Cyberpunk 2077 - PC (Steam) Review

cyberpunk_2077_splash Cyberpunk 2077 - PC (Steam) Review

So this was the most anticipated game of the decade?

  • System: PC (Steam, GOG, Epic), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Stadia
  • Publisher: CD Projekt RED
  • Developer: CD Projekt RED
  • Release Date: December 10, 2020

Cyberpunk 2077 — Official Launch Trailer — V

Who it Caters to

cyberpunk_2077_splash Cyberpunk 2077 - PC (Steam) Review

Set in a futuristic dystopian city, Cyberpunk 2077 is an action-adventure game with RPG elements. Although it has been marketed as a role-playing game with lots of customization options, in reality, it's just a first-person shooter with a somewhat thought-provoking narrative. That means you'll be using your guns a lot, which ultimately limits your role-playing options.

To put it simply, Cyberpunk 2077 is closer to Just Cause, Far Cry or GTA than it is to the likes of Fallout, Vampire: The Masquerade, or other games based on pen-and-paper RPG franchises.

What to Expect

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Oh, expectations...

Since the announcement of Cyberpunk 2077, we were all led to believe it was going to be the best video game ever, a genre-defining game that would kickstart the new generation with mind-blowing graphics and a huge open world full of things to do and characters to meet. In its current state, Cyberpunk 2077 is far from meeting those claims, and we'll talk about that in the Gameplay section.

There's nothing new or revolutionary in Cyberpunk 2077, so you can expect the same things you would expect in any other action-adventure game, really.


cyberpunk_2077_splash Cyberpunk 2077 - PC (Steam) Review
This is a hard one, considering all the glitches and performance issues we experienced. On the one hand, Cyberpunk 2077 looks amazing and we really dig most of the artistic choices involving Night City and its surroundings, but you need a beefy PC with top-tier hardware to actually feel like you're playing a next-gen—more like current-gen already—game.

If you don't own a powerful GPU (and let us remind you all the latest GPUs are out of stock right now) you won't be able to take Cyberpunk 2077 to the next level. Yes, the game looks great and we love the sights Night City has to offer, but it's nothing otherworldly. In fact, the game needs a few patches to fix the performance issues and bugs, from some blurry textures to invisible/glitchy objects.

It's worth mentioning that we played the game on a high-end PC, since console players were reporting Cyberpunk 2077 was virtually unplayable at launch because of all these problems.

Sound, Music

cyberpunk_2077_splash Cyberpunk 2077 - PC (Steam) Review
One of the best things Cyberpunk 2077 has to offer is its OST. Of course, it will take some time to process all these futuristic sounds and music genres, but all songs truly fit this adventure. Sadly, most of the songs are unlicensed, so listening to your car's radio while driving through Night City feels nothing like blasting bops on GTA. Background music is on point, though, especially while you're in the middle of a fight!

Another thing we want to praise is the voice acting. It's hard to fall in love with the characters because of the poor narrative/dialogues, but that's not the actors' fault. For what it's worth, the way they talk and interact sounds natural and convincing once you ignore how cringe-worthy some lines are...


cyberpunk_2077_splash Cyberpunk 2077 - PC (Steam) Review
Cyberpunk 2077 plays and looks like any other recent action-adventure game. That's not bad per se, but it's disappointing when you realize how many of us were counting the days to finally try this promised masterpiece.

One of the things we don't like about it is right at the start: the gimmicky customization options. Yes, you can pick your background (Corpo, Street Kid, or Nomad) and decide how big your junk is, but that changes nothing in terms of gameplay. At first, we were happy to see how inclusive the options are, but that's meaningless if you can't actually role-play. And why would you spend your precious time creating a character that you will only see in the gear menu or when looking in the mirror? Your character won't even be visible in the cutscenes!! Oh, and back to the inclusive options, the lack of true role-playing and how they hard-lock the romance options to your body type and voice, for example, defeats the purpose of the whole system.

Cyberpunk 2077 tries to do everything at once, and that's why it fails to shine. It tries to be immersive and make you feel represented by how your character looks and feels, yet none of your choices are actually meaningful or addressed by the story. It tries to be edgy by touching on important yet taboo topics like technological body upgrades, social discrimination through technology, and megacorporations controlling the world, but the narrative is weak so these themes are never fully explored. It tries to give you different solutions to the same problem when it comes to the quests, but your character build rarely works as intended because of how unrealistic the requirements are.

cyberpunk_2077_splash Cyberpunk 2077 - PC (Steam) Review
Let's talk about character builds. Every character has 5 main stats, being Cool (affecting stealth and the Cold Blood status), Body (affecting your athletics, brawling skills, and annihilation capabilities), Intelligence (affecting your hacking skills), Reflexes (affecting the use of blades, rifles, SMG and handguns) and Technical Ability (affecting your crafting and weapon/gear upgrading skills). All these can go up to level 20, but your character level cap is 50, so you won't be able to max everything.

The same goes for your skills. The more you use a skill, like hacking stuff, crafting weapons, or killing enemies with a specific weapon, the better passive bonuses you will unlock, as all these skills can go up to level 20 too—in this case, you can level up everything, regardless of any skill points. In addition to all this, by leveling up a certain main stat, you will also unlock passive and active perks, like increased health and defense, reduced reloading times, or the capacity to shoot while carrying a body, to name a few.

