Good Morning, Night City
I started December in a pretty foul mood. I had been playing AC: Valhalla on my Slim PS4 and the performance was so terrible that I had to stop playing. Not only was it riddled with bugs that often resulted in me having to reboot the game and sit through the painfully long loading screens, but the overall quality of the writing and content just wasn’t up to my standards.
Still, it wasn’t all bad since I managed to secure myself a PS5 and Cyberpunk 2077 was finally just days away from release. Oh… Oh no, CP77 is buggy too? Well damn.
I wasn’t even 3 hours into the game and already I had seen plenty of visual bugs such as cars phasing into the floor, and V’s breasts clipping through her shirt *blush* – among other things. But the biggest problem was that I couldn’t seem to go 2-3 hours of playing without a crash. I can only imagine what other people had been putting up with on PS4.
Still, CD Projekt RED have a history of fixing their games post-launch and – sure enough – there was a patch for CP77 that fixed some visual glitches, but the crashes still remained. Luckily the game boots up really fast on a PS5 and I’m a pretty patient gamer… At least, when I feel like the overall experience is going to be worth it.
Cyberpunk 2077 Platinum Review
I’d like to start by saying that my experience with CP77 has been mostly positive. However, it’s clear to see that the entire game is underbaked. There’s plenty of things that feel half-finished and some things that feel completely broken.
When you do something that catches the eye of the law, 5 to 10 police officers instantly spawn around you – even if you’re in the middle of the Badlands with no nearby signs of civilisation. To top it off, if you jump in your car and speed away, the police officers just stand around shooting at you as you burn rubber. They don’t even make an attempt to get in their cars and pursue you.
You can’t edit the appearance of your V, which in a game all about cybernetic enhancements and superficial modifications seems like a crazy oversight. My V didn’t look too bad, but about half way in I became bored with her blue hair, blue lipstick, and cyberware under her eyes and desperately wanted to change it.
There’s also no car modifications which isn’t a huge problem, but – again – in a game like Cyberpunk, modifying your cars should be something you can do.
I’ve been unimpressed with a lot of character creators in recent games as there seems to be an unspoken bet on who can make the crappiest creator with the least amount of options and the ugliest characters cough Dragon age: Inquisition cough.
CP77’s Character Creator, while not as in depth as something like Black Desert, certainly has enough options that you can make a unique and interesting looking V who won’t be winning any “Uggo of the Year” awards.
Part of creating my V was choosing her life path. Since I know Cyberpunk’s world to be full of corporations and I’d be dealing with them often, I thought going Corpo would benefit me nicely. For the most part, my chosen life path only changed how I’d be spending the first 30 minutes in the game and a few lines of dialogue throughout the rest of the story.
Part of me wishes that the lifepath prologue lasted about 2 hours longer. It should feel like a starter location in an MMO; safe, but with plenty of stuff for you to do while you learn the ropes and get a feel for how everything handles. Instead, in my experience as a Corpo, I spoke to a guy about some shady corporation stuff, went to meet with Jackie in a bar, and then was accosted by some Arasaka goons and kicked out of the club.
I must admit, however, that the interior of Arasaka HQ had a very authoritarian aesthetic that made me feel uncomfortable and as though there was always someone watching my every move. The characters inside Arasaka also seemed to fit the aesthetic and their personalities and goals seemed just as shady as the corporation itself.
Even though I spent all of 20 minutes in this section, I was desperate to know what exactly my V was so worried about that made her vomit into the bathroom sink, and how Jackie tied into it all.
Once my prologue was over, I was treated to a small montage as V and Jackie get up to no good and become best friends, then I got to beat on some scavs and save a naked girl. Which you might remember if you watched the 45-minute gameplay video CD Projekt RED released a while back.
The combat feels… Somewhat clunky at first. Like there’s something missing.
Holding aims my pistol and fires it as in any other game, but there’s a distinct lack of feedback. The only way I can tell that I’ve hit my target is by observing their tiny health bars that hover over their heads. The same goes for when I’ve been hit. Standard attacks don’t read very well unless I’m looking at my own health bar but status effects will take over the screen – such as when a Netrunner overheats your implants.
