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Monday, December 06, 2021

Review: Cyberpunk 2077 (PS5)

 I actually pre-ordered Cyberpunk 2077, but the reviews ahead of the actual release were so bad that I cancelled my preorder and elected to wait, hoping that by the time I got around to it the experience wouldn't be the disaster many web-sites had claimed it was.

First, I managed to get my hands on the PS5. Then, Best Buy had a sale on it for $10. At that price, I bit and started playing it, keeping it mostly on my PS5 the entire time.

The most important part of The Witcher 3 was how good the characters were. As I played Cyberpunk 2077, I discovered that the characters were nowhere as well realized. A lot of it was that the Witcher came with baggage --- lots of books, and two previous games, and I had read enough of the books that I had a good understanding of the characters even prior to the game, and had predilections about which way Geralt would decide, but Cyberpunk had no such priors and I don't remember any novels from the setting, even though I actually might have read the RPG manuals ages ago.

The story is actually reasonable, once you take all that into account. You're playing a mercenary in Night City, and in a heist gone wrong end up with cyberware taking over your mind. From there events play out and you have a choice of how to deal with the main story, side jobs, and other ancillaries, with consequences playing out in the story.

The game play is easy: I went for a gun toting reflex driven combat-oriented build, and just chose to go in guns blazing all the time eschewing stealth. It worked for most of the game, though a few (optional) side quests would be locked out because I didn't have tech levels set high enough. The game actually has surprisingly little combat, and what there is wasn't painful as long as you levelled up enough on side jobs.

The game crashed about 5-6 times during my playthrough. Annoying, but with sufficient checkpoints that I never lost a lot of progress. Load times were long, but not as annoying as in The Witcher 3 where you'd pause for minutes when you died.

The graphics were decent. Definitely on par with any PS4 games, but didn't feel good after masterpieces like The Last of Us 2.

All in all, I thought the game was reasonably good (there aren't that many games I play till the end), so I enjoyed it. I thought Ghost of Tsushima or Miles Morales were better games, but neither of those games are RPGs, and this was the first RPG I liked enough to finish since The Witcher 3, so I'll still label it recommended.

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