With all the available options, it sounds tempting to stop and think about how to build your character, making the gameplay more enjoyable and more fitting to your playstyle. Unfortunately, you'll need to farm a lot of exp and spend a lot of points to complete a build, so it's more likely to finish the game before you can actually enjoy your character at its finest. In our case, we finished the game after 40 hours (the main story is only about 20 hours long, but we did a lot of side-quests), and our character was only level 25. Kinda the same happens with the requirements of some weapons and gear. By doing side-missions, you earn Street Cred, reputation points that will help you unlock more side-quests but also are a requirement to some weapons, clothing, and body modifications.

Let's say you want some legendary body modifications, like the best Mantis Blades... well, that's 45 Street Cred points and several thousand Eurodollars. And what about leveling up your weapons and clothes to Legendary level? Good luck with that not messing up your combat build, because you'll need your Technical Ability at level 18, and that's not always a good trade-off. As you can see, character building is robust and gives you a lot of cool options, but it doesn't make sense given the progression system and how short the game is. Because yeah, you could spend a lot of time grinding for money and experience... but what for? To only use your definitive build against the final boss and some random thugs around the city? Sounds pointless...

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Well, we already said the story is too short, but that's manageable if it's a good story, right? Bad news, then. Cyberpunk 2077 is nowhere near The Witcher 3 levels of epic, and most of its characters and quests are generic and forgettable at best. This open-world is another lie since most of the buildings can't be visited or have too many locked doors. For that reason, the environmental narrative is nowhere to be found, and Night City feels empty from a sandbox perspective.

Fallout 4, a game from 2015, is full of unexpected side-quests and memorable characters. More often than not, you were given a seemingly stupid task that soon will turn into a rollercoaster of emotions, as long as you didn't go out of your way because something else caught your eye and triggered yet another quest. That never happens in Cyberpunk 2077. All quests are pretty straightforward, and although there's an illusion of choice, they all resolve more or less the same: kill these people, retrieve this item, hack this computer.

Another thing that bothered us is Cyberpunk 2077's inner fight with realism, and we have 2 great examples. In this game, you don't know what the reward for each side-quest is until you actually complete it. That seems realistic, yes, but we're talking about a video game mechanic that doesn't help me choose which quests I should prioritize. Maybe I don't need that weapon, so I can do that later? Maybe I need fast money?

The second example is how little RPG-friendly the romancing options and dialogues are. Remember character customization? Your body type and voice tone of choice define your romancing options, which means not only these preferences are meaningful to the story, but they give you even less role-playing freedom. There's realism in that all characters are interested in a specific gender or sexual orientation, but why is an NPC's election more important than mine? To be fair, we'd be okay with it if these characters were complex and well-written, but only a couple of them are—and yet, it's not like you could die for them either.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

cyberpunk_2077_splash Cyberpunk 2077 - PC (Steam) Review
As much as we liked playing Cyberpunk 2077, it's only fair to say this game is rather mediocre if compared to the expectations. Thanks to its unfortunate choices and unsatisfying role-playing limitations, it ends up being a generic first-person shooter with occasional stealth segments that's only around 50 hours long (20 if you only care about the main story).

Some people will love it, some people will hate it, but after a hardcore marketing campaign and given the fact it was developed by the creators of one of the best games of the decade (The Witcher 3, of course), we must say Cyberpunk is a disappointing hot mess that will probably go from genre-defining to soon-forgotten, just like Death Stranding or No Man's Sky.

We had a really fun weekend with it, but we're so ready to move on...

Honey's Pros:

  • Spectacular graphics (if you own the latest GPU and a cool monitor).
  • The OST is amazing!
  • We love how body upgrades, stats, skills and perks work. It's a shame such good mechanics don't fit Cyberpunk 2077's pacing and quest system.

Honey's Cons:

  • Keanu Reeves' character, Johnny Silverhand, is the opposite of breathtaking.
  • Generic gameplay and quests, with little to no real role-playing mechanics.
  • The story and secondary characters, other than Delamain, Judy and Panam, leave much to be desired.
  • Character builds only work if you take time to grind, which is a shame.

Honey's Final Verdict:

Cyberpunk 2077 is an okay game that falls short of meeting its own expectations, but also never allows itself to be 'just fun.'

It doesn't matter the category. Story, character development, role-playing, open-world building, quests and environmental storytelling, you name it; it won't be hard for you to find a game that did it better. Regardless, it manages to be addictive at times, and it will be remembered for years to come, for good or bad, so it would be nice for you to give it a try—Unless you're a hardcore fan of true RPG, that is, in which case you'll feel scammed.

But hay, what do you think of Cyberpunk 2077? Feel free to leave us a comment down below!

cyberpunk_2077_splash Cyberpunk 2077 - PC (Steam) Review


Author: Rod Locksley

Hey! I'm Rod, and when I'm not watching anime or playing video games I'm probably writing about them, but I'm also a graphic and web designer, and I even published a comic book and worked like 4 years for a well-known MMORPG. Curiously, my favorite series are quite different from each other, so I'm still trying to understand what I really like in an anime...

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