Cyberpunk 2077 is both cyber and punk, and lives in his best moments up to the high expectations.
Blade Runner was probably too optimistic in its vision for the future. At least in its almost restrained image of commercialism. Los Angeles 2019 is a depressing place, but at the same time very aesthetically pleasing. Cyberpunk 2077 is certainly also damn beautiful in many ways, but does not shy away from wallowing in a tastelessness at first feels like scattered, but over time increasingly logical.
Night City has a distinct, sad beauty in the midst of all the filth. It gives me goosebumps to look down into a dirty, rainy alley and see the alluring neon lights twinkling in the dark. Or to look out from a footbridge, and see the impressive architecture of the almighty corporate skyscrapers. Even the run-down old factories have a remarkable kind of beauty – from a distance. But when I stand there and look out over this well-designed spectacle, I am greeted by a happy face. A wide smiling man, who lacks several teeth, looks straight up into a big ass. It’s so ugly, so tasteless and so incredibly logical.
In a world where people, both bodies and minds, have become pure commodities, it is reflected everywhere. In people’s attitudes, in advertising, in the entertainment industry. IN Cyberpunk 2077 The big companies’, so-called “corps”, view of us as wear and tear has become our view of ourselves – something that is sold around the clock with the ever-present advertising. It is one of the most interesting pieces in the CD Project Red’s long awaited role-playing game. The characters you meet on the street usually hate companies and their fullness of power, but they know no other reality than this, and have nevertheless internalized much of the human view that permeates the society that shaped them.
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What is it?
The long-awaited role-playing game based on the paper and pencil game of the same name.
CD Projekt Red
CD Projekt Red
16 GB RAM
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Heat in the dark
Now, however, is not Cyberpunk 2077 only a single long, cynical, amoral satire. The most surprising, and gratifying, thing about the game is that it also dares to be very warm and human at times. It works very well as a contrast to the icy society around, to see people who try to find meaning in each other, and create their little oases of community and friendship.
One such oasis is the friendship between the main character V and Jackie Welles – your first ally in the inhospitable megacity Night City. You meet more potential friends during the game, but it is the troublesome and a bit charmingly classy Jackie who takes you under his wings already in the beginning of the game.
Some of the game’s very best sequences are when you just hang out with other characters, and get to know them. I did not think I would be so attached to the broken poor people I met in Night City, but damn if they do not crawl under the skin of me, looking all the way into the heart. A funeral sequence in particular is very nicely written, as well as several other dialogue sequences, often after traumatic events.
At one point, another character experiences severe trauma, and is close to death. I try to put a comforting hand on her side, but she just shakes slightly, as if to remove it. A very small and simple gesture, which still made me feel so powerless. In its best moments both pipes and inserts Cyberpunk 2077 in the heart, if every other.
The Keanu Reeves factor
You can of course be a pig against everyone you meet, but it is not recommended for a first replay – as you will miss too many of the game’s very best moments then. There is a point in playing like a bitter pig in a cyberpunk game, of course, but no matter how you choose to play, you will be morally dubious in every possible way anyway, even if you choose to let your loved ones in. on life.
There are also plenty of other characters who fill the ass quota with gusto. Not least Keanu Reeves’ character – the nihilistic rock star terrorist Johnny Silverhand. Actually, it is a rather difficult-to-understand character, where the screenwriters totally refused to save on gunpowder. Silverhand is both a stubborn revolutionary and a disillusioned and deeply cynical misanthrope, and his war cry for change cuts a lot with his contempt for the people he says he wants to save. But Reeves sells him in, and his insanely overbearing attitude with associated oneliners is undeniably very entertaining.
We also get to play as Silverhand in some unstoppable sequences, and he has a bigger role in the game than I thought. Much bigger, even. But I do not want to say exactly how. Anyone hoping to hear Keanu Reeves deliver sarcasm on the assembly line will not be disappointed, anyway.
Choose a self
The character creator is a chapter in itself. It has been surrounded by some discussions, as you can choose between a few different shapes and sizes of snot, if you now want a snot. In fact, you are free to give whatever genitalia you want to whatever body type or voice you want. Or, if you prefer, keep your character genderless (which is shaped as if you are simply wearing lingerie), and even nippleless if you want to be really androgynous.
It could have had a few more choices, such as that a female voice could be called a man in the game. But it is still a character creator who goes further than most in terms of choices to create a character that suits one.
