Part One (Review in Progress) – Cyberpunk 2077 (Xbox Series X)

Ambitious, ruthless and impressive are three words I am confident using when describing Cyberpunk 2077’s Night City.  Each time I log back into Night City on my Xbox Series X, I am left in awe at the vertical size and life of this city, as it truly feels like a city that never sleeps and keeps on living once the player logs out. No developer before has successfully built a playground that dwarfs the player so much that it can create a level of anxiety of where to go and what to do next. While the scope of CD Project Red’s level of ambition brings with it a number of launch bugs, the Hotflix 1.04 patch has already fixed a number of player issues. Although I am a fair few hours in, I am no where near completion as I have decided to play this game how it is meant to be played; taking on the fantastic side missions and moulding the main story around these exceptional experiences and aspiring distractions. While this is a review in progress, it will cover much of what is on offer in Cyberpunk 2077 but I will provide a final verdict once Night City is through chewing me up and has spat me out.

The story revolves around the player’s male, female or self-created trans character called V, which is short for Vincent or Valerie. The player also chooses from one of three life paths that offer a unique backstory. The three life paths are:

  • Corpo – sees V having strong knowledge in the ruthless cutthroat corporation life. Playing this role will give the player an edge in some conversations with helpful dialogue choices; meaning completion of certain missions can come from dialogue rather then brute force. This is the path I have chosen.
  • Nomad – V starts his or her journey outside of Night City called the Badlands, which is desert that surrounds the city. Playing as Nomad, V enters Night City with a fresh start and with some interesting negotiating dialogue options.
  • Street Kids – V has grown up on the streets, knowing its ins and outs. This life path gives a connection with gangs, meaning interactions with them are less hostile.

The player’s life path choice for V brings with it a number of differences to the campaign. This includes a unique prologue that introduces V to Night City, how V knows and has a relationship with partner and friend Jackie Welles, additional dialogue choices and exclusive side-quests. While these may all seem important, the choice is more on player preference and I have come to believe that in the long run, these choices will not play a large impact on the player’s ending. I will confirm in my final review.   lelfskpwyslftlqdeb

The main story has V coming to grips with his or her ‘new’ life, which sees V interact with a number of big Night City players and with Keanu Reeves’ character, rock star Johnny Silverhand, who was believed to have died in 2023. The interactions between the two remind me a lot of the Batman and Joker relationship in Batman Arkham Knight. Cyberpunk 2077 also offers a large number of fantastic side missions, some of these story related that change the course of the game and others leading V on a branching path. These missions come from other colourful NPCs, or each districts ‘Fixers’ that give quests called ‘Gigs’. The map will become littered with side quests and activities such as street racers, boxing and hunting down Night City’s most wanted using non-lethal takedowns and weapons as you advance further in the game.


The real star of the show is the neon and billboard laden Night City itself, located in the free state of North California. The verticality of the city is breathtaking and the alleyways and side streets remind me more of a rabbit warren, rather than a thought out city plan. This megacity is controlled by its corporations and is not under state or country law. This has made conflict common, with gangs and organisations all contesting for authority and power. Night City has a brutal police squad know as the Psycho Squad to keep its gang population in order. It is just a shame that so far I have found that the police force are never a real threat and can be easily out run or avoided.  Night City’s citizens are those who have taken to cybernetic modifications of their bodies that has led to a rise of aesthetic addiction that has added to the intensifying violence.


A major part of the gameplay is the combat, with the two types being melee and guns. Melee has V using fists, knives and swords, while the range weapons gives V a large selection of guns, such as assault rifles, SMGs, pistols, sniper rifles and lots more. Grenades are also available and can include different types of elemental damage such as chemical or electrical. Ranged weapon can also inflict this elememental damage. There are three archetypes of the ranged weapons:-

  • Power, the standard types of ranged weapons and easily found around Night City. Even though they are common, do not write these weapons off, as very strong power weapons can be looted, crafted or purchased.
  • Tech, which penetrate cover such as walls and also penetrate amour-wearing enemies. These weapons also include an impressive secondary fire mode.
  • Smart, which uses homing bullets that automatically lock onto targets. Using these weapons with ricochet bullets allows players to easily take down those enemies hiding behind cover.


While the player can go headfirst into battles solo and focus their playthrough on combat, players can choose the Netrunner path, which is suited to those who prefer a stealthier approach and use skills that can overwrite security and even micro chips in enemies brains, making them literally shoot themselves. V can also use non-lethal takedowns and weapons, and apparently complete the game without a single kill. This is also to be confirmed.


To further create V in the player’s vision, attributes and perks play a major factor.  Attributes are the main stats for V, determining the play-style and are connected to the skill tree to grant upgrades via Perks. Attribute points can be placed in five categories, Reflexes, Body, Technical Ability, Intelligence and Cool, and all will continue to grow with V and unlock more Perks. Perks are abilities that can increase weapon efficiency, hacking, crafting and more. There are dozens of Perks to choose from, allowing V to become a gun blasting beast, a ninja like Netrunner or a jack of all trades. Just make sure players choose wisely, as I have not found an attribute and perk reset.


Cyberware are body enhancements and modifications that have been prevalent in the Deus Ex games and the arm mantis blades being made renowned from the games original announcement trailer back in 2013. Ripperdocs (doctors that do underground modifications) can install and change anything from V’s Nervous System, Skeleton, Arms, Legs, Ocular System, Frontal Cortex and more.  Some examples are ‘Heal-on-Kill’ modification for the Frontal Cortex, which is a combat implant that regulates hormones and regenerates health on defeating an enemy. Or Dense Marrow for the Skeleton that increases body weight and power of melee attacks.  The list of these enhancements is large, allowing more freedom for the player to create their personalised V.


While V levels up, so is the need for equipment such as clothing and weapons. Higher levels of equipment can be found, purchased or crafted. The common loot tropes are here, common gear is grey with colour changing to green (uncommon), blue (rare and have mod slots), purple (epic) and gold (legendary, with a number of mod and attachment slots). One complaint with gear is that V is constantly looting better equipment and much time is spent in the inventory to either break down unwanted equipment, sell or mark as trash.  As players move through the game, they will find out they can be encumbered fairly easy and they will need to increase the carry limit by raising it through Perks.


The graphics on an Xbox Series X running the Xbox One version is very stable, especially compared to reports of the base versions. Night City is gorgeous and easy to get lost in its neon beauty. Character models of main NPCs are generally great for an Xbox One game, while currently being unable to match the PC versions. I eagerly await the Series X generation patch to see this game in its final form. While I have encountered some bugs, such as floating vehicles, weapons and NPCs, these have lessened since the Hotflix 1.04 patch. Unlike a number of my peers, I have been lucky not to have large issues or even have to restart my console.

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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 here for 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 on different hardware.

The publisher kindly provided review  code for this game. All thoughts on this game are ours and ours alone.

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