Cyberpunk 2077 First Impressions

I heard about the rough launch of Cyberpunk 2077 and at the time I had little interest in the game. After getting a Series X and needing something to play on it, a free trial of Cyberpunk had its appeal. This is updated from the original launch and I’ve now had some time with it.

Character creation does appearance which doesn’t bother me in first person. We get to choose a background and starting stats, the background had some effect on the game with special dialogue choices being available and the stats came in in a similar way. I don’t know if the background changes anything because I didn’t have time to try multiple playthroughs.

Dialogue is excessive, with lots of cutscenes and a fair few times where I needed to pick an option, usually one choice to further the story with others for information. I did see a few instances where it looked like my choice could effect the outcome of a situation so that could be cool.

It let me drive a car in an open desert environment and climb a Far Cry style tower which all looked very nice before sending me into the dark, neon lit Night City. This is where I started properly following a story, meeting characters and having quests given to me. This is where a lot was established; the underground criminal activity, the Militech who were a brutal and oppressive police power, an empire and terrorist groups. It was a lot to try take in. Plus there’s futuristic technology like being part cyborg and having enhancements. Everything was leading up to one big job.

I felt pretty weak for most of my time with the game. Probably time is needed to gain upgrade perks, better weapons and more levels but it took forever to kill anything. There were some car chase shooting scenes that felt dull because of my weakness and there were a few bits where stealth came in handy, stealth which is thought out and includes body hiding as well as enemy alert levels. The biggest problem I had with combat was during the most epic fight, everything was on fire, robots and Militech were attacking which meant my gangster buddies needed to fight through them with me, at which point the frame rate plummeted to the point where I thought I might have to restart my console. The guns felt pretty good with recoil and stuff when it was working.

This shows the HUD which is a bit crowded, an enemy and a civilian. Plus me with a gun out.

We get more of the tech side with camera hacking leading to manipulation of electronics (Watchdogs style) plus a number matching minigame that was used sometimes. There’s also something called Braindance where you watch a video and pick out key elements from heat, sound and vision to try find clues to a key item, this idea could be very good as a puzzle game for murder mysteries or something so I like the idea of seeing more of it.

Plot wise, it was pretty predictable for a while. The heist being the focus meant something was always going to happen at that point and it was a decent climax with some nicely done emotional bits thrown in. It lets you feel the real potential of power too by letting you play as Johnny (the Keanu Reeves character) for a little bit and use a good gun as well as shoot fire from your fist before explaining how he comes into the story which all seems interesting.

I’ve had a reasonably good time with this trial. It’s a very slow starter and a bit more action would have been appreciated but as a story piece it’s pretty strong so far. Did it do enough to make me buy it? No. A mix of bad timing with all the games coming out February/March and the thought that a few more updates may bring it up a bit more. I’ll get it at some point so yes, I could recommend, but it’ll wait for now.

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