Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you all should have by now at least heard, if not seen, what Cyberpunk 2077 is, and how it’s fared since launch.
So, this review is a little different since the game has been out since the 10th of December 2020, after MANY delays and reschedules.
This game, which was probably one of the most anticipated games of this decade, was met with much disappointment at release. Especially on “current-gen” consoles (being Xbox One and PS4 for those who, like me, get confused with all the next and current stuff) where the developers themselves admitted to only half committing to that and, instead, spent all their resources and time on the PC and “next-gen” (Xbox Series and PS5) development. The developers, being CD Projekt Red, apologized profusely for this and promised to do all they could to get the “current-gen” of console up to scratch with a big patch planned to drop in January and another in February.
Over at the Early Axes headquarters (which exists only in WhatsApp messages – we are working on it), we decided to give the game a fair fighting chance – naturally. We may be rather large fans of CD Projekt Red’s other well know game, the studio in general and we were in the VIP section of the Cyberpunk hype train. So, since we got the game for Xbox One, we wanted to make sure we gave it a chance before jumping to any decisions on it.
With all this being said, the planned January drop happened about a week ago and we’ve been throwing some serious time at the game since, and before, then.
The Nitty Gritty
As mentioned earlier, we got the game on Xbox One and it weighs in at just under 60GB. The game only has one version, but a Collector’s Edition was available in the pre-order phase which came with some really cool goodies and collectibles, but still the same version of the game that everyone else got. This in itself is quite nice as you don’t feel like you’re missing out if you only have the standard issue of the game or are then enticed to spend more than you had originally bargained for on a higher version just to get a few cool in-game cosmetics items, or fear that you might miss out on future content.
Since the launch of the game, there have been a few chunky updates as CD Projekt Red kept its end of the deal to work on the game and make it shiny for us. Now – usually this would be an annoyance, but we were warned and they are doing it for us (yes – I know all updates and patches are for our enjoyment) but just a little warning for those of you who don’t have uncapped, or unthrottled, internet lines.
The price at the time of this review is roughly between R800 and R1000 for digital versions and has already been on sale.
You pick up the story of an ambitious young person (you can choose what you want them to be) who comes from one of three different backgrounds – Nomad, Streetkid, or Corpo. Your background choice determines how your story starts and how your player thinks and makes associations during the game. All have their own uniqueness about them so this game is definitely one to be played at least three times.
I chose Nomad and started on the outer limits of Night City where I was to meet a contact to help him smuggle something through the checkpoint and into the city.
Jackie is the guy who becomes your friend no matter which game line you chose, but your meeting with him will vary. He becomes your hombre and partner in crime as you both set your eyes on the “major leagues” and becoming one of Night City’s most renowned.
Soon after you meet Jackie is where the pawpaw hits the fan, and you are thrown into the thick of it as you fight your way into the city (Nomad background) and find a place to lie low to lose the heat.
The game then cuts through a few scenes as you see yourself, V, and Jackie doing jobs and earning street cred for yourselves as you get higher and higher profile jobs. It is because of this success that one fixer, by the name of Dex, phones you up and offers you a spot on the heist of a lifetime. The one that will set you up in the “major leagues” and send you straight into legend.
This first heist acts as the intro to Cyberpunk 2077 as you learn all the bits you need to learn and get introduced to a whole bunch of lore that will come in handy for later on in the game.
Without giving away too much of the storyline for those of you who have not yet had the privilege of playing this game, the heist goes balls up in a big way and ends with a bang.
Welcome to Cyberpunk 2077…
It is here that your story truly starts, and you are introduced to Johnny Silverhand (Keanu – you’re breathtaking). Your and his story are intertwined in a glorious way and, of course, you have vendettas to settle – as any good story should.
At launch, the game did have its fair share of bugs and annoying glitches, but even so – nothing I came across was “game-breaking” in my opinion. Sometimes faces didn’t load in and details were obscured, some items would randomly fly around apparently on their own (Harry Potter – that you?) and the controls and combat did feel a little clunky. Beyond that though, all missions started without a hitch and the storyline pulled me in before I even knew what was happening. And besides, I’ve played with worse bugs and still loved the game.
At first, I just put this down to my Xbox being the original Xbox One and being a little old – as I know that newer games don’t run as smoothly as they would on the One S or X, but then came the articles and CD Projekt Red swallowing their pride, owning up and then working to fix it. So, I gave the game a chance.
With each update, the game seemed smoother and the controls less clunky, still a far cry from what I am sure people were experiencing on the X or the next-gen consoles, and of course – in RTX glory. But this game was still fun, and I kept coming back for that reason – which in my books, is more than enough. With the latest update, my game has been running smoother than ever with almost no hiccups. My game does still struggle a little in high render areas where there are lots of lights and people and then things will take a second or three longer to load than they should, but I am positive that this is due to my device and am hopeful that this too will be addressed in the next big patch.
All in all, I do believe that I am not experiencing the full glory of Night City-based mainly on my older Xbox but even with that, the game still runs very well and is a heck of a lot of fun to play.
With all things considered – Cyberpunk may not have been the game that we were hyped for since that sneaky reveal at E3 2018, but it is still definitely a game that will be the main competitor for the upper echelons of my gaming list.
The story is incredibly well made and with in-game choices and side missions being aplenty, there is so much to do to keep you exploring the richness that is Night City for hours!
And with the recent announcement of a FREE DLC for Cyberpunk dropping in the next few months, there are even more hours of game time to convince you to spend the money and hit the streets.
I definitely give Cyberpunk 2077 a solid 8 out of 10 stars as it’s one of the most captivating and fun games I’ve played in a long time.
So – wake up samurai, we have a city to burn.
A big thank you again to our friends over at Prima Interactive for giving us a chance to review this game.