Cyberpunk 2077 has finally released after all of these years… and been removed from the PlayStation Store just as quickly. The controversy surrounding the development of the game and the release that happened as a result is known far and wide. The game is filled with bugs, both funny and frustrating. Furthermore, some reports of mismanagement within the game studio of CD Projekt RED are quite concerning. Investors are even suing CD Projekt over the disastrous release and resulting $1 billion loss.
However, what about the game, itself? What are some areas where it failed and prospered? There are a surprisingly even amount of positives and negatives in this divisive game. Here are five things Cyberpunk 2077 did well and five things it failed at horribly.
Bad — Inventory system
It has been proven time after time that the in-game menus of a title are almost as important as gameplay and story. That is particularly true for an RPG such as Cyberpunk 2077.
It is safe to say that this game failed spectacularly in delivering an inventory system that is both easy to navigate and smooth to use. It’s fairly messy, confusing, and really uncomfortable to use.
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, made by the same developer, also had these issues when it released. So there may be hope for the inventory system in the future!
Good — Weapons
There are a good amount of weapon types to be found in Cyberpunk 2077. They can be filed down to either melee or ranged. However, there are various types of weapons within those two categories. For instance, ranged has pistols, shotguns, sniper rifles, and even special weapons called “Smart Weapons.” Naturally, melee weapons include your standard baseball bats, swords, and batons. There are special cybernetic fists as an option, too.
With so many options that work to deliver plenty of experimentation, Cyberpunk 2077 certainly has plenty of toys to play with.
Bad — Armor options
The Cyberpunk genre has always had an obsession with being cool, as well as looking the part. While fashion in 2077 will undoubtedly be different than that of today… the options in clothing are really rough. That isn’t to say that it’s impossible to look good in the game — it’s always possible.
However, if you want to have the best stats and actually be able to survive on higher difficulties, you’ll have to swallow your pride and wear those mismatched articles of clothing with a smile.
Good — The Nomads
This may be highly subjective, but sections of Cyberpunk 2077 featuring the Nomads were terrific. This collection of roaming clans may just be the very best that the game has to offer. The missions featuring them tend to be action-packed and focused on clear objectives. This makes those areas as fun to play as they are engaging.
Bad — Empty choices
While choices regarding character builds are actually useful in moment-to-moment gameplay, the same can’t really be said for story choices. It feels like player choice was going to be a major feature near the beginning of the game. This is evidenced by a mission where the player is given a quest by Dexter DeShawn to buy a weapon from a gang.
There are a few ways to approach this matter. The player can meet with a mean Corpo lady to strike a backhanded deal. Or they can play it straight and use their own money to simply buy the goods outright. There’s also the option to just charge in and shoot everything in sight. Either way, the player had a say in how things went down.
That all just sort of disappeared throughout the game, save for a few instances here and there. Then, the game gives the player one final choice and allows them to simply choose the ending they want. Sadly, it just doesn’t feel very earned or fulfilling when it happens.
Good — Level design
As previously mentioned, gameplay choices are fantastic in Cyberpunk 2077. There are various missions across Night City involving combat, thievery, and rescuing poor souls held hostage. Players are able to approach these situations however they want and may even get bonuses for doing them a certain way.
For the more stealthy players, there are typically a variety of entry points into an area. Broken fences, open skylights, doors that can be hacked or forced open, etc. Once inside, players can then avoid enemies, bounce around the area via hacked cameras, or stealthily eliminate dangers strategically. Elimination opens up the options of hacking foes, knocking them out, or pulling out the stealth kills.
Although, you can always go in guns blazing. That’s always fun, right?
Bad — Driving
Going into Cyberpunk 2077, it would be unfair to expect driving mechanics on the level of a racing simulation. It was never going to be a game that would rival Forza or even something like Need for Speed. However, what it does do in regard to driving is shaky at best.
Cars feel really light, and doing something crazy like using the brakes will more than likely send your vehicle sliding sideways for some reason. Of course, this is something that can be improved over time, but as of right now, driving is a rough spot in Cyberpunk 2077.
Good — Side quests
Playing through the main plotline of Cyberpunk 2077 may leave players feeling a bit deprived of certain world elements. Topics such as “cyberpsychosis,” politics, and whatever happened to Johnny Silverhand’s old band are all addressed here.
Cyberpsychosis, the phenomena where a cybernetically-enhanced person loses control of their rationality, is an interesting topic. It really is a shame that some of the more interesting aspects of this world were pushed into side content. However, they are explored to an extent, and that helps flesh out the world a lot.
Bad — Police interactions
This is another thing that could be patched out, but it isn’t entirely clear if this was intentional or not. When the player commits a serious crime such as murder, they will gain police notoriety. This is common in open-world crime games, so that isn’t surprising.
What is surprising, however, is just how intense the police in Night City are. They will pursue the player with such ferocity that they begin to spawn into the world right before their eyes. Within seconds, the player is typically surrounded by law enforcement, all intent on giving them a flatline. It just seems a bit much and really hampers the immersion harshly.
Good — Johnny Silverhand
Since Keanu Reeves performing as Johnny Silverhand was a main facet of the Cyberpunk 2077 marketing campaign, it’s a relief that he’s such a great character. He’s nasty, ornery, and typically untrustworthy. It’s very understandable as to why the main character doesn’t enjoy hanging out with him 24/7.
However, Johnny’s bad side is balanced out by his good side perfectly. He’s interesting to listen to and learning more about him always seems fun. Whether he’s going off on an anti-establishment rant or opening up about past regrets, Johnny Silverhand is one of the better parts of the game.
What about Cyberpunk 2077 did you enjoy? Where did the game go wrong? Sound off in the comments below!