However, I would have liked to have even more hairstyles – preferably ugly ones – to choose from. But you can not get everything.
You also get to choose from three different backgrounds, and each has its own little introductions. They are short, but they provide different entrances into the packed gaming world. I would have liked to have seen these introductions a little longer, but this too is welcome.
The best of the three introductions is the one for corporate yuppie (or corpo, as it is called here), as it feels most cyberpunk. But the point is that all three give very different starting images of Night City. The nomad is the bully, the former gang member has grown up in the city’s alleys, and the corporate type has sold his soul to big business, for a life of relative luxury (but certainly not freedom).
Cracks in the facade
Unlike CD Project Red’s previous games, the masterful ones Witchergames, so be it Cyberpunk 2077 a first-person game (for the most part, you can thankfully change perspectives while driving). This means that the game ends up in the same compartment as the latter Falloutgames. So open role-playing games with plenty of action and shooting. However, I would say more that the game is reminiscent of Deus Ex in its very open approach. It’s easier here to avoid killing people, and sneaking through dangerous situations, and you can take on missions in quite different ways.
A hacker can use the environment in various ways to give himself advantages, lure away guards and so on. Or you trust your soft feet and sneak up like a weasel. Or you take the biggest puff you have and shoot wildly. The latter is the least fun option, though. The battles are not bad, but they are not the game’s strongest cards either.
Not least, the game’s buggy is noticeable in the battles. The AI can be a bit well-blown at times, and some graphics bugs can cause enemies to get stuck or ball out in other ways. The bugs are by far the game’s biggest problem at the time of writing. Some of them will be fixed in a day one patch, thankfully. But some others will probably take longer to fix.
Most of the game’s bugs appear to be graphics bugs. In any case, these are the ones I have encountered in the first place. Character models who get stuck in strange situations or float around instead of walking. I have not encountered many game-destroying bugs, and no crashes, though. On a couple of occasions, I have had to reload the last save point because an object has disappeared or a character has got stuck, but that’s all. With that said, all the graphics glitches are absolutely disturbing, as they can make me lose focus during otherwise very well-written sequences. It’s such a shame for a game that is otherwise so damn sharp in many ways.
Although Cyberpunk 2077 has an overall very strong script, so it can also tread a little crookedly from time to time. Mostly in the form of a little too cute replica shifts that take that heat I talked so much about a step too far, and get a little arranged. But it’s just occasional cues that sound a little fake sometimes.
Sometimes it can also be a little unnecessary, when it turns in the other direction and cynicism takes over in parody, with completely hard-boiled lines that probably should have been tightened up. But as I said – this is in occasional lines. A game that changes so much between different tones, themes and emotions can also be forgiven for occasional slips. It is rather surprising that it does not happen much more often. Overall, the script maintains a good level of the oh so important and lovable cyberpunk cynicism.
By and large, it’s a fascinating world to dive into, full of engaging stories and characters. I love the way the game handles several classic cyberpunk themes, not least identity – something I do not want to go into in more detail to avoid spoilers. Cyberpunk is a genre that likes to oscillate between the low-key subtle and the exaggerated. Cyberpunk 2077 succeeds very well in capturing all the nuances of the genre, and constantly throws itself between high and low, between melancholy, thoughtful dialogues and explosive action sequences and attitude-minded oneliners – for better or worse. But very, very good. It’s supposed to cause some discussion of high and low, but it’s how good science fiction should be. If there is nothing to say about it, it has not done its job. There are plenty of cracks in Cyberpunks facade, but it is not uncommon in just those cracks but find the most interesting things.
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A second opinion
No game I hold higher than The Witcher 3. I’m almost a little offended that PC Gamer only put 94% when it went. Well. The famous time may tell if Cyberpunk 2077 threatens my “best ever” place, but here and now it’s amazing. It is a brilliant work with a throbbing black, cynical cyberpunk heart. Yes, there are glitches that chafe and that occasionally lower the mood. But they are soon gone (okay?) And then instead there is a crowded Night City left where you build your own V and chart your path. A cyberninja? A katana fighter? A sniper? A little bit of everything? Always with the angel / devil Keanu “Reeves” Silverhand by your side. A campaign has been cut and I have already pressed new game again. Now I will play again in peace and quiet. I have been a nomad, now I intend to live the streetkid life. Or corpo…? Alas, just play it, and realize how much better the devil’s 2077 is than 2020.