The aiming also feels somewhat off and I think it’s down to the vertical and horizontal sensitivity being set to the same number. I tried tweaking the sliders and I immediately felt more accurate, however the game didn’t remember my settings and eventually I realised I had been doing fairly well despite the janky sensitivty so I’m not entirely sure if I was meant to have trouble aiming until I levelled up a bit.
I can throw grenades with , melee people with , and holding will let me perform quickhacks on my enemies such as rebooting their optics to make them temporarily blind. Later on, I could also use quickhacks to overload enemies’ cybernetics and take direct control of turrets to set them to friendly mode – or turn them off entirely.
Quickhacks use up RAM and at first, I only had 4 RAM which didn’t seem to be enough for the encounters I was having. Once I had bought a new Cyberware OS and some decent quickhacks I had more RAM to work with and better quickhacks to suit my gameplay.
I feel like the real game starts after I wake up in V’s apartment and Jackie tells me that he’s waiting for me outside. Says he’s got a real big gig for us and that I shouldn’t keep the guy waiting.
I hurry down through the big mega-building that V lives in, all while getting very strong Judge Dredd vibes. Along the way, I get to beat on a boxing robot and collect a gun that V apparently ordered earlier.
Outside I’m greeted by an incredible view of buildings all clad in neon signs advertising various products. Each building looks like it weaves around the other, as though the city is constantly being rebuilt on top of old remains. I was so enamoured with the view that I almost didn’t see Jackie sat by himself at a food stall eating what I now know to be a pot of fake meat or “synth serloin” as Jackie refers to it.
I quickly go and see what this big gig is and meet a bunch of new characters before eventually breaking into Arasaka HQ and stealing a shard with Johnny’s consciousness uploaded onto it. This all takes place over a few hours—and at least 2 crashes—as I can’t help but go explore Night City every now and then.
Night City is an incredible place and very easy to get lost in, not because it’s labyrinthian in design, but because every corner hides something interesting and you can’t help but search for it. Within the first 3 hours of my journey, I found a dead policeman. He was hunched over in the doorway to some building and had a pair of Legendary pants that I could loot from him. I don’t know who killed him – or why – but if I hadn’t taken a few minutes out of the story to go and check out an interesting location, I wouldn’t have seen him and my pants wouldn’t be so fancy.
One of the best moments I had in the game was during a gig in Japantown. I had just shot and stabbed my way through a bunch of low-level goons and was one my way to deposit the item I was asked to retrieve. I was just 100 metres away from the Drop Point and so I thought I’d use my legs. I quickly realised I was over-encumbered and was limited to walking. I was ready to press to summon my vehicle when I stopped myself.
The buildings all had a pleasant Japanese aesthetic so full of care and detail that I had to stop and take them in. CP77 feels like the devs put so much of their love into the game but also had so much taken out so that they could meet the December 10th 2020 deadline. Walking around in Japantown really made me realise that had I been playing this in December 2021, it very well might have been Game of the Year.
Once you have Johnny taking a ride in your brain, the game dials up its intrigue. He starts appearing randomly as you visit locations and offers a little insight into how the place looked back in his day or just some observation on the people around you.
Johnny will also crop up during certain conversations and tell you how you should deal with things. You can, of course, ignore him or sometimes even just outright tell him to bugger off. But since he’s the original renegade rocker boy, you might as well listen to him especially if it pertains to Corpos.
As I continue down the main story route I’m introduced to Panam, a Nomad girl looking to make it big in Night City like anyone else. Panam is possibly my favourite character in the whole game. She’s straight forward, has a strong sense of family which makes her very loyal, and… I’m sure there was some other important aspect to her that I liked… Oh yeah.
I had already met Judy, from earlier in the story and I had settled on romancing her, but I feel like she didn’t get as much care and attention as Panam did. Admittedly I did try it on with Panam, but she made it painfully obvious she prefers dudes and my V was – decidedly – not a dude.
Shortly after meeting Panam, she gets relegated to the sidequest zone—as does every other minor character—so I had to drop the main story for now in order to continue getting to know her and her Nomad family as they all seemed like interesting characters.
At first, I had to help her steal back her vehicle so she could then help me interrogate some slimy Corpo scientist – which all seemed like standard RPG fare. You know; help an NPC out before they help you, etc.
