorable level. If anything you just lost a good portion of the audience hyped for the game originally, because now you’ve set a new standard that this may happen to your future products. That you will possibly release more broken games and that they should just lower their standards on what a good product should be. That is the problem I have with the discourse surrounding Cyberpunk 2077. Not just the launch, but how people were able to forget and set the bar lower than before. That is what I hate the most. Phew. Okay, so with that rambling out of the way let’s talk about the actual video game.

Part 2: A Lackluster Role to Play

In Cyberpunk 2077 you take on the role of V. Mercenary who takes on dangerous jobs within the bustling neon lit streets of Night City. Mankind has made numerous technological efforts for better and worse. You have more advanced weaponry, augmentations to expand what the human individual can do, robots to perform day to day tasks, and with all this fancy tech you have the economy skyrocketing higher than before as they try to get these products out there. With some of the augmentations and enhancements being literal weapons, crime rate is high in Night City and it becomes a place where you either go to die or if you have no other option. V came here to become a legend though as those who manage to survive long enough and do something within the shithole become renowned. V and his best friend spend the next years taking on jobs hoping they will become these legends. All is well until they take on a job that is more than what they can handle. Sneak into Arasaka Tower, steal a relic, witness a murder, get caught while sneaking out, and get injured during the process. Jackie dies and V almost dies as well if it were not for him inserting the relic into his head. V manages to survive but realizes he only has a few weeks to live and that the relic contained a personality construct. That being Johnny Silverhand, an old legendary rocker boy who opposed Arasaka and led a revolution. Johnny is slowly taking over the body of V, and V must embark on a mission to figure out how to save his life.

The story is serviceable enough as V figures out who he wants to become after all of this is done. Where he’ll stand in the world and the fate that lies for him. He meets a plethora of characters all of which have interesting stories of their own and you really feel for the struggles they are going through. Panam not wanting her tribe of Nomads to die out, Judy losing a person she loved in the worst way possible, Ward witnessing his nephew get involved in the criminal underworld, and so on. These are good people going through terrible times and you can help make their lives better or worse if you want. The story is fine, but how is Cyberpunk 2077 as an RPG? How does it test your skills to make the right decisions, and how involved is the player in the story? The answer is that it doesn’t do a good job with any of those questions I brought. Cyberpunk 2077 is very bare bones when it comes to making the player feel involved and part of it is due to how V does not feel like a character of your own making. V is what the writers wanted him to be, and despite achieving that goal a lot of the magic of what makes a narrative RPG where your actions and have drastic consequences is lost. A great example of this are the three backgrounds you can start with at the beginning of the game and how much wasted potential is behind them.

You have Nomad, Street Kid, and Corpo. Either grow up outside of Night City in a small tribe that most likely dissolved, within the city and know the criminal underworld, and work for the company that practically owns it. You go through a one to two hour opening showing how you eventually became a mercenary and it’s really cool. It's setting up the background for V and how they may either tackle or be seen in future events. Thing is it doesn’t matter what background you end up choosing. You don’t get bonuses or downsides for what you are and this makes them feel so pointless. Imagine having connections with the company you possibly worked for and being given high tech tools to tackle your jobs, because they have the funding to provide you the gear. Imagine if a street kid could use his knowledge of the Night City gangs to his advantage and know what territory to evade if a gang controlled the area. Stuff like that would have made the three backgrounds more special and it sucks they add very little to roleplaying. The only time your background actually matters or is brought is during conversations, but even these moments are wasted. You can bring up your history as a Nomad in Panam’s questline and it honestly does not change how they think of you. I say this is because I did this countless times whenever I was provided the option. What matters is whether you do the questline or not, other than that nothing. If you were a former corporate worker, whom the tribe sees as a threat as a corpo could possibly report their actions, they won’t care because your participation in their storyline is what gets them to favor you. Speaking of actions and the consequences for them….

There are not a lot of moments in this game where the player’s action has consequences. Sure you are being involved in the driving plot and doing things that affect other characters in the world, but you are being railroaded into set outcomes. Judy’s friend will always die later in the story. Ward will always save his nephew no matter how late into the game you do it. Panam will end up leading her clan into tomorrow. Whether they get to those endings or not is if you do their questlines, but personal choices within them don’t exist. Committing crimes in public does not wield any consequences as the law enforcement doesn’t do much to take you down and forget about you if you get away. In fact, one of the promises for this game was to have a complex law force who would stop at nothing to take you down as they scrapped it as it was too much to program. Biggest offense is when you commit what is basically an act of terrorism in the main story and the game just throws it out the window like nothing happened. For example, I had to sneak into an Militech facility to hack a float, but the environment was not built around stealth and the quiet way in required me to hijack a truck. The only way to do that is to shoot the driver, but that then alerted the guards and they knew I was coming. I then shot the entire place and left a trail of bodies while on the way out. They should have wanted posters up for what I did. They had tons of cameras lying around which caught a glimpse of my face. I should have had a swat team coming after me, but no the game just ignores it. Same applies to any quest where you just shoot an entire place up. Other games do this too, but it’s prevalent here because it’s a narrative RPG where choices matter. My choices absolutely did not matter in the long run.

