If not for the bugs this would be damn near the perfect game. Still excellent though.
Beoordeeld in het Verenigd Koninkrijk op 9 maart 2021
Cyberpunk 2077 is set in a not so distant future in Night City - a mega city that stands on what was once known as California which was formed after a series of corporate wars that saw the USa splint into several autonomous free states.
You play V - A merc for hire whose origin belongs to one of three life paths that you can choose from (Corpo, Street kid, or Nomad) - who finds themselves embroiled in an adventure of epic proportions after a job that seems to be too good to be true turns out to be exactly that when you are employed to retrieve a valuable artifact known only as "the relic".
At the beginning of the game you get to create your own character. There's a great deal of customisation to be had, including gender, hair style and colour, eyes, tattoos, fingernails, blemishes, scars, face shape, and even genitalia (which can influence which relationships in the game are open to you).
You then get to shape what kind of attributes and skills are availible to to. Attributes include Tech, Body, Cool, intelligence, and Relexes - each of which influence important aspects of your character such as their constitution, strength, and armour value and ultimately shape how you will play the game. Will you run in guns blazing, sneak up and kill your opponants from behind, or strike them down from a distance with powerful cyberhacks?
Within each of these attributes are several skills, such as proficiency with the various weapon types availible throughout the game, ability at hacking computers, stealth, and Netrunning - a form of wireless electronic combat that allows you to download programs into your enemies that can influence them, cripple them, damage them, or even kill them out right, or alternatively control, shut down, or destroy machinery such as CCTV cameras or remote turrets.
Weapon types include pistols, SMG's, rifles, precision rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles, and light machine guns, and each of these weapons comes in three basis types - "power" (which allow you to bounce bullets off walls to hit your targets), "Tech" (which can be charged to release a more powerful shot, and "smart" (which can lock onto a target for increased accuracy, even allowing you to hit them when they are obscured from view). Weapons can be fitted with scopes, silencers, or mods that increase things like their damage or critical chance.
You can also equip your character with clothing, which is not only stylish but also pragmatic as each item of clothing provides a base armour value and higher tiers can be upgraded with mods that offer things like extra armour or immunity to burning, shock, or poison.
Then there's your ride. Night City is a huge living, breathing metropolis split into numerous areas that include everything from massive Corporate towers, to shopping precincts, to ramshackle slums - all connected by hundreds of miles of virtual highway - and to get from one end of it to another you're going to need wheels. You start off with just one vehicle in the beginning, but throughout the game you'll be able to find, steal, win or purchase any of several dozen more, all with their own individual performance.
There are numerous shops and stalls around the city to spend your ill gotten gains at, including gun shops, clothing shops, netrunners who will sell you new cyberhacks, and blade shops.
Finally you can choose to equip you character with a wide variety of cybernetic modifications by visiting a "Ripperdoc". These include enhancements to you arms, legs, immune system, optics, circulatory system, hands, and your cyberdeck (the internal modem that you use for netrunning).
Modifications provide a wide variety of additional skills and perks, including powerful "gorilla arms" that increase your power in close combat, bionic hamstrings that allow you to do powered jumps, blood pumps that provide an instant regenerative boost to health, alloyed bones that increase base health, enhanced muscles that increase carrying capacity, and a smart interface that allows you to get the best out of your smart weapons.
The game also features a crafting system with weapons, clothing, cybernetics, and quick hacks all coming in five different tiers that can either be broken down for parts or upgraded if you have the required attributes, items, and parts, meaning that if you have a weapon that you're particularily fond of you don't necessarily have to abandon it because you've found one of a higher tier - just upgrade it.
There are literally hundreds of missions including the main campaign but also hundreds of side missions known as "gigs" which are provided by shady individuals known as "fixers". You can even help out the NCPD by dealing with local crimes and organised crime gangs - all for a price of course!
Missions are split into various types, from hit jobs, to rescue missions, sabotage, to thefts - often with bonus objectives (and appropriate awards) for doing it with style by fulfilling certain conditions such as remaining undetected. Despite all falling into one of these broad categories missions never get boring or feel samey and range from everything from taking down rival gang bosses, stopping murderous "cyberpsychos", fixing a rollercoaster so some kids can have a good time, passing the time of day with a sentient vending machine, to tracking down a psychotic automated taxi cab!
Music is excellent despite there not being any licensed music in the game, and you have a number of radio stations to choose from whilst driving your vehicle. Sounds effects are equally excellent, and whilst the graphics have fallen short of what was expected and promised they are still very good.
In terms of the downside, it's a sad fact that even after two substantial updates the game is still extremely buggy. None of the remaining bugs are game breakers but they are annoying and include things like screen lag and tearing, problems with changing your perspective from the 1st to 3rd person when driving, sounds from quickhacking remaining even when the hack has finished, weapons disappearing from your hand, and inability to fire weapons when aiming down the sights, screen inserts not disappearing, and a persistant crash that seems to occur after every two or three hours of gameplay.
That sounds like a lot gone wrong, and I suppose it is, but rest assured that none of it is so bad that it will prevent you from enjoying what is on balance still an excellent game. It's just a shame that anyone who plays it is bound to ask themselves just how good it could have been if these annoying glitches were completely erased.
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