“Cyberpunk 2077” is a beautiful game with a controversial catch
With the 7-year development of the recently Triple-A game “Cyberpunk 2077,” one might assume that it might be one of, if not the best video game to release in 2020. However, after seeing the disappointing launch and overall quality of “Cyberpunk”, gamers have directed their rage and frustration towards CD Projekt Red (CDPR), the developers of the game. After playing through the game, I feel that it is not as bad as gamers make it out to be, but still has problems that may sway away people interested in it.
People point out that the frustration stems from the advertisements and false promises CDPR has released leading up to the release of “Cyberpunk”. The flashy advertisements with Keanu Reeves highlighting different aspects of the game convinced gamers into thinking that it was going to be one of the best games of the generation. Yet, CDPR delivered an underwhelming game that did not meet the high expectations of people that were built over the 7-year development and failed to deliver on the many promises they made about the game.
I was hooked onto the game only two days before its launch, having only seen the previous Keanu Reeves “breathtaking” memes. My friends were constantly hyping it up for me, which ultimately led to me purchasing the game at launch on PC.
The characters and story created by CDPR are among the best I have experienced. It is set in the year 2077, in a dystopian city called “Night City,” located in-between San Francisco and Los Angeles. People in the world have started to replace their natural body parts with cybernetic ones, which is a key part of the game.
The story starts with you undergoing a dangerous heist that ends up killing your best friend, while also leaving you with the soul of Keanu Reeves’ character “Johnny Silverhand” stuck in your body. The rest of the game follows the two of you trying to figure out a way to get unstuck from each other. The two of you start off as bitter enemies, but over time you begin to befriend each other. The player has the power to decide the ending of the game through their previous in-game decisions. Seemingly unimportant choices early in the game may come back to haunt or help you in the end.
The player-driven story in my opinion really carries the entire game, as your actions truly have consequences and affect the characters deeply. When combined with the excellent motion capture cutscenes and voice acting, the game gets not only interesting but also emotional at times, as your moral compass is constantly tested when making controversial decisions in quests.
The characters CDPR has created are extremely in-depth and captivating. As you complete quests for them, you learn more about their background and their internal conflicts plaguing them and ultimately choose to either help them or ignore them. Combined with the aforementioned excellent motion capture and voice acting, you truly become immersed in the game and feel sympathetic towards the characters.
With all these pros being said, some argue that the cons heavily outweigh them and overall ruin the game.
The criticism stems from the abundance of glitches and bugs that not only ruin the immersion of the game but also can also be game-breaking sometimes. While I personally experienced little to no bugs in my thirty hours of gameplay, I cannot say that the majority of players had the same experience with the bugs as me. While most bugs and glitches are not game-breaking and can sometimes be hilarious, there are still some that can seriously impact your ability to play.
One bug caused people’s save files to become corrupted if the size of the file reached a certain size, forcing them to start over. While CDPR released an update to patch this bug, it did not help people recover their corrupted save files. Another bug that I personally experienced was getting stuck in the ground while using the “Mantis blades” weapon, which are hidden blades attached to your forearms. I couldn’t get out and had to resort to loading a different save file, causing me to redo an hour’s worth of progress.
People also criticize CDPR because of the game’s performance on certain systems. The game was developed with the last-gen consoles (PS4, XBOX One) in mind, and yet “Cyberpunk 2077” performs poorly on those systems, even to the point where the game becomes unplayable in certain parts. It received so much flak that Sony took down the game on the Playstation digital store. CDPR knew about the poor performance on last-generation consoles, as evident when they only allowed game reviewers to show preselected gameplay footage filmed by the company instead of their own. Even PC players are not safe from low frame rates, as many players (including myself), experienced frequent frame drops when in certain areas even when playing it on expensive computers.
With all that being said, I still personally enjoyed “Cyberpunk 2077”. CD Projekt Red absolutely nailed the characters and story of the game by making it engaging and interesting. However, they failed in ironing out all the bugs and fully optimizing the game to fit last generation console standards. I would not personally recommend the game to people who are either still playing on the last generation consoles or cannot stand periodic visual and technical glitches in games. If those do not apply to you, then I would certainly recommend it.