Cyberpunk 2077 portrays a hyper-capitalist future where megacorporations have beyond the capacity of governments to control them, creating a dystopian world. Everything is for sale; nothing is protected. Dedication to this environment is what makes Cyberpunk a wonderful success story.
I’m sitting on the edge of a busy bridge above a river. The lake reflects a rainbow of neon lights from the skyscrapers across the street. There are no stars in the sky at night in Night City. They were wiped away by powerful floodlights that projected a scribble of ads.
A dystopian world
In Night City, there are a number of fascinating tales to tell. When megacorps unleash hellish technology, their people are forced to crawl under their feet and battle them. Rewriting brains, seeing an AI’s breakdown into terrifying shards, and storming a chop shop are just a few of the things I encounter throughout my travels across the world. A genuine repentance serial killer comes to me, as does a multi-sensory VR film producer who wants to debase his quest for atonement by documenting it. It is tragic that the killer is involved in his own exploitation, believing that the broadcast of his dying gesture would inspire others to realize the meaninglessness of the system that has disseminated it to them for a fee. Cyberpunk 2077 is available through the Humble Bundle shop.
Because Cyberpunk’s scenario is so unique, no other open-world video game can create tales like this one. If you’re looking for a great narrative that focuses on what capitalism claims to be its ultimate blasphemy, this is it. As a result, the megacorp’s greatest enemy, the famed “rocker boy” Johnny Silverhand, represented by Keanu Reeves in his digitized mind, is accidentally brought back to life in your own brain.
An Amazing Character
Silverhand is a fantastic character, and he’s used well. For him, the objective justifies the means. He’s abrasive, sarcastic, and unrepentant in his desire to demolish everything in his path. When everything is up for sale, his reluctance to sell out is a virtue in a society when everything is for sale. In Cyberpunk, a game in which mohawked street gangs are hunted down by the cops, Silverhand is where the “punk” is.
This is not a one-off appearance. Silverhand’s witticisms aren’t limited to his major speeches in the tale; he’ll also chime in on trivia in the open world. Reeves’ voice is addictive, bouncing between lazy put-downs that drip with ‘I don’t give a fuck’ energy and righteously, infectiously furious tirades against the horribly screwed-up world that he’s now unable to alter save through you.
You’ll have a great time, no matter how terrible that world is. Even though 57 years have passed, the four creative trends around which Night City was built have helped it seem like there has been constant change and evolution in the art world. Retrofuturism of neon and polyester, like Doc Brown’s DeLorean colliding with a children’s laser-quest center, is everywhere. Instead, the world of megacorporations and the wealthy consists of nothing but empty space and opulent trinkets. Arroyo’s industrial zone is home to Blade Runner’s smoky smokestacks.
In order to enjoy the amazing original music on the radio while driving through Night City, I will frequently forego speedy travel, even for long distances. However, the major plot showcases it to its full potential. While the heists are reminiscent of GTA V’s, the game does not have a scenario like this. These are some of gaming’s most memorable set pieces. A corporate parade is one of the most memorable events of the trip, in which I’m pushed through a mob of people while pagodas and holographic dragons float through the air.
The heists are plotted in hushed tones in dark bars, and seeing through the eyes of protagonist V brings you into the dialogue. If the game had been in third-person, it would have been a lot worse. When I emerge into the street, Night City’s megalithic megabuildings could never tower over you quite as they do from any other position.
Just another openworld?
Night City is no different, as most open worlds sag upon closer inspection. Cyberpunk seems like it’s trying to carve new ground, so it’s disconcerting to be able to go from comforting someone who’s lost a friend to removing all of their valuables from their apartment without remark or consequence. And why are there so many dildos in the world? In 2077, the climate situation has deteriorated to a point that flaccid rain is the norm. There are studded purple cocks littering the streets.
Only the purposeful elements are included in this list. No matter how much CD Projekt Red scrambled to get the game out on time, Cyberpunk is still riddled with glitches. Even though it autosaves so often, I never lose too much progress, there are several visual anomalies in the game including floating objects, which are just the most glaring. During a memorable encounter, I fired two buckshot rounds into the face of an illegal snuff salesman. While his brain explodes, he slides to the ground, his mouth wide open in shock. However, even though he is dead, I may converse with him and peruse his goods — when I inquire about business, the corpse’s head turns to face me, its mouth drooping open, before snapping back to gazing straight ahead. It’s quite spooky.
CDPR’s first-person perspective is rigid and jerky as the action ramps up. It’s like riding in the bed of a four-wheel-drive off-roader. Shooting straight is really tough, and even street-level goons are painfully spongey even when I manage to hit them. It’s never easy to go from cover to cover or to slide into a cover.