Part 3: A False Sense of Urgency

One of the driving plot points for Cyberpunk 2077 is that you are slowly dying. The chip which contains the personality construct of Johnny is slowly making V fall apart, and when that time runs out V will either die or fully become Johnny Silverhand. Losing total control of their body and any memories of who they once were. So it’s important that you find out how to get rid of or part ways with Johnny as soon as possible. However, this is one of the reasons why the story of Cyberpunk 2077 didn’t work for me. The tension and stakes are high, but the game never truly makes you feel like that. It’s because for a game that acts like you should be rushing through the main story as soon as possible you can spend as much time as you want wandering around the world. No punishment for wasting time or spending in-game months going on wacky adventures. Moments where V starts running out of time to live are usually during story moments, and these moments are scripted so the timer for which how long you have to live doesn’t exist. If there is no pressure surrounding a plot where tension is high then what you have is what I and several others call “a false sense of urgency.” This isn’t the first time this has happened as plenty of other games have struggled with this too. Despite my love for both, Arkham City and Arkham Knight experience the exact same thing. The countdown to Protocol 10 is announced over the speakers with each passing in-game hour in Arkham City, and Scarecrow is constantly threatening what is left of Gotham City in Arkham Knight. However, you can spend as much time you want doing side activities and the game never punishes it for you. What makes this problem worse is that there’s no way to solve it. Having urgency can actually bring up more problems.

Going back, let's say Cyberpunk 2077 did have more urgency. There’s a ticking timer in the right corner of the screen saying how long you have to live and you have to achieve all goals before it runs out. Push the player to play more effectively and maybe introduce a system to extend the time you have. There’s this one indie I love called Unsighted and it has a mechanic where you and the lives of other robots are coming to a halt. You must collect a rare resource to extend this time, but this resource can also be used to increase your healing syringes. There’s risk and that’s what makes Unsighted work. In the case of Cyberpunk though it wouldn’t work as well. You have to remember this is an expansive open world game filled with quests, content, and discoveries. If you were to introduce urgency into this game then half of that open world is being thrown into the bin. Players are not gonna explore it or do side content because they are worried they won’t have enough time for it. They’ll just drive on over to the next story mission and forget everything else exists. On one hand your plot doesn’t work because there is no urgency, but on the other hand if you did put urgency in it would ruin a lot of elements in your game. Personally, I say Cyberpunk 2077 should have been a game smaller in scope. Unsighted worked because it was a tightly packed top down adventure with an easy to navigate world and dungeons. A genre I was hoping Cyberpunk 2077 would embrace was the immersive-sim. Games that aren’t large in scope, but have a ton of mechanical depth and replayability. Imagine if they made a game like that of Prey or even Deus Ex, which is ironic that I bring Deus Ex up because that game takes place in a cyberpunk dystopia. Why not have a small interconnected world instead of big one which to be honest have a list of copy pasted activities dotted around. Would have made your game and exploration better, and plot would’ve worked.

Part 4: Why Leveling Sucks

It wouldn’t be an RPG if there weren’t different stats and perks to level up and Cyberpunk has a lot to choose from. You have five core stats: body, intelligence, cool, reflexes, and technical. All of which have priorities in different fields and have a butt load of perks to choose from. Now a lot of the perks are pretty cool and get you to consider what playstyle you might want to adapt. I put quite a few points into Cool so I ended up mastering a field in that category and one of them was gaining Focus whenever I aimed down a precision rifle or pistol which I used a lot during my playthrough. Allowed me to better my aim and make getting those tricky headshots much easier. You also have skills which were added in the 2.0 update. These are basically lesser stats which level up whenever you do something related to. There’s shinobi, solo, engineer, netrunner, and headhunter. For example, the more you perform stealth takedowns the more that the shinobi skill will increase with time. The more you kill enemies the more the headhunter skill goes up. There’s a lot of things to consider when leveling up, but how much of it is actually good? No, as I realized besides the usage of weapons and basic combat skills these stats, perks, and skills did not really change how I ended up interacting with the world. How I approached every problem.