But things changed when her Nomad family showed up and I realised that they all have unique personalities and goals themselves. I just had to follow Panam around a little longer so I could get to know everyone and I’m glad I did, because Panam’s sidequests and family tie into (what I consider to be) the best ending.
Alas, all good things must come to an end and I left Panam to her family as I rode off towards the sunset and the rest of the main story.
I won’t spoil any more of the story here, but I can tell you that it’s possibly the greatest thing CP77 has going for it. Each quest and side quest has been written with care so as to not be as boring or as stock as a lot of RPG quests are. You’ll find no fetch quests here!
In all open world games there comes a point where you must open the map and put together a plan of attack for clearing it of side activities and in CP77 that point came just before the final story mission.
Night City has various Gigs and NCPD Scanner Hustles dotted around each area.
Gigs are mainly small jobs that should take you 5-10 minutes to complete. I’ll pull up to a gig, receive a call from the local fixer explaining that some local gang member has stolen an item or kidnapped a person and it’s up to me to kill a bunch of goons and recover said item or person. Sometimes I’ll be asked to do it all silently, but there’s no real penalty for going in loud.
Some gigs seemed more unique than others – like the time I was asked to infiltrate a shipping yard, locate a Russian guy’s car, and plant a tracking device on it.
One fixer tasked V with hunting down Cyberpsychos and subduing them with nonlethal force. These are also marked as gigs, but felt different enough that I didn’t mind tackling them. That being said, one or two of them ended up bugging on me and I had to reload an autosave and do it all again to complete it.
There’s also an interesting – but also annoying – sidequest chain featuring the AI Taxi King Deleamain himself where some of his Taxi Cabs have run off into the wild and it’s down to V to track them down and bring them back in.
NCPD Scanner Hustles are small crimes that you can go and solve, but usually this meant finding a group of gang members loitering, exploding their heads with my pistol – “Comrade’s Hammer” – and looting an item from a box.
Every so often I’d show up to a scanner hustle, kill some guys, loot a container and instead be given a location to find with a hidden stash. Only once I’ve looted this stash would the scanner hustle be completed.
Finally, there were several cars that I had to go and purchase which counted towards map completion. These cars eventually got quite expensive, with the final car costing a few hundred thousand Eurodollars.
This whole process took about as long – if not longer than – the main-story content, but was still fun and varied enough that I didn’t mind constantly opening the map, marking a new activity, and driving to it. It helps that the music in the game is pretty decent too.
Some trophies in CP77 ask you to do specific things, like shooting a grenade out of the sky with a revolver or killing 3 guys up close with a pistol within a very short time period.
I chose to leave these for last because by the time I had finished the story, cleared the map, and seen all but one of the endings I was level 50. This meant I had access to some really powerful weapons and crafting schematics.
It can be quite challenging to get these sort of trophies from natural play so I tracked down a weak group of enemies near where Judy lives and just abused the quicksave feature.
I’d pull out my pistol, quicksave, jump down to the enemies, kill 3 as fast as I could until the trophy popped and then reload my save. Then I’d jump down with a revolver, kill all but one enemy, and wait until the last survivor threw a grenade at me so I could shoot it out.
The only time I had difficulty was with the trophy for getting 2 headshots with one sniper bullet.
I tried on the same group of enemies for 30 minutes. I’d pull out my sniper, line up two goons and pull the trigger. Every single time, only the guy in front died, leaving the guy at the back unscathed. Eventually, I realised that I had an explosive tip modifier on my sniper, which removed the ability for my bullet to travel through the first skull to hit the second.
I ended up having to craft a brand new sniper rifle just to get the trophy to pop.
After a few more hours, I had finished mopping up the miscellaneous trophies and returned to the final story mission so I could see the last ending and receive my well-earned plat, after 70 hours of play time.
Cyberpunk 2077 Trophy Guide
Fancy earning your own CP77 platinum? Well, wake the F up, Samurai. We have a platinum trophy guide for that!
That concludes my Cyberpunk 2077 review. If you enjoyed reading it, please let us know! It means the world to us when we hear feedback and we love engaging with people over the game we just platted. It’s basically the only thing motivating us at the moment!
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