The year is 2018. E3 is at the peak of its hype during the Xbox briefing, and Phil Spencer greets the audience for one last time before a "malfunction" occurs that brings up ominous red text on the screen. CD Projekt Red, the company renowned for The Witcher series, boot up the latest trailer for their upcoming RPG, Cyberpunk 2077. The gaming world is excited. We're given a lengthy gameplay dive a couple of months later, and this new, unique experience finally begins to take shape. Cyberpunk 2077, based on the tabletop role-playing game Cyberpunk 2020 by Mike Pondsmith, is definitely coming, and anticipation is in the air - and it would grow in its ferocity and strength for the next few years. After all, this was a new RPG from the developers who have always championed consumer-friendly practices, and delivered groundbreaking genre experiences in gaming. Cyberpunk 2077 was going to be everything we'd been waiting for, and more. There was no foreseeable way for it to be anything other than a stellar launch...
Note: This review is spoiler-free.
Fast-forward to December 2020. I've just booted up the PlayStation 5 and downloaded Cyberpunk 2077, ready to be whisked away on a journey that literally spanned almost a decade in development. With RPGs being my favourite genre in gaming, I expected a lot, but not to an exaggerated degree. I just wanted a solid RPG with everything that CD Projekt Red is good at, and then something special to really drive home its impact. After 70+ hours with the game, after countless main and side quests, after spending quality bonding time with Keanu Reeves, after digging deep into all that Cyberpunk 2077 has to offer, I came to a verdict: it's good- no, it's very good, bordering on great at times. But that's probably not what you were expecting to hear.
The central story is engaging and throws a few unexpected twists your way, though never scales to the ambitious heights set by The Witcher 3.
Melee combat remains incredibly fun and engaging, though shooting is fine but can feel a bit unremarkable...
...Night City is undoubtedly one of the best looking and dense open worlds I've ever seen in a video game.
Mixing and matching the massive variety of clothing is fun, though it comes at the expense of making V look like a clown most of the time.
...voice acting across the board is terrific, with female V's voice actress Cherami Leigh being a standout next to Reeves.
Writer. Enthusiast of all things geek. Legend has it he completed Final Fantasy VII without a memory card.
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CD Projekt Red
CD Projekt Red
PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
21 December 2020
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