Publisher: CD Projekt | Developer: CD Projekt Red | Platforms: PlayStation 4 (Reviewed on PS5), Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Cyberpunk 2077 is buggy as hell. A month after release, you’ll still see multiple physics-based gaffes popping up in the world and it’s fair to expect several game crashes before the credits roll. The main story beats of an experimental parasite infecting your brain — while initially interesting — also leaves much to be desired. Even if it is the inimitable Keanu Reeves taking up the role and dropping little nuggets of “wisdom” along the way. Despite not exactly delivering on years’ worth of hype — on a technical soundness or story aspect — it still turned out to be that next Outer Worlds and Fallout 3 for me. And I love me some open-world RPG shooters. While Cyberpunk 2077 is more bug-ridden than those examples, it still takes you into a world completely having drank the dark, future punk kool-aid. 2012’s Dredd says “hello.” There’s plenty of upgrade paths you can take: be it upgrading to double jumps, building up cybernetic killer arms, becoming a hacker-man savant, or amassing a decent arsenal of hand cannons and gold-plated baseball bats. There’s plenty to do in Night City and it was entertaining enough for me to look past the over-simplified “corporations = bad” narrative and broken scripting to have stuck around and reached for the platinum trophy stars.
8/10 – Excellent
On the cutting room floor…
Side Missions Make the Ending(s)
While it took me only half the time I was expecting to critical path Cyberpunk 2077…that path led me to the “lesser” ending possibilities. It was enough to get much of the thinly-veiled homage to the “The Matrix” and its use of red/blue pill analogies, but it was still worth going back and chasing after the requirements for the other — better — endings.
Surprisingly enough, some of the side missions and gigs were actually quite substantial and a little perplexing as to why they weren’t somehow tied into the main campaign. Rogue, Panam and Takemura’s story threads are required for the other endings, but even Judy Alvarez and Johnny Silverhand’s side missions prove to be worthwhile in their own right.
Judy for the great story background and surprising locales visited. Johnny for the iconic items and Porsche 930 Turbo that — while driving just as slippery as the other vehicles in the game — allows you to zip around Night City in style.
Clunk City Platinum
If you’re looking for bugs in Cyberpunk 2077, there’s plenty to find. I didn’t notice too many annoying glitches in my initial playthrough of the game, but there were definitely a couple crashes and occasions where vehicles and bodies were bouncing around randomly in comedic fashion.
Once I decided to dig deeper into the world of Night City to chase the platinum trophy, though? Bugs, glitches, crashes, and obvious scripting issues were a common occurrence. It got so bad that I started to get an idea of when the game would crash.
Going 100 miles/hour from one city section to the next? You’re bound to get yourself booted to the main menu carousel as Cyberpunk tries to keep up with all the pop-in making its way into view — at least on PS5, the version of the game this review is based on.
There was many a time when I would cross my fingers for the game to not crash while heading into a crowded scene at a plaza or shopping center. Slowly…creeping in…hoping that it wouldn’t send me back to the PS5’s home screen. Luckily, Cyberpunk 2077 loads up relatively fast, otherwise…yeah, it would’ve seen itself returned to Best Buy with a quickness.
Nova, Chooms, Preems, and Gonks
One of my early impressions of the Southern California-inspired Night City was of how much Spanish is sprinkled throughout — in dialogue and the landscape itself. There are other languages being spoken, like Japanese, but I heard Spanish most predominantly. Besides drawing on real-life languages, though, I did appreciate CD Projekt Red’s attempt at creating a new “slang of the future.”
I doubt that in the futuristic steam and/or cyber punk future that awaits us in 2077 we’ll be talking about “helping a choom out” or undermining others by calling them “gonks,” but it’s a nice little attention to detail that gives Night City a flavor of its own.