Click here to read our Cyberpunk 2077 Part 1 – Review in Progress, which covers the main character V’s opening life choices, an in-depth look at Night City, weapon types, equipment, cyberware mods, levelling up, and more.
Part 2 – Final Verdict Review – Cyberpunk 2077
CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 has been on a roller coaster since its launch in mid December. While a large majority of PC reviews at launch were glowing they also referenced a number of gameplay bugs and there was a big red flag being waved around by games media due to console review code not being available until launch day. Depending on what console players owned, the media’s fear was spot on, with the base PlayStation 4 and Xbox One being unplayable and rife with game breaking bugs. While the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X owners had serviceable versions, the best way to play was for those lucky gamers playing on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
Four weeks and two major Hotfix patches later, I have had a small amount of hands on time with the Xbox base version and I can confirm there is now a functional game here but warn players, my small time with this version means I can not provide judgement on Cyberpunk’s purchase on these base consoles. With a recent 5 hours session I had with the Xbox One X version, I was pleasantly surprised and remarkably had no issues with it. While it does not have that extra shine or lightening fast load times like the next generation versions, I would seriously be happy to continue playing on this console if it was my only choice. But after 60 hours on the Series X, I can confirm that this is the best way to play for consoles players, and is a must have game for next generation owners.
Along with Night City itself, the story also steals the show. CD Projekt Red’s ability to write a quality story shines through in Cyberpunk 2077. The numerous amounts of interesting and layered characters met throughout the story and copious side missions are fantastic, as they bring their own personality, motives and unique views to the table. The dialogue writing is generally very good but can be lengthy during some sections. Dialogue options are prevalent with most options being there for finding out more information about the character, missions or the backstory. While the campaign is a fantastic showpiece, it is many of the spectacular side missions that will steal the player’s attention and have them exploring Night City for countless hours. In these side missions, there are many subplots that will have the player making choices, with these choices playing a major part in the game. These include V’s portrayal by other major characters, if these characters will be available for later missions and even change the outcome of the game.
While I never found the protagonist V to be the most robust lead character, nor early on in the story did I care much for her and her ‘issue’ with Keanu Reeves’ character, Johnny Silverhand, the more I played the more I got sucked into her world and her problems. The relationship of these two characters is very progressive, as it does build throughout the campaign missions but I cannot stress how this relationship and the multiply sides of V and Johnny are on show during side missions. At times I was questioning Johnny’s morals and life choices, but towards the end I was questioning my own. CD Projekt Red’s story telling here is like a pendulum swinging and when it stops after dozens of hours, the player has big choices to make. I have seen two outcomes, with my first play through having me sitting on my hands for a good twenty minutes before making my choice.
The sound design and voice acting needs to be applauded. There are literally tens of thousands of lines of dialogue that go hand in hand with the performances of not only the lead characters but right through to each of the side characters and many of the NPCs found on the street. The sound of firearms is very satisfying, each having their unique sound and I personally loved the charged burst shot of my favourite tech weapons. The electric soundtrack while in combat will get the heart racing and anyone can find something to listen to over the multiple radio stations while driving around Night City.
As previously mentioned, in firearm combat there are 3 types of weapons, Power, Smart and Tech, as well an abundance of guns. Mixed with cyberware such as the mantis blades or rockets arms, with some great hacking abilities, I only found the combat to get more intense the more I played. Players can also choose to go down the close quarter’s combat route but with the wide range of great firearms, this was not for me. I do believe melee weapons could come useful for Netrunner builds who focus more on hacking and stealth.
Also mentioned in my review in progress, I have been taking my time through Night City, getting the most out of it by taking in many of the city’s endless distractions and side missions, such as hunting down self driving crazed taxi cabs that have their own thoughts and feelings or helping a police detective hunt down a kidnapper. Doing much of the side content meant that I quickly became over powered, leaving myself with no option but to turn the difficulty up. While wandering Night City and taking on the higher side content, it was possible I could be downed in one or two shots but this was rarely happening and if the player intends to take their time through this experience, I suggest upping the difficulty a notch.
A small hiccup is the driving. While it is nowhere near the worst sandbox driving I have experienced, it is not what players would call smooth. While some missions do require a chase or get away, players should not have much issue using vehicles and can easily turn to traversal on foot or via fast the fast travel system. In between missions the fast travel is very handy and loads insanely quick on the Series X. If I had to drive anywhere I found the motorbikes are the easiest and nimblest vehicles to get around on. The biggest issue when driving is the mini map is zoomed in way too far, making upcoming corners a surprise and it had me zoom past them a lot. With optic cyberware mods in abundance, players would be forgiven to think an internal GPS pointing out corners via V’s optics could be an available upgrade, or even standard in 2077.
Performance wise, Cyperpunk 2077 is currently running like a dream on the Xbox Series X and after the two Hotfix patches the initial slow down and stuttering when loading is gone and frame rates now steady. Some clipping of weapons and enemies does happen from time to time but I would not even suggest it is broken for this new generation or the Xbox One X. In my 60+ hours I had one freeze up where I had to reset my console but that was before the second patch launched.
Pottsy for One More Game
9 – Amazing – as near to a 10 as you are going to get without it being a 10. It’s an amazing experience that just requires that little something else to make it a masterpiece. Your hard earned cash and time would be well spent here.
Please click the link herefor a full rundown of our rating scale.
Cyberpunk 2077 was reviewed on an Xbox Series X. It is also available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4|5 and PC. Note, while all games are the same, they all perform significantly different.
The publisher kindly provided the code for this game. All thoughts on this game are ours and ours alone.