During some of the quests they give you a secondary way of moving forward. This can come in various forms like a door that can be forced open if you have enough points in Body, or a terminal you can hack with enough points put into Intelligence. You have alternate options, but the game doesn’t incorporate alternate solutions well for two reasons. One, they don’t do much to change how you acquire your goal but rather how you get into a building. Two, the game will often guide you towards using the simplest solution and still works. Part of the reason why you are never rewarded for investing in certain stats is because the developers most likely wanted every player to be able to easily acquire a goal. So they had to make the basic route and a second option to occasionally make the investor feel smart. However, what this leads to is every single player playing almost identically because there’s no room for experimentation. Hbomberguy made an easy video on Deus Ex: Human Revolution and it runs into a similar case. You are not rewarded for specializing in specific abilities, and even if you do you most likely hoard all your level up points for when a section requiring a specific power pops up. It’s not just quest solutions that suffer from this problem. Stats can also offer different proposals to say during conversations, but as we said earlier not a lot of the things you do or say matter. The conversations play out the same no matter what you choose and this further makes investing in certain stats feel worthless.

Let’s look at a game that came out ten years before Cyberpunk did, Fallout: New Vegas. It had a very similar concept of allowing stats to play roles outside their basic purposes, but it worked it would actually change how you approached problems or where conversations led. You need to have enough points in Explosive to convince a guy to lend you his grenades. You need enough points in Science to redirect the coordinates of these rockets. You need enough Medicine to heal all the injured folks in this clinic. Barter, a skill usually used to decrease the value of sold goods, can actually be used against the final boss of the game. Stat investments in New Vegas feel good and are worthwhile because they change the approachability of the game whereas Cyberpunk is none of those things. It feels like they needed some resemblance to the tabletop version, so they tack on stats and perks for the sake of having them. In fact, you probably won’t unlock a lot of perks for each tree because there seems to be a quantity over quality problem. I was level thirty by the end of the game and a small handful of perks unlocked out of the dozens available. The way the skills level up is fine as it rewards dedicating yourself towards your actions, but it too falls apart when you realize either the amount of grinding you’ll have to do or that sometimes you pick up shards which instantly boost these skills removing any dedication you would have to do. Leveling up doesn’t feel good, because there’s nothing to be invested in.

Part 5: Many Choices, Simple Combat

Now, why do I have this section? I mentioned that combat wasn’t the focus of The Witcher 3 and the same could apply here. Well this is a critique and I’m trying to analyze the aspects that pop out to me the most. The combat of Cyberpunk is something that could’ve been great because the stuff that is here is pretty good. There are a variety of weapons to choose from and each type has a distinct function. Guns are satisfying to wield and melee combat isn’t as sloppy as something like The Elder Scrolls. Combat can be pretty fun when you get thrown into it, but of course there are flaws. Each weapon type is distinct, but Cyberpunk 2077 follows the philosophy of Borderlands in that weapons seem to be dumped onto you constantly. Every enemy killed seems to drop a new gun for you to wield and you can be carrying twenty of them at a time. You have a lot of tools, but not a whole lot of the guns you wield feel unique. A pistol is a pistol and a pump action shotgun will do what it does no matter what its stats and color is. You have this tier and rarity system tied to weapons as well and if anything it devalues the loot you get. What ever happened to having a set number of guns with distinct purposes and not making them feel like randomly generated copies. Look at something like Remnant: From The Ashes where you loot a ton of guns but each one feels well made and rounded. Even Halo 3 in 2007 despite all the guns you pick up feel distinct. The rocket launcher feels different to a fuel rod cannon or a brute shot, and you don't have copies of either three with minor changes.

There is a very low amount of enemy variety and most of the time you’ll just be fighting basic crooks wandering around the streets. Which is a shame looking back at The Witcher 3 and the many monsters you could encounter during your adventures. They do what you expect. Try to flank around you, take cover, and bombard you with bullets. They are threatening on paper, as it then turns out their AI is pretty bad. Even after several patches they don’t do much to avoid your attacks or pressure you out of cover. In fact, they don't do a lot of damage. I was playing on the normal setting which isn’t very high, but I don’t think I died much besides the final boss. Your attacks do so much damage a basic guy falls apart in three shots, so you’re just breezing through fights and the difficulty and threat of being sacked in public is lowered. Then every so often you have a boss fight or someone with cyberpsychosis in the world, which are basically optional boss fights. How do they make them difficult? Easy, give them a bit more health than a typical enemy. That is not how you are supposed to do it. That’s not to say these types of foes are made harder, because they are still really easy. They just take way longer than they should to kill, and these transform what should have been epic important story fights into bullet spongy slogs.

