Okay, first things first: I don’t give a flip about the graphical glitches that have been the topic of conversation wherever this game is concerned. The models take a hot second to load sometimes: big whoop. I know that might not be the most professional-sounding opinion, but whatever. I feel like talking about Cyberpunk; let the rest of the internet worry about optimisation. Like, did you know that you can wield a katana? Well you can, and that’s the sort of stuff I plan on talking about (technically “writing” about, but you know what I mean). Anywho, let’s dive into Night City, shall we?
So…Night City is a little bit the worst. As a technological/societal beacon of a dystopian-like, futuristic hellscape, ol’ Night City is a melting pot of chaos, carnage, and crappy people. The game literally begins with you being blackmailed, betrayed, and almost killed—at least if you’re a Corpo. Oh, Corpo is one of the backgrounds you can pick for your version of V (the protagonist). The other two options are Street Kid and Nomad, but I didn’t pick those; I don’t know too much else about them. On the flip side, Night City is a place where legends are born, where penniless nobodies carve out their place in history and leave their mark on the world…the carving is usually literal and the mark is a bloodstain, but people still seem jazzed about making history all the same. V is no different, and her/his/their jaunt through the streets of 2077’s primo metropolis is just as violent as you might expect—perhaps more so, depending on how you play. Speaking of…
Being an RPG, V’s fighting style is somewhat of a personal preference. That being said, everything essentially boils down to head-on conflict, stealthy takedowns, and hacking. You’re free to mix and match these as you please, but the more potent abilities of these styles are locked behind experience points: meaning that you can’t excel at everything. I personally opted for a stealthier V, though those damn security cameras meant that situations often required the use of a katana. Fun fact: katanas can slice off enemy’s heads and/or limbs. Still, managing to sneak into an enemy base and assassinate a particular target before anyone is the wiser is rather satisfying; also, such skill will net you praise from your fixer (a.k.a. the person who gives you side missions). Of course, it’s also pretty fun to hear their resigned acceptance when you complete a mission with guns blazing. Regardless, finding the multiple ways to tackle a mission—and learning whether or not you are capable of using each—is an interesting endeavour that only occasionally becomes frustrating…stupid doors telling me I’m not strong enough to force them open.
Bouncing back to skills, because I got distracted, V is capable of a wide range of specialisations—many of which I never even delved into. Divided into Body, Reflexes, Technical Ability, Intelligence, and Cool, V’s attributes grant general boosts stats—such as health, evasion, and hacking cooldown—and are the categories in which more specific skills reside. Stealth, for example, gives access to Cold Blood—a skill that temporarily adds various buffs for defeating enemies—allowing V to gain strength and resistance to damage from felling foes. It’s pretty sweet. Body allows V to tank damage and regenerate health, whilst also granting access to empowered melee strikes. Reflexes help with blades, Technical ability helps with hacking, Intelligence lets V craft more powerful gear…there’s a lot. So, pick what interest you and blaze a path through Night City…or mix and match and craft a V with a little bit of everything: you do you. Honestly, what kept my upgrades the most focused was the dialogue options that open up once you cross certain attribute thresholds: I’ll be damned if my V isn’t going to be Cool enough to say something.
Speaking of Cool…my V’s clothes aren’t. Well, they are individually, but equipping all of the best gear tends to make V look a tad mismatched. It’s note a major gripe with the game, but it’s perhaps more noticeable given the game’s promotional focus on style. Personally, my V was and is Corpo, which means dope suits that demand respect and inspire jealousy; but, that bandanna and gas mask provide way more armour…so, yeah. This has been an issue in RPGs since Gs were RPed, but Cyberpunk revolves on style: let V look fine without trading protection. Please? I think crafting and upgrading may help some items remain relevant longer, but my skill investment didn’t lean that way. Also, I know the game is first-person, but I know: I know V is rocking a mismatched outfit. And that don’t fly in Night City.
So: Cyberpunk 2077. It is, indeed, a game; it is, indeed, a fun one. There isn’t really much more to say. I know the world has been clamouring for this since the sun was just getting the hang of that whole fusion thing, but Cyberpunk isn’t the revolution it was touted to be; it never could be. Does it suck that the game doesn’t work for everybody? Sure, but plenty of games have flaws and don’t cause the masses to rise up. Cyberpunk is a game. That’s it. It’s a game where you design the coolest character you can think of, blaze a trail through the craziest city this side of the singularity, and embark on a journey that features gosh-dang Keanu Reeves. That’s all; that’s enough; that’s awesome. So, wait for the patches if texture pops are holding you back, but try to jack in at some point if techno RPGs tickle your fancy. If not, that’s fine. Again, it’s a game; it’s meant to be enjoyed. So, enjoy it, and try to look dope while you do it.