Matters are starting to improve. As I grow used to a playstyle, the rigidity and sponginess diminish, but they never completely go away. In Cyberpunk, each of the five major qualities regulates two to three perk trees. At first, these perks are only a practical necessity – they improve the damage of key weapons, allowing fighting to get into a groove.
When it comes to encounter areas, this is in between an open-world game and an immersive sim, thus they aren’t built for full adrenaline-pumping ecstasy like those in Doom Eternal. As a result, battle tends to be methodical: I take cover, fire a few rounds, then move on when the opponent AI reacts with grenades and flanking maneuvers.
Higher-level rewards include more freedom and excitement, which are all about creating your own unique badass. Exotic weapons, such as katanas, clubs, and even your fists, may be improved. Sniper perks enhance rifle damage the farther I am from the enemy, while Stealth perks allow me to throw knives for quick and stealthy kills. However, warfare is merely one method of gaining access to an enemy’s stronghold. The features of cyberpunk also regulate other techniques, such as enhancing your spying or physically unlocking new doors. In the same way that Deus Ex accomplished it over two decades ago, you can hack into security turrets to turn them on their owners and download money from computer terminals. It’s one of the few positive aspects of Cyberpunk that you can use in combat: You can slow time down as you scan your enemies and navigate an interface of “quick hacks” that can reset their hostility, squeeze their guns, detonate their grenades, or even reduce the damage resistance of every linked enemy by 30 percent, which is satisfyingly powerful in fights.
Cyberpunk 2077 and Deus Ex
In several instances, Cyberpunk 2077 takes a step back. I recall defeating William Taggart in a discussion challenging in Deus Ex: Human Revolution by dumping evidence that I had found while exploring. You can dig out comparable material and question individuals in Cyberpunk, but information from the former does not inform the latter very often. In order to question suspects, I use my abilities and history to unlock unique discussion choices. A cyberwar surgeon (or “ripper doc”) seems to be a baby, so I choose to punch him and he folds like a napkin. In spite of having the facts, I couldn’t bring myself to tell him the truth.
As in The Witcher 3, you’ll be flooded with loot, but most of it will be worthless duplicates that you’ll discard or sell, and until you do, it will bother you by weighing down your carry capacity. While certain weapons may be improved during the tale, the cost to do so is so high that I’m quickly out of resources and my favorite firearms are once again outrun by a rain of dupes. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s treasure works like Cyberpunk’s renowned weaponry, and upgrading is precisely timed. It would be a huge time-saver if CDPR’s stated objective of allowing you to play as your own cyberpunk badass was completely realized in Cyberpunk. As a general rule, most of the game’s systems are good at this, but loot gets in the way, especially clothing: your clothes comprise your armor value, requiring you to swap that badass armored jacket for a bland cotton shirt if you want to protect yourself, against all sense of both intuition and style.
My cherry may be a sign that expectations are high, and therefore my standards. One of the most anticipated games in a long time and CDPR’s presentation of it as a once-in-a-generation event is likened to that of Rockstar Games. In the end, it doesn’t break as much ground as GTA V or Red Dead 2, or even Deus Ex, but it accomplishes a few.
The Night Sky Future
In the future, it might be seen as a symbol of our time. No, I’m not saying we’ll soon be able to sell our souls for money but painting over the night sky to make a buck? Last year, it was in the headlines. As a result, those floodlights have been with me ever since. I’m not anti-capitalist by definition. Implementation is key, and private business drove an unparalleled growth in living standards throughout the 20th century by keeping it under control. Because of this, it is evident that the chain has become loose, as our own modern-day megacorporations can evade paying their due amount of tax, and their owners may increase their net wealth amid the epidemic that has decimated small companies and sent unemployment surging. This is when Cyberpunk’s anti-corporation wrath is most beneficial.
Cyberpunk 2077 Politics
For those who don’t appreciate ‘politics in games,’ a retroactive caution is in order, but if you’re one among those people, you may want to avoid Cyberpunk 2077. One of the most blatantly political games ever produced, Mike Pondsmith built the tabletop game on which it is based as “a cautionary tale,” and following the death of George Floyd back in June, reaffirmed that his world is “a warning, not an ambition.” Anyone who thinks it’s nothing more than a kind of escape is misguided.
To demand that our media should not be used to discuss politics is a terrible downgrading of our medium, even if such opinions are spoken in genuine good faith. For all its flaws, Cyberpunk 2077 has the potential to have a lasting impact on the gaming industry by convincing more people that games aren’t only for entertainment anymore, but rather that they can and should take a stand on important social problems as well.