Arena design is all right. You have a lot of room to move around in and there’s a ton of verticality, but due to the dumb as rocks AI it means enemies wander in the open for you to just shoot at them. Stealth feels poorly accommodated as none of the environments are built around it. If anything it’s another after thought. Yahtzee Croshaw made a video asking where all the stealth games are now, and one point he mentions is how every open world has stealth in it. Not for the sake of being a stealth game, but for the sake of having stealth. An option which the majority of players won’t use as it’s the most boring option to take. Melee opponents are trivial as all you need is a decent melee weapon and parry them each time they attack as the parry window seems to be f*cking ginormous. The dodge mechanic is wonky as hell as it doesn’t always give you invincibility frames. Like there’s a lot to unravel. I can tell they wanted to engage in combat. It’s fine the game doesn’t have complex combat, because let’s be honest not everyone is good at FPS games, but there’s so much they could’ve done.

Part 6: Crash Upon Landing

The ending is good for what it is, but honestly feels underwhelming to me. We spend all this time trying to fight for our life and discover who we want to be if we possibly survive. We met all of these likable characters and now our final mission is to storm Arasaka Tower. We form an epic plan to get in, manage to do so, witness countless individuals sacrifice our lives for our sake, and finally we can set ourselves free. We do just that and either regain full control of our body or let Johnny live. We go on with our lives and the credits roll. All seems well, but not for me. I look back at a game like Fallout: New Vegas or Horizon Zero Dawn where depending on how much of the side content you do more side characters will show up to help during the final battle. How it was an ultimate reward for deciding certain dates for certain factions. It made pouring more time into those games worthwhile whereas Cyberpunk just makes us choose between ourselves, having Rogue help us, or Panam and the Aldecaldos. Not necessarily bad choices as the reasons why they help you are good, but it would’ve been nice to see other allies support you. Now this could be me and choosing one ending, but imagine Judy using her technique to help get through Arasaka systems. Having a gang you possibly aid storm the tower alongside you. See NPCs you helped during hardships come to your assistance. That would’ve made side content much more valued. The final boss against Adam Smasher isn’t particularly great in my opinion because it’s the only ounce of challenge in the entire game and it does a very bad job preparing you for it. His missiles kill you so quickly and it’s like compared that to the little indent enemies dealt to me. It's oddly balanced which is weird.

The fact you choose whether you or Johnny takes control of your body seems like a bad choice in a writer’s perspective because it makes gaining Johnny’s trust meaningless. There’s a whole scene where Johnny talks about taking a bullet for V when the time comes and it’s powerful. It shows Johnny, an old school jackass, realized his time has come and that he can’t live forever. All his old friends have either died or moved on, and the world he once knew is no more. Sure he could continue living in the body of an idiot dumb enough to insert his personality construct in them, but that would be kind of wrong. Johnny sacrifices himself for V not just because V has a life ahead of themselves, but also because he came to accept who he is and that there has to be some way to redeem everything he has done. That’s how I saw it and goddamn the game ruined it by having this choice. Ghost of Tsushima did something like this too near its end, but at least that game it was a decision whether you carve an honorable path for yourself or become a corrupt killer fueled by nothing but vengeance. This does not work. This does not work at all and…. I’m really f*cking tired guys.

Let’s just wrap it up.

What Could've Been

Cyberpunk 2077 feels like a game that didn’t want to take too many risks. It played with a lot of safe ideas and in the end became an acceptable game. An acceptable game held down by bugs at launch, and when fully patched people mistaken it for a great game when in reality the standards were kind of lowered. If you were to pick each part bit by bit you realize how average the whole thing really is. A story that struggles to work, shallow RPG systems, lack of meaningful and thought-provoking consequences for your actions, unengaging combat, and room for what could have been more. This is Cyberpunk we are talking about. A genre that can explore themes such as transhumanism, mass corporatization, what defines a human being, and so much more. Those themes are prevalent but there are so many pieces of media that do it better. Look at classics such as the original Blade Runner and Ghost in A Shell. Two timeless masterpieces that were ahead of their time and are remembered fondly for what they had to present. Cyberpunk 2077 is going to be talked about for years to come, but I don’t feel like it’s going to have a significant impact. A takeaway is the influence other devs can learn from besides not releasing a broken game. It is OKAY at best and that’s the reason why I created this whole essay rather than a review. It is just fine and I don’t understand why people are treating it like the messiah of video games or offense against the lord. It is fine and what you make of it shall determine whether it’s worth your time and money. That’s all for today. Hope you’re all doing well.

Gonna go play a good game now.

7/10, Okay

This critique was written by the single man at Review on. Stay tuned for more content and feel free to check more reviews out over at my site!


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